How is Coaching different?

Traffic lights

Many people wonder what makes "Coaching" different from "Training" , which most of us have been through at some point in our professional life. Coaching is indeed a learning experience, but very far removed from the classroom environment of most training courses. Training can be very useful and can impart helpful techniques, but it can be very easy to lose sight of after the initial enthusiasm wanes. The power of Coaching lies in the one to one process, which is totally focussed on your needs and objectives, giving you time to explore and reflect in a way that we rarely allow ourselves in today's world. The result is a sense of revelation, a deeper understanding of your own self, and total ownership of the learning that comes from that, since it has been personally generated by you. It is very difficult to leave behind what you discover through Coaching as it is, in fact, really just part of you that was previously hidden.

There is also often confusion between Therapy and Coaching. Coaching works for mentally robust individuals looking for a better future, whether in work or personal life. Whilst some discussion of past experiences may be very helpful, on the whole, Coaching is a shorter term, forward looking approach that works to create positive change in performance. Whilst many Coaches have psychological understanding that is useful in Coaching, this is not a technique designed to assist with serious emotional trauma or disturbances that require therapeutic intervention. A skilled Coach will be clear where the boundaries are between Coaching and Therapy.

Mentoring is another area where there is a perceived crossover with Coaching. Coaching is non-directive, and since it does not tell you what to do, it does not rely upon knowledge of a client's particular industry. A Mentor, on the other hand, will have experience of your industry - or even your company - since their role is to offer advice and guidance based on their own knowledge and experience. (Of course, if your Coach has worked in your industry, then you may benefit from a mix of both which may be exactly what you are looking for)