- Coaching is like therapy - Both coaches and therapists help clients create change in their lives. However, therapy tends to focus on the past, while coaching conversations focus on the now and the vision for the future. Therapists often take on the expert role in the relationship whereas coaches see their clients as experts of their own lives.
- Coaching is like mentoring - Mentors are experts in a particular topic and can be a trusted advisor in guiding a client's path in a particular area of focus identified by the client. Coaches are trained to be curious and to ask open ended questions that allow clients to find their own answers.
- Coaches will tell me what to do - A coach's focus is guiding a client's journey of understanding themselves and developing skills to find solutions and make decisions that work specifically for the client. A coach may offer advice or brainstorm options where appropriate, but this is not the primary purpose.
- Coaching is for executives or managers only - Everyone can benefit from coaching. The same skills that support leadership growth for high potential employees can provide benefit to anyone with a desire to make meaningful changes in their lives.
Thank you to Alicia Jabbar for these important distinctions.
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