What is coaching?
Coaching is a way of partnering for insight and possibility that allows for new action and sustainable shifts
In a coaching conversation we navigate beyond surface events and behaviour to understand the way you see the world and its challenges and how this may block you from moving forward.
Becoming unstuck from any limiting beliefs and assumptions frees you to take new action.
A key role of a coach is to be fully present in conversation with their clients, to listen deeply and create a safe, non-judgmental environment to allow for deep insight and meaningful shifts to occur.
What makes coaching different?
Let’s consider a few dynamics that set coaching apart from other modalities.
Coaching versus advising
Typically if you approach someone for advice on a challenge that you’re facing, they focus their advice on the issue.
Coaching focuses on the person not the issue being coached. A coach would work with you so that ultimately you are equipped to address your own challenges. This is what we call becoming self-correcting, self-regulating and self-generating.
Coaching versus mentorship
A mentor would typically draw on their own experience in working with you on a particular path you are following. In seeking out a mentor or role-model you might even approach someone in a similar field or whose path you aspire to follow.
In contrast coaching is a partnership between equals and does not require the coach to have subject-specific experience in the coaching topic. Having a coach with a different background often benefits rather than inhibits the coaching process.
Coaching versus therapy
If you consider a timeline, therapy would often help you reflect back and work through past issues in order to move forward.
Coaching considers where you are now, which may be informed by certain past experiences and challenges, and then asks where you would like to be and helps you take the steps required to get there.
A coaching relationship is contracted to last a finite amount of time and have a clear outcome.
If you need to work through trauma or issues beyond your coach’s scope of competence your coach would refer you to an appropriate form of therapy.