Forbes cited it as the second fastest growing profession in the country, Fortune 1000 companies have used it to transform their organizations, and testimonials from around the world keep pouring in about the power of professional coaching. Yet with all this, relatively few people even know what coaching really is. In fact, it is estimated that only about 15% of the general population has heard about professional coaching, and less even is aware of its true identity and power.

This article will help you understand what professional coaching is, what it isn’t, who does it, and more. First let’s clear up a myth. Coaching, as we think of it today, is not that new. People have been doing variations of it for decades. It is, however, only recently that coaching has turned into a profession that is governed by a board; with guidelines, standards of conduct, and a code of ethics and that is why the profession is taking off as it is.

What is coaching?

Coaching is a very unique profession. It utilizes the best of therapy, consulting, mentoring, and even friendship, to create a unique client-helper relationship. This relationship is a powerful alliance—a partnership of sorts—to help clients manage their lives, create more fulfillment, and live their dreams.

This is very different from traditional helping modes, where people want to get themselves or their businesses “fixed.” Coaching focuses on solutions, not problems, to help move people and organizations from good to great.

IPEC (The Institute for Professional Empowerment Coaching) defines coaching as a process that helps people tap into their inner purpose and passion and connect that with outer goals and tasks, to achieve extraordinary results. These results range from improved self-esteem and relationships to the successful running of a fortune 500 company. It is almost impossible to describe the remarkable, and sometimes miraculous results that come from the coaching relationship. Maybe the old Mikey adage is best, “Try it, you’ll like it!”

What isn’t coaching?

Most people who call themselves coaches are usually consultants or therapists, and although coaching has its basis in both, it is very, very different. The main difference between consultants and coaches is that a consultant promotes himself or herself as the expert in certain aspects of life, and the coach accepts that the client is the expert and has within him/her the answer to any situation he/she may face. Also coaches stick with clients to implement plans of action, while consultants usually do not participate in this type of relationship and leave clients to implement the plan of action on his/her own.

The therapist’s typical functions are to help clients fix problems, overcome issues, and sometimes manage mental illness. Coaches do not work with mental illness nor spend much time on client issues or problems. In fact, Certified Empowerment Coaches (the designation received from training with IPEC) do not see anything as a problem, only a situation or opportunity. Coaches focus on solutions. They do not dwell on the client’s past nor try to analyze behavior. Coaching’s focus isn’t so much on “why,” but “how,” to achieve powerful results.

Who does professional coaching?

Worldwide, there are an estimated 50,000 people calling themselves coaches, while the International Coach Federation (coaching’s one and only governing board) reports only 6,000 members. This is important to know because most so-called coaches are not trained professionals. Below are the most important points in determining a professional coach.

1) Certification: Certification is very important, because true coaching is a profession that requires very specific skills, conduct standards, and a foundation of training, which is only taught in qualified schools. Regardless of what some may try to tell you, life experience and other types of experience or training are not enough. Would you hire a surgeon who didn't have formal training?

2) References: An effective coach will have happy and satisfied clients who, after contracting the services of the coach, have made significant changes in their lives. Note: when asking for references make sure the people have actually been coached by the coach. Some people give references of friends or people that they have worked with in some unrelated manner.

3) A good match: An effective coach for one person, may not be a good match for another. To find a good match, it's best to speak directly with your potential coach and ask for a sample session. You'll want to be sure you feel comfortable enough to work with your coach on a regular basis.

What will coaching training do for me?

Besides receiving an accredited certification and the backbone for a fulfilling career, IPEC’s coaching training is life transformational. As you become a professional coach, you gain self-awareness and realization, improve all your relationships, become more conscious, and develop a life-long support team and family.

To summarize, coaching is a very unique profession that takes the best from many other professions to create a powerful alliance that transforms lives. If you are interested in working with a top professional coach, or thinking that you would like to be a coach, visit call us toll free at 866 72COACH, or visit our website at

IPEC coaching enlightens the world – one person at a time!

Bruce D Schneider, Ph.D., MCC is a Master Certified Coach, licensed psychotherapist, Reiki Master, founder and director of the Institute for Professional Empowerment Coaching (, and author of, Relax, You’re Already Perfect: 10 Spiritual Lessons… to Remember (Hampton Roads Publishing, 2002).

Testimonial for side insert:
“The IPEC training has no equal. It is conducted with the utmost commitment to excellence. It is the only choice for anyone who is truly interested in coaching as a profession.”

Carol Walker, MSW, CEC
Senior Social Worker
Monmouth Medical Center

Author's Bio: 

Bruce D Schneider was virtually dead at age 18. In 1978, a late-evening highway encounter with a drunk driver left him on his deathbed. Miraculously, he not only survived this horrific accident, but against all odds, went on to a complete recovery. Why?

This is the question that has motivated him for more than twenty years through the study of psychology, hypnotherapy, metaphysical research, spiritual teachings, and countless hours of personal meditation. Bruce found his answers, and his purpose – to empower others to get their answers.

No longer the object of wonder to the medical community, Dr. Schneider is again the focus of attention – this time with his acclaimed book, Relax, You’re Already Perfect: 10 Spiritual Lessons… to Remember (Hampton Roads Publishing), and his powerful and inspiring workshops, seminars, coaching sessions, and professional coaching training.

Dr. Schneider’s message is profoundly simple: “Open your eyes to your magnificence and limitless possibilities appear.” His renowned book details this principle through ten empowering, and sometimes eye-opening, lessons. Filled with practical applications for an everyday spiritual experience, his book is being recognized by leaders in the New Consciousness movement and Self-help genre, such as James Redfield (author of The Celestine Prophecy) Stephen Rechtschaffen, Ph.D. (author of TimeShifting and co-founder of the Omega Institute) and Carolyn Myss, Ph.D., (author of Anatomy of the Spirit). Myss calls it “Some of the best practical advice on spiritual self-help that I have ever read!”

Testimonials about the impact of Bruce’s work are mounting. His lecture and workshop attendees have reported life-changing results from powerful and practical information and exercises. Participants are surprised to learn that enhanced happiness, health, wisdom, and wealth are within their reach not by driving themselves to make things happen but by breaking though their own self-created limitations and finding their own power and gifts to share with everyone around them.

Bruce was awarded undergraduate and graduate degrees from William Paterson College and Rutgers University, respectively. A successful entrepreneur, business executive, and former semi-professional athlete, he is the founder and director of the Institute for Professional Empowerment Coaching in New Jersey and California,.

Bruce D Schneider, Ph. D., is a Master Certified Life Coach, Licensed psychotherapist, Reiki Master, renowned speaker, and founder of the Institute for Professional Empowerment Coaching (