Many clients are unclear of what to expect from coaching. Some of my clients come to their first coaching sessions expecting me to tell them what to do, focus on their past behaviors, or fix them. I explain coaching focuses on the present, goal setting, and forward movement. As a coach, I view my clients as naturally, creative, resourceful and whole. They have the solution. They may not realize it, but they do! It is my job to help them uncover the solution and to create action.
A colleague from the local ICF Chapter created the below distinctions between Coaching and other service professions.
What other distinctions stand out for you?
Therapist: Can deal with past patterns that don’t work and with intense emotions; Analyzes problems to find out “why?”; Often focuses on non-functional behaviors; Model: something is wrong that needs fixing
Coach: Focuses on present and future; Questions rather than analyzes; Approaches client as a whole healthy human being; Model: curiosity drives questions to help the client discover his/her own strengths and greatness
Mentor: Has a stake in the outcome; Is viewed as the expert; Typically has a student-teacher duality; Focused on career successes and progress; Gives advice and shows how to do
Coach: Detached from outcome; Partners with client in learning; Finds out what is important to the client in the journey; Emphasis on contribution to the whole person
Manager: Primary objective is the company’s mission; Focused on the career area and achievement; Has a large stake in the outcome; Provides solutions, direction and advice; Transmits information from one level of the organization to another
Coach: Primary objective is the client’s well-being and success; Helps client understand the link between personal mission and company mission; Focuses on the entire person, all life areas; Is detached from the outcome; Does not problem solve, provide solutions or advice; Keeps information confidential
Consultant: Has specific area of expertise; Shares expertise with the client; Gives advice and/or solutions; Consultant does the work
Coach: Facilitates the process of creating awareness and responsibility; Helps the client learn how to find solutions; Client does the work