“Coaching isn’t therapy. It’s product development, with you as the product.”
The external and internal pressures to become high-performing amid constant change has lead individuals, teams, groups, and organizations to leverage the power of coaching.
But – what is coaching? And how it is different than mentoring, consulting, training, or counseling?
This is a common question.
The International Coaching Federation (ICF) defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”
Coaching is different than mentoring, consulting, training, and counseling.
Mentoring – is an engagement that is formed because of the expertise and experience that the mentor has. In this relationship, the mentee seeks to learn and receive guidance from the mentor to grow and excel professionally or personally. The mentor leverages his or her expertise and experience to help the mentee.
Consulting – is provided by a consultant, who helps clarify a problem and provides a solution, using data, information, and her or his expertise to resolve a specific issue.
Training – is designed so that a trainee acquires new information or skills with the intent that the trainee will apply the latest knowledge in his or her professional context. The trainer is seen as an expert who is responsible for learning to happen.
Counseling or therapy – are treatments intended to help individuals resolve or heal problematic behaviors, thinking, feelings, and elevate the level at which an individual is functioning. Often these experiences involve delving into and understanding the past.
On the other hand, coaches:
- Are partners. There is no power differential in the relationship.
- Do not give solutions; they use a process that allows the client to arrive at a solution.
- Do not teach in the traditional sense of inculcating or disseminating information. Instead, they use a process that allows clients to bring forth what they know and identify that they may need to know.
- Do not heal or delve into the past. They use a process to help clients move from the present to the desired future.
In the first ICF study, the 2012 Global Coaching Survey, coaching clients were asked how they would define coaching. The words that clients used were that coaching is a process that leads to goal-setting, awareness building, and accountability.
At MiraNous we define coaching as, “a partnership and process that is intentional and focused and which leverages metacognition while addressing the internal and external landscape of the client, to help the client achieve greater self-awareness, mastery, and actualization in what matters to the client.”
We hope this helped clarify what coaching is and how it differs from other support modalities. We will continue this discussion in new videos and articles that we have for you. This link will help you request access to future content.
The International Coaching Federation (ICF). 2017 Annual Report: Committed, compassionate, connected (2017). Retrieved August 8, 2019 from https://coachfederation.org/app/uploads/2018/09/2017ICFAnnualReport_FINAL_SPREADS.pdf