I’m a life coach and I am very passionate about the power of coaching and the amazing changes people go through when they hire a coach. Yes, I meet people who have no idea what coaching is all about so I would like to start by introducing what coaching is not
Coaching is different from therapy, consulting, mentoring and even friendship.
Coaching is not therapy
In therapy, we usually focus on the past. Therapists help their clients to fix problems and overcome issues by digging into the past and asking why things happen. In coaching, we don’t dwell on the clients? past or try to analyze behavior. That does not mean a coach will ignore the past ? it must be recognized and accepted. The focus in coaching is how to move forward.
Coaching is not consulting
Consultants have an agenda and some possible answers. They give advice. They share from their experience. They are experts in specific areas. Coaches might specialize in specific areas, but they don’t bring their own agenda into the table. The partnership they create with their client is based on the client’s agenda and personal goals. Coaches help clients bring about effective change using strategies of time management, goal setting and accountability. A coach might occasionally want to act as a consultant, suggesting new ideas from their knowledge and experience but they will ask for their clients? permission and will differentiate between the coaching and the consulting process.
Coaching is not mentoring
A mentor is a role model. A coach does not bring his own experience into the relationship. The client is the expert on his life. The coach is the expert on the coaching process.
Coaching is not friendship
Thank God for friends! We can trust our friends and if they are real friends, they will always be there for us. But they usually give advice and many times it is based on their own agenda and experience. A coach is professional, objective and nonjudgmental.
I hope this has cleared some possible misconceptions about coaching. Look for my post next Thursday to find out more about what coaching is.