When we first start working with a new coaching client, we spend time defining what coaching is and what it isn't. There is quite a bit of confusion out there. If you're unsure yourself, here a quick overview.
Coaching & Therapy – therapy focuses on feelings and experiences related to past events. Coaching focuses on the present and the future. Coaching encourages the client to move forward. A therapist normally works with dysfunctional people to get them to a functional state. Therapists works with individuals who need to become emotionally healthy. Therapists deal with past issues and how to overcome them. Coaching is where the client is right now, where they want to be next and how to get them there. It is important to know when a client needs therapy and not coaching.
Coaching & Consulting – consulting and consultants tend to provide advice. The coach provides the space for the client to discover their own solution and their own answer. Coaches do not provide the answers. The client does; the coach guides them. A consultant is a specialist in one area and provides solutions. Coaches are not specialists in one area – they don’t need to be as they are not experts in finding the answer for the client – this is the work of the client. Coaching is a holistic approach. The coach has the questions that allow the client to find their own answers and clarify their values.
Coaching & Counselor - A counselor provides information and expertise. The relationship is typically hierarchical – a parent /child for example. It is based on the past and focuses on fixing a problem. Coaching relationships are future based, action oriented and not hierarchical. The coach and client partner together. The coach and client walk side by side.
Coaching & Mentoring - A mentee establishes a relationship with an expert in the field. Mentors are usually older and have more experienced and specialized in their field. It is more of a teacher / student relationship – learning takes place from the teacher to student. The student looks up to the mentor for information and guidance. Coaching is a partnership. Clients draw on their own wisdom and follow their own guidance to meet their goals.
Learn more about our coaching programs here. Or send us a short note with your questions and interest.
Three questions which are sometimes helpful *in the moment* in deciding if and how to move forward with a particular issue:
2. So what?
3. Now what?
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