We better ask what coaching is not. Coaching is not a piece of friendly advice to your girlfriend while chit-chatting over a pumpkin spice latte whether she should break up with her boyfriend. As a coach, I can’t give you any advice or nudge you toward my solutions. I could, but I won’t. As a responsible coach, I will always try to get you to your own answers.
Coaching is not mentoring
Coaching is not mentoring. It is not Gandalfing around like there is no tomorrow. A coach should not pass on any knowledge or experiences to help his or her client. A coach does not even have to be wiser or older than his or her clients and big revelation (drum roll) – a coach does not have to have any experience in a given coaching area. For example: If a client asks me to coach him and he works as a construction builder and his main problem is regarding his colleagues, then I don’t have to know anything about his job. Weird as it sounds, it is right.
Coaching is not consulting
Consultants are great. Some of them are not. But what they should all have is an expertise in some field. Whether it’s being a farmer, hairdresser, fashion stylist, IT expert, or marketing consultant, they all have something that is called know-how. Coach does not have to have any expertise in order to give you a good quality coaching session. Coach is rather listening, asking you good questions and rather bringing out the clients expertise to do so.
Coaching is not therapy
Therapy focuses on feelings related to past events. It deals with pain, dysfunction, and conflict within an individual or in relationships. There are many different streams among therapies and counseling, but most of them deal with past events. Where coaching focuses on HERE and NOW or THE FUTURE. Unless we use past events as a source for the future. Coaching is future focused. That’s what I like the most about coaching. I will never ask you how your mother made you feel when you were 5 YO and she slapped you because you did not finish the dinner. No, we won’t go there, I promise. My experience with therapy was always not good. It was just not good. All therapist made me either cry or feel bad for myself. And ain’t nobody got time for that. So let’s focus on the present and future will get better.
Coaching is not athletic coaching
Urgh, this one is the most painful for me to explain since I played tennis for twenty years. Yes it is easy to assume that I coach tennis now, but no I am a professional coach but not in athletics. As ICF website states: “Professional coaching focuses on setting goals, creating outcomes and managing personal change.” Whether its in sports, law, politics, marketing, cleaning or taking care of family.
So if you want to know more about coaching and what it is, I recommend you to stay tuned to my blog especially this part, where I talk about coaching ad thoughts about coaching.