The first apparition of the term "coach" dates back to 1500, when it was used in the field of transports: it was a horse drawn vehicle created in Ko'cs, a small Hungarian town. In the XIX century the same word was employed by British universities to refer to a person who helped students study for their exams. More recently, in the 70s, the term "coach" started being employed in the sport field. In the 80s big US MNCs - Coca Cola, IBM and many others - began offering their employees the first coaching sessions.

In the following years, coaching became more and more widespread in business, first in the US, then in the rest of the world. In the late 90s researches underlined the highly increased productivity of those managers who had undergone a combined program of training and coaching.

Coaching is a partnership relationship aimed towards the reaching of personal, relational and professional goals. By working on personal self-awareness and self-efficiency, it makes it simpler to express and develop one's potential, allowing the "coachee" to make maximum use of their competence in order to reach set goals.

Coaching enables self-development and allows clients to highlight their potential; it helps an individual coachee, or a group, or a team, to reflect upon their actions and beliefs, which have a direct influence on the cognitive sphere and on one's ability to make decisions, and thus can help improve those competences that are useful to attain goals.

Coaching helps people develop a new perspective on themselves and on the situations they have to face, while encouraging their personal and professional growth.

The aim of coaching is to allow individuals or groups to gain an easier access to their potential, in order to improve their performance and identify a better balance as individuals and with their environment.

Its aims in detail are:

  • To encourage a more active learning approach;
  • To increase the sense of responsibility;
  • To develop self-awareness and self esteem;
  • To focus on the areas that need improvement;
  • To encourage the use of these new competences in day to day relations.

The coaching process is addressed to individuals or groups and its aim is to improve role competences and performances. From the point of view of the company, in particular, it allows the improvement of competences and expressivity in each role, and helps key figures show new competences and better performances.

  • Individual coaching is a learning and growing process whose goal is to provide people with the necessary tools to lead themselves to the reaching of specific goals. Executive coaching is the kind of coaching addressed to top and middle management. Executive coaching is a personalized process, based on experience or on "action learning", which can be employed to attain innovative tools and new perspectives in order to improve performances, develop and use new competences or support managers who find themselves in new and different professional roles, as a consequence, for example, of a company reorganization.
  • Group coaching employs the same methods to work with a team of people. The coach observes the dynamics of the team and evaluates its weak points, in order to craft a program that encompasses all the changes necessary to attain a specific goal. Team coaching is also an useful tool to increase team spirit and shared responsibility.