Coaching was known initially in the world of sports, but slowly it has evolved and migrated to different spaces, making its way to the executive scene. People began to see that the methodology applied in sports could also work in the context of corporations who are looking to change their culture and mindset to be better at what they do.

Today, coaching is considered a profession and a way to achieve personal development. But this didn’t happen overnight, coaching can be traced back to the 1930s with the self-help books of the Dale Carnegie school of thought, however, it wasn’t until the 80s and early 90s that coaching as we know it today started to emerge.

One of the pioneers in modern coaching was John Whitmore in the United Kingdom who began to incorporate in the business world methods that until then had only been used in sports coaching. He even coined the term “performance coaching” and showed it was possible to improve performance, increase learning and enjoyment, and find a sense of purpose in work.


Whitmore then started to work with Graham Alexander to develop the GROW model

Whitmore then started to work with Graham Alexander to develop the GROW model (a model we still use daily in our coaching practices), while in the United States, Werner Erhard joined forces with Laura Whitworth to develop the co-active coaching model and also the Coach Training Institute. As you can see, little by little coaching began to step outside the sports walls to appear in different spaces.

In the 1980s managers began to be asked to evaluate the performance and satisfaction of their team members and this is where coaches started to step in, although their help was mostly requested for top executives at the time.

A few years later, in 1995, the International Coach Federation (ICF) was founded and therefore standards and competencies were established. In the United Kingdom the approach was non-directive and client-centered and techniques, such as Neurolinguistics Programming (NLP), which you might have heard of before, became more popular.

At the end of this decade, more and more people wanted to receive coaching training with the aim to practice personal, life, executive and business coaching. This is how this practice entered the market of a way to better, not only someone’s life and self-esteem but everything that happens in the working environment.

By the year 2000 several coaching branches could be differentiated: Life coaching for individuals; Executive, for seniors and managers; Business coaching for companies; Psychologists and Counsellors, who were coaches that dived into deeper cognitive issues; Behavioral for people with mild mental health problems; And others.

Coaching has proved itself to be useful and positive for someone that wants to achieve their full potential and increase their well-being. It has become almost a regular practice to consider seeking executive or leadership coaching to improve team performance and overall business activities.

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