All the great players have great coaches! Andy Stanley, in the Next Generation Leader wrote, "It is impossible to maximize your potential in any area without coaching. You may be good. You may be even better than everyone else, but without outside input you will never be as good as you could be. Self-evaluation is helpful, but evaluation from someone else is essential."
As a coach, I do a lot of networking in the business community and I get questions almost everyday regarding the nature of coaching and what distinguishes it from consulting. It is an important distinction in the business arena because it speaks to whether one is simply looking for answers or is open to discovering them. All coaches are definitely not created equal and while many coaches are consultants, few consultants are coaches. Here’s the 50,000 foot view that distinguishes coaching, consulting and counseling:
- Consulting – Consultants are paid expressly for their expertise on a given matter. They generally enter into an organization, evaluate processes and report back on the weaknesses, challenges or areas of opportunities. They may or may not also be paid to resolve the issues.
- Counseling – Counseling assumes some type of psychopathology linked to dysfunctional behavior. From the standpoint of counseling, the client starts at a negative in terms of functioning and it is the role of counseling to bring them up to "even".
- Coaching – Coaching assumes that individuals are whole, emotionally healthy and resourceful (both externally and internally). Coaching utilizes various nonscientific approaches to have individuals tap into their resources to achieve goals and in the process clients often confront internal dialog that has impeded their progress. During this process, clients not only achieve/exceed their goals, they often arrive at them much faster than they would without coaching. Coaching is not about clients being incapable. In fact individuals who come to coaching are most often self-starting overachievers who simply want some subtle adjustments to support their continued success.
None of these disciplines are better or worse than another. They all serve their purpose in the right circumstances. If you are considering coaching, most coaches offer a free, no obligation consult or discovery session that will give you the opportunity to experience coaching first hand. In an upcoming post, I’ll offer some tips on questions to ask when making your decision. Good luck!
YES you can!