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  • Writer's pictureShaneef Karmali

Unlocking Your Full Potential: An Introduction to Coaching.

Do you feel like you're not living up to your full potential? Are you struggling to achieve your personal and professional goals? If so, coaching may be the answer you've been looking for. In this blog post, we'll explore what coaching is, how it differs from therapy and consulting, the coach-client relationship, and how coaching works. I'll also provide a reflective activity to help you determine if you're ready for coaching.

Image of a coach and client having a conversation in a relaxed and comfortable setting.

What is Coaching?

Coaching is a collaborative partnership designed to facilitate the creation and development of personal, professional, or business goals and to develop and carry out a strategy or plan for achieving those goals. According to the International Coaching Federation (ICF), coaching is defined as "partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential."

Through coaching, clients gain insight into their own strengths and areas of improvement. This self-awareness enables them to identify and overcome self-imposed limitations that may have been hindering their progress. The coaching process helps clients clarify their goals, develop an action plan, and make progress towards achieving those goals. With the help of a coach, clients can gain the confidence and skills needed to overcome obstacles, navigate complex situations, manage change, and achieve their desired outcomes. The result of coaching is a more fulfilling, successful, and satisfying life, both personally and professionally.

How is Coaching Different from Therapy and Consulting?

Coaching is future-oriented and aims to help individuals maximize their potential. In contrast, therapy and counselling focus on addressing past traumas, healing emotional wounds, and diagnosing mental health disorders. Consulting is a problem-solving approach where a consultant provides expert advise and recommendations to an organization or individual. Coaches do not provide specific solutions or tell clients what to do. Instead, coaches ask thought-provoking questions, encourage self-reflection, and help clients identify their own solutions and take ownership of their growth.

The Coach-Client Relationship

The foundation of coaching lies in the coach-client relationship, which is built on trust, mutual respect, and openness. The coach views the client as a whole, resourceful, and creative individual with the capability of achieving their own goals. The coach's role is to facilitate the client's personal and professional growth by asking powerful questions, providing feedback, and exploring new ideas and approaches. In this collaborative partnership, the client has full agency and is responsible for bringing topics that matter to them and their definition of success to the coaching engagement. The coach-client relationship is confidential, and the coach maintains a non-judgmental stance throughout the coaching process. A good coach-client relationship can lead to increased self-awareness, improved communication skills, better decision-making, and ultimately, greater success and fulfillment in all aspects of life.

A picture of a coach in conversation with a client - actively listening.

How Does Coaching Work?

Coaching typically begins with an initial consultation, where the coach and client get to know each other and discuss the client's goals and needs. From there, the coach and client work together to develop a coaching plan, which outlines the client's goals, the actions they will take to achieve the goals, and the support the coach will provide along the way. Coaching sessions can take place in person, over the phone, or online. At Activate Coaching and Consulting we offer a complimentary 30-minute discovery call for you to explore if a coaching engagement with myself or one of our collaborators is right for you.

Are You Ready for Coaching?

Coaching can help you achieve higher performance and greater personal satisfaction at work, but it requires a commitment of time and effort. Before embarking on your coaching journey, it is important to assess your readiness for coaching. This can help you determine if you are ready for coaching and identify areas you may need to work on to get the most out of the coaching process.

To help you assess your readiness for coaching, try this reflective activity:

  1. Ask yourself what you hope to gain from coaching. What are your goals and aspirations, both personal and professional?

  2. Consider your willingness to be vulnerable and open to feedback. Are you comfortable exploring your blind spots and areas for improvement?

  3. Reflect on your level of commitment to the coaching process. Are you willing to invest the time, energy, and resources necessary to achieve your goals?

  4. Think about your readiness to take ownership and accountability of your growth and development. Are you willing to take responsibility for your actions and make changes when necessary?

  5. Assess your willingness to experiment with new ideas and approaches. Are you open to trying new things and stepping outside your comfort zone?

If you answered yes to most of these questions, you may be ready for coaching. However, if you answered no to some of these questions, it doesn't necessarily mean that coaching is not for you. It may simply mean that you need to work on developing these characteristics before embarking on your coaching journey.

Coaching Services at Activate Coaching and Consulting Inc.

At Activate Coaching and Consulting, we offer various coaching services to help individuals and organizations achieve their goals:

  • Individual Leadership Coaching: Through a collaborative process, you will gain the tools and insights needed to unlock your full potential as a leader.

  • Team Coaching: Partner with us to identify your team's strengths and areas of enhancement. Through team coaching, you will develop clear roles and responsibilities, establish trust, and improve communication and collaboration.

  • Group Coaching: Through regular group sessions, you will have the opportunity to share your experience, gain insights from others, and receive personalized coaching to help you achieve your goals.

  • Organizational Coaching: This intervention is an in-depth process of partnering with the entire organization, typically at the leadership level, to drive optimal performance, enhance culture, and overall effectiveness.


Coaching is a powerful tool for unlocking your full potential and achieving your personal and professional goals. It is a collaborative partnership designed to help you gain self-awareness, clarify your goals, develop an action plan, and make progress towards achieving your desired outcomes. Unlike therapy and consulting, coaching is future-oriented and aims to help you maximize your potential. The coach-client relationship is the foundation of coaching, based on trust, mutual respect, and openness. Coaching works best when the client is ready and willing to take ownership of their growth and development, and is committed to investing the time and effort required to achieve their goals.

Are you ready to take your personal or professional development to the next level? If you're interested in exploring coaching further, get to know more about Activate Coaching and Consulting Inc. and the collaborators I partner with to ensure a truly tailored and impactful client experience. Follow this link to learn more about the coaching services offered at Activate Coaching and Consulting and book your complimentary 30-minute discovery call with me today.


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