How does Coaching differ from Counselling or Therapy?

Psychotherapy (which includes Counselling and Therapy) is often on resolving difficulties arising from the past that hamper an individual’s emotional functioning in the present, improving overall psychological functioning, and dealing with the present in more emotionally healthy ways. You may find it helpful to know that we have received training to discern the differences between coaching and therapy and are obliged by ICF’s Code of Ethics to refer prospective or current clients to therapists when appropriate.

Coaching is to help people achieve their goals by partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative and resourceful.

The coach’s responsibility is to:
• Discover, clarify and align with what the client wants to achieve.
• Encourage client self-discovery.
• Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies.
• Hold the client responsible and accountable.
This process helps clients dramatically improve their outlook on work and life, while developing leadership skills and unlocking potential.

So is coaching similar to mentoring or training?

No, training programs are based on objectives set out by the trainer or instructor. Training also assumes a linear learning path that coincides with an established curriculum. A mentor is an expert who provides wisdom and guidance based on his or her own experience. Mentoring may include advising, counseling and coaching.

Is coaching suitable for me?

Coaching can extremely beneficial to you. To decide when the time is right, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • Do I value collaboration, other viewpoints and new perspectives?
  • Am I ready to devote time and energy to making real changes?

How do I select a Coach?

How would you know if the Coach is right for you? Here are the five C’s of hiring a coach: code of ethics, coach-specific training, credential, context and chemistry.

    1. Code of Ethics. Is the coach a member of the ICF? All ICF members pledge to uphold a set of ethical standards and are accountable to the ethics and standards set forth by the ICF. If the coach is not an ICF member, what ethical standards do they follow? Are they accountable to any standards?
    2. Coach-specific training. Has the coach had coach-specific training – training in coaching skills? Or is the said coach marketing him or herself as a coach based on other education/degrees? As coaching is not a regulated profession, many who call themselves coaches have not been formally trained in specific coaching skills and instead are transferring skill sets from other professions into their coaching. This method often results in inadequate and ineffective coaching experience for clients.
    3. Credential. Is the coach ICF Credentialed? Or is he/she in the process of acquiring an ICF Credential? When hiring a coach, the ICF strongly recommends finding someone who holds an ICF Credential. The credential signifies: a coach’s commitment to integrity and credibility; an understanding of coaching skills; a coach’s dependability to consumers; a strong code of ethics; superior knowledge and skills; and a coach’s serious stance for ongoing professional development.
    4. Context. What other specialized skills does the coach have? How important is experience in specific/relevant areas to you in a coach? Think about the kinds of goals you want to create for your life. Is this coach able to address them effectively?
    5. Chemistry. Do you feel a connection with the coach? The coach-client relationship is very important; a connection between you and the coach is vital. If it does not “feel” right to you, heavily consider choosing another coach to whom you feel more connected and trust.

Coaching is defined as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. Coaching is a distinct service and differs greatly from therapy, consulting, mentoring or training. Individuals who engage in a coaching relationship can expect to experience fresh perspectives on personal challenges and opportunities, enhanced thinking and decision-making skills, enhanced interpersonal effectiveness, and increased confidence in carrying out their chosen work and life roles.

How long will I need to work with a coach?

This depends on where you are now, where you want to go, and how quickly you want to get there. Some clients are able to achieve their goals within one to three months. More often, clients stay with a coach from six to eighteen months and beyond. After clients realize their first goals, they often identify other areas they want to work on. The coaching relationship continues as long as the client benefits from it.

What is your coaching approach like?

Coaching is a partnering process. We take pride in creating full coaching presence with the Client and would listen actively with intent, without passing any form of judgement.

An essential part of the coaching process is also about asking relevant and often thought-provoking questions. Our experiences allow us to do so in a way that will keep you curious about yourself and that will inspire you to stretch your thinking. The objective of each session is to increase your level of self-awareness, make you more resourceful in finding your own options as we believe in your inner wisdom. The focus is entirely on what you want – We do not give you advice.