How is coaching distinct from other service professions?
Therapy deals with healing pain, dysfunction and conflict. The focus is often on resolving difficulties arising from the past that hamper functioning in the present. Coaching, on the other hand, supports personal and professional growth based on self-initiated change in pursuit of specific actionable outcomes. These outcomes are linked to personal or professional success. The primary focus is on creating actionable strategies for achieving specific goals in one’s work or personal life. The emphasis in a coaching relationship is on action, accountability and follow through.
Individuals or organizations retain consultants for their expertise. While consulting approaches vary widely, the assumption is the consultant will diagnose problems and prescribe and, sometimes, implement solutions. With coaching, the assumption is that individuals or teams are capable of generating their own solutions, with the coach supplying supportive, discovery-based approaches and frameworks.
A mentor is an expert who provides wisdom and guidance based on his or her own experience. Mentoring may include advising, counseling and coaching. The coaching process does not include advising or counseling, and focuses instead on individuals or groups setting and reaching their own objectives.
Training programs are based on objectives set out by the trainer or instructor. Though objectives are clarified in the coaching process, they are set by the individual or team being coached, with guidance provided by the coach. Training also assumes a linear learning path that coincides with an established curriculum. Coaching is less linear without a set curriculum.
Though sports metaphors are often used, professional coaching is different from sports coaching. The athletic coach is often seen as an expert who guides and directs the behavior of individuals or teams based on his or her greater experience and knowledge. Professional coaching, unlike athletic development, does not focus on behaviors that are being executed poorly or incorrectly. Instead, the focus is on identifying opportunity for development based on individual strengths and capabilities.
Peter Seidler, CPCC, PCC is a certified professional Coach who helps clients gain clarity on what they most want and create a course of action that aligns with their values and builds on their strengths.
Peter partners with clients to enable them to expand beyond current limitations, helping them become stronger, more alive human beings. He helps clients access energy and creativity to find balance in their lives and greater fulfillment.