Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions + some answers

What is coaching?

The International Coaching Federation (ICF) defines coaching as “An alliance between a Coach and a Client in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires the client to maximize personal and professional potential”.

Coaching happens through dialogue – questions and answers, speaking and listening.

There are many different types, styles and techniques of coaching.

The coach might use a variety of these with their client to uncover and address challenges, develop goals and formulate strategies and actions.

Coaches also listen with a sense of commitment to every conversation.

They are stakeholders in their client’s success.

They stand for and with their client’s capability and talent.

What is coaching not?

Coaching is not a passive process. It involves working out what you really and honestly want. It requires you to take responsibility for your future, accept a challenge, dig deep inside yourself, and put in the work.

Coaching is also not therapy or counseling and is not a substitute for e.g. psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, mental health care or substance abuse treatment.

What’s the difference between coaching and mentoring or advice-giving?

Coaching involves learning about yourself, your thoughts and behaviors and how to make positive changes to find the best way forward for you. A coach works alongside you in this process. A coach enables you to solve problems.

Mentoring is about one person sharing their knowledge and their experiences of doing something with their client. They usually have more experience or knowledge of a particular topic or situation than their client. A mentor tells you how to avoid potential problems.

Even with your best interests at heart, advice (e.g from a close friend or relative) is usually rooted in what someone thinks you should do. A coach is a collaborative partner, and coaching is based solely on what the client wants.

What’s the difference between coaching and consulting?

Coaching helps to develop a client’s ability to solve a problem themselves.

A coach works together with a client, using a wide variety of tools, alongside goal-setting and accountability. They are there if you fall to help you up. A coach will also help you address issues such as fear or limited self-confidence.

Consulting involves an expert who solves a problem for the client. This might utilise training and/or other professional services. A consultant will generally help with problems that are directly related to your career or business, rather than your personal challenges.

What’s the difference between coaching and training?

A first difference is that training tends to focus on the goals of an organization, whereas coaching focuses exclusively on the goals of an individual. These two things may or may not coincide.

Training is designed to improve certain competencies, knowledge and skills, whether or not they need improvement in a specific individual. Coaching identifies and focuses on specific needs. These could also include elements such as self-awareness, attitudes, beliefs, behaviors and choices.

Training tends to focus on knowledge transfer from the instructor to the training participants.  Coaching focuses on behavioral change, based on the information provided by the client.

Training is typically offered to a group and provides the same experience for everyone in that group, even over time. Coaching is often provided one on one and is tailor made to an individual and the very specific challenges they face. The experience is unique for every client.

What’s the difference between coaching and managing?

Managing is directive and task-orientated. It utilizes the authority of the manager to organize work and processes to ensure that a team delivers. This communication is often one way. Coaching is undertaken at the same level of authority as an employee or client. The partnership provides value and support to the  employee or client as they take steps to develop and improve their effectiveness. Its based on two way communication, with a focus on growth. Both successful managing and successful coaching include the elements of critical thinking, finding solutions, autonomy/responsibility and building confidence.

What’s the difference between coaching and therapy?

While therapists tend to focus on the past, coaches tend to focus on the now and the future.

Therapists are licensed medical and/or healthcare professionals. Coaches are certified and are usually not medical or healthcare professionals.

Therapists manage mental illnesses and diagnosis. Coaches don’t – they work with healthy people who are facing challenges or working through periods of dissatisfaction in their lives.

Therapists take responsibility for healing and may work with a client on past, traumatic experiences. Coaches help to identify and remove obstacles, clarify dreams and goals and formulate plans of action for their clients to move ahead with their lives. The client is  responsible for the progress they make.

Therapy is introspective and tends to be less goal-orientated, focusing on why things are the way they are while moving towards a better future. Coaching often uses techniques of introspection, but with the focus on looking forward, how a client might reach their goals in the best way for them.  

Do you give advice, mentoring, training, consulting etc?

My services are primarily based on coaching.

Depending on the area of our coaching and if/when you specifically request it, I also offer mentoring, consulting and training. I’ll clearly label each in our sessions. Don’t hesitate to ask me more about my services if you have a specific need in mind.