Coaching shares similarities with other interventions, such as mentoring and counselling, however it is important to consider that coaching has unique characteristics. This chapter provides a review of the coaching literature, focusing on defining coaching and examining the similarities and differences between coaching and other development interventions, such as mentoring. The chapter explores the coaching relationship, particularly focusing on the process, forms of delivery, requirements of the coach and the coachee, selecting a coach, boundaries in coaching relationships, barriers to effective coaching, learning and development in coaching, unsuccessful relationships and coaching in small businesses. Despite a wealth of toolkits and literature describing the coaching process, the majority of models appear to assume that all coaching relationships are homogenous, with an absence of research examining how coaching relationships evolve over time. Whilst there have been some studies to show the effectiveness of coaching programmes, there is limited empirical research examining how individuals learn and develop in coaching relationships, particularly examining different groups of individuals.
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