This is theeeeeee question I always encounter, when I share with others, what I am into.. I share with everyone, that I’m very close to being certified as a Professional Coach and the next question I have to answer is “Coaching for What? So you provide tuition to school children?”
This question still sounds very logical & i go on to say – ” Im going to be a Passion Coach!!” & the next thing i hear is –
“Into Coaching? Hmmm… So you’re Counselling people, right?”
And all these days, i just gave up … gave up even attempting to answer this question for them, cuz i thought that this is a very silly question & they are not supposed to ask me this.. If Coaching was equal to Counselling, why…. and who on earth would create two names for the same profession???
Is Nursing = field of Nutrition? Is Selling = Servicing? Is Consulting = Coaching? Is Counselling = Coaching? & the common answer for all the questions above is a big NO, a one with a big N & a big O = a big NO…
Yes, I do agree that i was wrong, all these days, when i thought the question that was asked was very silly.. Its not really a silly question. Its cuz Coaching is fairly a new profession in India with respect to the awareness in people about the profession.. Everyone knows what Doctors, Engineers, Architects, Marketing Managers, Finance Managers, Lawyers and so many more professionals do. But very few people know what Coaches do. So the aim of this post is not just for the purpose of my reflection about my role as a Coach, but its also to create an awareness about what Coaches do!!
I can answer the question- “What Coaches do?” by asking another question.. Who really needs a Coach?
If the answer in your mind is close to “No one needs a coach!!”, id like to ask, then why is that all the sports professionals work with Coaches?
Okay!! To learn the sport.. Is that your answer? If sports professionals just learn the sport from a coach, why is that, extremely successful sportstars still partner with a coach? They have already figured out the nitty gritty of the sport..right? Why do they still work with a Coach? Even CEO’s of huge MNCs & corporations partner with Coaches? Why?
And the answer of the question lies here. Everyone who wants to grow in life, needs a Coach!
So a sportstar who has won 30 tournaments, would like to win 100!! A batsman who has scored 50 centuries would like to make them 200.. A CEO who knows everything about his business may want to grow and develop himself to manage multiple businesses..
So, every person who wants to grow, can do so by partnering with a Coach!!
Now coming to, what Coaches do? Lets first see what Counselors or Consultants do so that the Coach’s role can be clearly distinguished..
A Counselor or a therapist, supports clients to resolve some pain areas in their life, or help get solutions of some of the problems they face.
Counseling looks at- what went wrong? Lets try and fix it!
Counseling looks at- the past & how the events of the past are affecting the present!
Hmm..not clear.. I’l explain it. Do all married couples visit a marriage counselor, immediately the day following their wedding day? No.. Infact some couples have never needed to visit a counselor.. why? cuz those couples who are facing a crisis of a troubled marriage are likely to approach a marriage counselor, to resolve their pain areas, to fix them.
What a Coach does, is very different from a Counselor’s role. Coaches work with people, who want to grow in life. They are not people who are struggling to resolve or get rid of some pain area, rather they are successful people, who are trying to get more successful.
So now i ask, can a married couple visit a relationship coach, the very next day after their wedding or even before their wedding? Yes!! They can!! If I feel, im in a very beautiful relationship & i wanna make it better, no one stops me from working with a Coach!!
In fact, huge corporations are willing to spend on Performance Coaching some of their high potential and high performing employees, simply cuz they know, a Coach is a catalyst who can progress them faster,in achieving their potential.
So Coaches work with people who are good at whatever they are doing, just that these people want to get better & so they approach a Coach!!
So distinction between Counseling & Coaching is clear.. Counseling looks at the past events & focuses on what went wrong. Coaching is very very futuristic and focuses on what all can be achieved.
Now, Consulting & Coaching!! A Consultant can be called an Advisor, cuz a consultant steps in when there is no solution for the problem at hand, and the guys facing the problem request the consultant to provide the solution!!
So a consultant is basically a solution provider. Mind you, he is not the solution executor. He just simply provides the solution & may be.. on demand monitors if the solution is being executed well. The solution has to be executed or put into practice by the people facing the problem.
So typically, a Consultant would be a guy with grey hair (read loads of experience) who is a specialist in the particular area of consulting & he provides solutions to those who approach him with a problem.
In Coaching, the Coach need not be a specialist or an expert in any particular area. The Coach needs to be well versed with all the coaching tools & practices, yet he need not be a specialist in any area!! Why do Coaches get exempted from specialising in any area?
Cuz Coaching is a holistic approach which believes that the solutions always lie within the client!! A Coach never provides advice or provides the solution. The Coaches role is to facilitate the client’s self discovery so as to enable him figure out his own solutions.
Coaching is a holistic approach in the sense, it ends up improving various aspects of the client’s life even though the focus is on a single area. The Coach helps the client identify for himself, whats stopping him from performing his best. The hurdle that the client identifies may be a hurdle thats impacting the client’s other areas like health, family life, etc. So when the coach helps his client get past this hurdle, the client’s focus area surely improves, benefiting other areas as well.
So unlike a consultant who provides the solution to the client, a Coach typically supports the client in his journey of self discovery by asking powerful questions so that the client can confidently figure out his own solutions.
Coaching is all about taking ACTION!! so Coaches, help and support their clients in progressing forward by setting goals and taking action!! And these goals are not set by the Coach!! Not at all.. The heart of coaching lies in the fact that the onus lies with the client!!
The Client sets the agenda for coaching, and the coach supports the client in this agenda. The client sets the pace for coaching, decides and sets his goals. The Coach helps in ensuring that the goals are in allignment with the Client’s values.
The Coach helps to monitor these goals, & if there is anything that is stopping the Client from achieving his goals, the coach helps the client to identify the hurdles and ensures the ride is smooth for the client rather than bumpy jumpy..
So distinction between Consulting & Coaching is also clear. Consulting is more about solution providing whereas Coaching is more about ensuring a comfortable journey of executing the solution provided by the Client himself.
So, next time anyone asks me about what im upto, im gonna give them my blog address & the name of this post so that they can be more aware about the 3 professions that start with a ‘C’, sound very similar yet are very much different in their functioning!!
Thanks friends for visiting by my blog & reading my posts!! The increasing number of visitors does make me feel very happy 🙂 & its very encouraging..
Hope my MBTI bit is away from bein very heavy!! I wud really appreciate if anyone can candidly tell me how they feel about it!! My whole idea of posting about MBTI was to make it interesting and helpful.If thats not the case, id request my readers to post a comment that can help me make the other 2 posts better!!
How i just wish i cud read your minds…..