What Is and Is Not Coaching?
On social media in recent years there has been an explosion of people promoting Coaching Services. This could be a reflection of the fact that Coaching is one of the fastest growing professions in the world, and it could also be a reflection of it being completely unregulated, meaning anyone can call themselves a 'Coach'.
If you have engaged someone yourself and they provided 'expert help' in the form of advice, it does not always mean that they have been a qualified Coach. And if they have not actually studied coaching, it would have been more accurate to say you experienced Mentoring. Mentoring comes naturally to anyone who wants to help others, by sharing their knowledge and experience. It is similar to coaching, in that it is a confidential conversation, for the benefit of the learning and development of the mentee. The key difference is that Mentoring involves quite a lot of 'direction' and 'advice'.
To Coach someone else you need to be ability to facilitate a conversation in which the client is able to arrive at their own best thinking, whether that is an important decision, a new creative idea that solves a problem, or some insight into themselves or their situation that changes how they feel. 'Pure coaching' in this sense is a 'creative partnership' between the Coach and the Client and is always moving towards the Client unfolding his or her potential.
Coaching is always fundamentally about helping the Client access the wisdom, creativity, courage and capacity for learning and growth that is fundamental to us as human beings. It is present and future focused, capable of depth (major self-reflection) and in the coaching partnership, the client is accountable for the decisions she or he makes.
If this article has been interesting and you would like more information on this topic, including the difference between coaching and therapy, and coaching and managing someone, I discuss this in Lesson 1 of my Free Online Course – ‘Introduction to Coaching’, click through to learn more. Come on into the course and you will also have an opportunity to discuss your learning live with me and others who are curious about learning more about Coaching.