Coaching 101

Coaching Basics: What is coaching? Are You Ready for Coaching?
What is coaching?
For many, the concept of coaching is still ambiguous and confusing. To help dispel some of that confusion, it might be helpful to contrast coaching with several other activities that often are mistaken for it. Is coach just another name for mentor? Is a coach a counselor? A consultant? What is it that distinguishes a coach from all these other roles? Let’s take a brief look.


Mentors share their history and wisdom of personal successes and failures with someone less experienced. This helps others to avoid pitfalls and accelerate their learning curve. Many coaches find mentoring to be a useful tool in their coaching role, but realize the two are not the same.
Helps the clients to explore long-term historic patterns when struggling with some current or past event. A coach may do some simple counseling but they are very different. One does it as a means to an end (coaching); the other (counseling) is the end in itself.
consultants are skilled in developing specific recommendations or solutions for others. The primary focus is on “telling” the client. A coach may wear the consultant hat some of the time, but their primary focus are getting the client to create the majority of their solutions.
a coach is someone trained and devoted to guide others into increased competence, commitment and confidence. They support client’s needs to discover and make intentional changes that result in future-oriented abilities and improved performance.

Each of these roles – a mentor, counselor, consultant and coach – is unique. A highly effective coaches need to have some skill in each area. In fact some coaches, including myself, provide both Coaching and Consulting services to their clients. The reason is that each specialty provides value geared to the specific client needs.

Are you ready for coaching?
I have the great pleasure of working with clients who want to take themselves the next level, people who are committed to their personal best and are prepared from day one to do the work required to achieve that. As a coach nothing brings greater joy then to work with individuals committed to making the constructive and intentional changes necessary to be better and do better.

As you consider a coaching relationship I would encourage you to pause and consider a very important question – “are you ready for coaching?”Executives who get the most out of coaching have a fierce desire to learn and grow. To be effective, professional coaching requires a significant investment of your time, energy, focus and determination. It will also require courage, resilience and dedication to the process as we work our way though the barriers we will likely discover along the way. Before you invest, ensure you are ready to make the most of professional coaching by taking this complimentary Coaching Quiz.