International Coach Federation (ICF) defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today's uncertain and complex environment. Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole. This process helps clients dramatically improve their outlook on work and life, while improving their leadership skills and unlocking their potential.

In my view, coaching applies to every human being not just to executives leading large organizations and responsible for major corporations. That's why when I talk about coaching; I use the phrase "Performance Coaching".

Tim Gallwey succinctly and brilliantly summarized the philosophy of Performance Coaching using the below formula.

You may be an executive in a large MNC or a dentist running your own clinic or a self-employed running a small enterprise or a budding entrepreneur setting up your own business system or a successful business owner or a busy homemaker or an erudite college professor and so on! Regardless of what you do “ you need to discover full potential, perform at peak and lead a purposeful, joyous and fulfilling life. That's the essence of Performance Coaching.

A coach's job is to not to increase the potential of a client, a coach's focus is on removing the interference from the client.

Limiting beliefs, conditioned responses, perceptions, inner conflicts, fear of unknown, baseless assumptions, shadow of past failures, self-doubt, fear of success, fear of failure and the list goes on… all of these are interferences that hinder an individual’s performance in life, business or employment endeavors.

Abraham Maslow said, In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety “ our unconscious interferences gravitate us to "perceived safety" and thereby not allowing us to take action and move towards our dreams. When we are in a cage of safety, we don't perform at peak and sell ourselves short “ which results in an unfulfilled, unproductive and unsatisfied life.

When a bird in the cage is released, the bird's "freedom from prison" is inconsequential “ what's important is the "freedom to fly". The bird's purpose and nature is to fly, not to seek comfort in a tiny cage with unlimited food and water supplied by the owner. The primary responsibility of a coach is to help clients discover their purpose and seek ˜freedom to do what they want to do. Also coaching empowers people to find joy in what they do, while they find what they want to do!