My simple definition for coaching is this: Coaching is an action learning experience between a coach and a client that builds on the client’s desire to do something differently in the future. And the role of the coach is that of guide as an individual explores both the possibilities for change and the resistance related to change. Yes, it’s a type of self-discovery where the individual decides on which outcomes to pursue; and more – the coach holds the process. An effective coach uses skill to balance providing appropriate challenge while maintaining a safe space for exploration.
How is a coach different, then, from a consultant or a counselor or therapist? One key way these three roles differ is around focus. Coaching focuses on the future. Consulting focuses on a product or outcome delivered by an expert. Counseling or therapy focuses on the past. Better yet, even though I’m sure you’ll see how all three overlap one another, consider their differ
ences by imagining how a consultant, counselor and coach would approach helping you learn to ride a bike.
A consultant is already an expert in bike riding. They’ll assess what you’ve been doing and provide a detailed plan on how to do it correctly. They focus on giving you a product. At times, they might even offer to ride the bike for you to show you how it is done
A counselor or therapist is interested in why you are unable to ride a bike. What’s in your past, or childhood, that presents a barrier to your learning? They focus on the “why”
A coach holds things steady while you are working to achieve your goal of riding a bike, asks thought provoking questions and shines a light on your strengths. She works with you to tap into what you already know, and helps you break through limiting beliefs. A coach is focused on you, not a product or outcome.
- Posted by Marianne Reiff
- On May 14, 2016
- 0 Comments