What Is Coaching?

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What Is Coaching?
Counseling, consulting, mentoring, and coaching - understand the difference to make the best choice.

If you've been contemplating receiving life coaching services, you may have asked yourself, "What is coaching?" It's important to point out there are also some misconceptions about coaching. Coaching is much different from counseling, mentoring, and consulting, even though there are some similarities.

What Coaching Is Not

Coaching isn't some guy who stands in front of you with a big microphone who screams at you about how your life is about to change forever. While coaching is motivational to bring you forward in your life, it's not hyped up to be a huge presentation.

This is how personal coaching, or life coaching, is much like counseling. It's about two people coming together to figure out what the problem is and how to overcome it. It's about coming up with goals, and then steps on how to achieve goals.

What Is Coaching Compared to Other Professions

Counseling

Counseling helps you deal with past issues that you haven't resolved yet. When you see a coach, you won't be talking about your childhood, a break up with a boyfriend/girlfriend from two years ago, or anything that happened during your past. However, if you feel that you do need to discuss that to move forward in your life, you need to speak to a counselor.

Coaching stays in the present to help you move into the future. A personal coach will take what you have now, help you figure out what you want later, and what you need to do to get it.

Of course, if you come to coaching with an issue that needs resolving, you can receive help through it. This is a present issue that you may need help getting through. As long as it's presenting now, and not something that rooted in the past.

Mentoring

If you feel like you need someone who has walked in your shoes before, you should seek the guidance of a mentor. This is someone who has had the same experience as you and can share what it was like for him and what worked in his case.

A coach has had his own experience and is sharing experience and techniques that he or she has learned from training and work done with other clients. While this can be very effective, if you are looking for someone who has been through your own personal situation, mentoring is for you.

Consultant

A consultant is an expert. This person will come into your life or business, search for a problem, and give you a solution. It's meant to be a short meeting to give you expert advice and that's it. This isn't something you are involved in, like you are with coaching.

In personal coaching, you work with a coach to come up with your own goals. This is your life, so you should be able to figure out what you think is the right solution for your life or business with guidance of someone with experience in business and life. Then a coach will help you achieve those goals by prompting you to set up action steps to achieve those goals. The difference again, you are fully involved in the process.

Is Coaching for You?

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
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