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7 Types of Coaching and What You Might Expect From Each

If you're considering working with a coach, you might find it helpful to know about the various types of coaching which exist. Infact, having an awareness of the various categories of coaching available, will make your job of finding a good fit a lot easier.

More people who enquire about working with me in a counselling capacity, are also expressing interest in how I might help them in a coaching context too. Consequently, I explain the difference between counselling and coaching before helping them decide the best option for their needs.

Coaching and counselling are different

Importantly, I point out where there is a distinct difference between coaching and counselling intervention. Essentially, I explain how when working with me in a coaching capacity, they'll be less of a focus on addressing emotional distress or crisis.

In other words, rather than helping them to manage emotions, I emphasise where our efforts will focus primarily on goals. And with this focus, my aim will be to help them recognise, enhance and capitalise on their existing strengths and resources.

Coaching has grown more popular

Coaching has become increasingly more valuable. Alongside mentoring, industry professionals note where coaching has grown in popularity as a key approach to employee development. And with this, the introduction of coaching is being recognised as a powerful process for helping individuals and teams to improve performance.

But it's not just in industry that coaching has grown in popularity. And, not without good reason, as after all, people have become more invested in self-improvement. Similarly, those committed to their personal development are recognising where a coach can help them to identify and achieve their goals quicker.

That said, recognising the value in coaching is one thing, deciding the type of coaching you'd most benefit from, is another altogether. So, in this article, I want to familiarise you with some of the most common types of coaching out there, as this might help you determine which is right for you.

1. Executive Coaching

The executive coach will most likely work with top level leaders, managers and others within supervisory roles. Many leaders and managers can become overwhelmed by the demands of their responsibilities. And with this, some also feel unable to 'switch off'. An executive coach can help those in this position to develop their leadership and management approach, so as to get the most out of themselves and their team.

Recommended: Millennial Leadership - Stop Complaining, Start Coaching

2. Career Coaching

A career coach will encourage you to get clarity about your overall career path. This could include determining which opportunities are best suited to helping you attain your long-term goals. Alternatively, it could mean giving thought to possible career transition. Essentially, a career coach can be instrumental in helping you to identify the skills, knowledge and resources needed to move towards your chosen career.

3. Business Coaching

Typically, business coaches help entrepreneurs and business owners to make improvements in their business. The types of improvements a business coach could help you with may include developing your company vision, mission or strategic plan. Equally, a business coach may also work with you on improving systems to help your business run smoothly. In addition, they might also help you consider ways to increase reach, profitability and impact.

4. Relationship Coaching

A relationship coach can cover a variety of items aimed at influencing the health of your interactions with others. Fundamentally, a relationship coach helps people to identify, establish and nurture positive, healthy relationships. Also, this may include rebuilding or restoring broken relationships and setting boundaries. As with other forms of coaching, relationship coaching can be instrumental in improving how you relate to others in a personal and professional capacity.

Recommended: Relationship Coach Reveals How to Set Boundaries

5. Life Coaching

Unlike some other types of coaching, which centre around how you relate to an organisation or others, life coaching focuses primarily on you. By inviting more introspection, a life coach will help you identify any obstacles preventing you from living your fullest life. This could include exploring the impact of your beliefs and where you may need more balance across different areas of your life.

6. Parenting Coaching

In recognition of a parents role in shaping a child, parenting coaches help their clients to develop the skills and confidence needed to face parental challenges effectively. Typically, people may not have parenting goals. However, this may be something a parenting coach would also help you identify. Working with a parenting coach might therefore involve assessing and improving connection, communication, coping skills, or behaviour management.

Recommended: How to Raise Successful Kids Without Over-parenting with Julie Lythcott-Haims

7. Performance Coaching

Last, but not least, performance coaching can be valuable for both personal and professional growth. With a focus on identifying blind spots, action and accountability, it's an ideal approach for encouraging overall optimal performance. Through the exploration of your values, beliefs, intrinsic goals, and mental blocks, a performance coach can help you build the mental toughness and habits needed to achieve your goals and become a better version of yourself.


Though what you've seen is a variety of coaching types, it's worth noting there are many other types of coaching which I've not mentioned in any detail. These include things like confidence coaching, wellness coaching, sales coaching, and lets not forget, health and fitness coaching.

With so many varieties of coaching available, you should be able to find one which fits your circumstances and your long term goals. That said, if you're seriously thinking about working with a coach, before making an investment, it's definitely worth speaking with a number of coaches to determine who would be a good match.

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CIPD (2021) Coaching and Mentoring

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