Professional Coaching: What it IS and IS NOT

Consulting vs Coaching*

Consultants have an agenda and some possible answers and they bring that agenda, and answers, to the client. Coaches have no agenda except to help the client get what he/she wants. The main difference is that the consultant positions themselves as the expert in certain aspects of life, and the coach accepts that the client is the expert and has within him/her the answer to any situation they may face.

Mentoring vs Coaching*

Mentoring involves working with a role model who has “been there and done that” that will “show you how they did it,” where as a coach does not use his/her personal experiences as a model for the client. The coach knows the client is the expert on his/her life.

Therapy vs Coaching*+

Therapy is designed to heal the client from something in the past that is affecting them in the present and preventing them from moving forward. Typically therapy examines “why” something occurred. Coaching moves the client from the present to the future by helping the client focus on “how.” Therapy’s function is to move the client from dysfunctional to functional. Coaching moves the client from functional to optimal.

Sports Coaching v Coaching*

Professional coaching is not based on competition or focused on win-lose scenarios. Coaching focuses on bringing out one’s best but not to best someone else. Contrary to sports coaching, professional coaching helps people think and create win-win scenarios for all involved parties.