Understanding the difference between coaching and therapy, consulting, mentoring, and training.
The difference between coaching and other professional service providers is not clear cut. However, there are some general differentiators, (listed below), that can be helpful to understand. Keep these in mind when assessing which type of professional may be best positioned to help you get from where you are to where you want to be.
Present and future focused
Solution focused — supports achievement
For motivated individuals looking to improve effectiveness
Is a curious partner
Aims to create awareness that leads to insights
Offers expertise in the coaching process, not in a specific profession or industry
Supports clients to clarify their own goals, solutions, and next steps
Offers observations with no attachment
Supports clients to self-identify and commit to tasks; offers accountability support
Allows the client to set the agenda and take the lead
Offers relevant readings, tools, or processes with no expectations
Supports clients to plan and take action
Facilitates self-reflection and learning from experiments and actions
Problem focused — aims to "fix"
For those suffering in some way and looking for emotional healing
Is an “expert”
Aims to bring about self-understanding and acceptance
Shares past professional experiences and career journey
Offers advice and suggestions
Opens doors/assists with networking
Makes assessments and recommendations
Performs tasks and “work” for the client
Sets the agenda
Educates clients in specific skills and prescribed methods
Gives assignments and homework; gives "grades"