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What is Coaching and What It is Not?

As Managers or Leaders in our organizations, we are constantly challenged to increase our level of results and this process is very much dependent on how much we develop our teams.

So improving our leadership skills is a must. We can try to do it all by ourselves, or we can speed up the process by working with a coach.

Despite the multiple and varied definitions of coaching, there is still a lot of confusion around what you can expect from a coaching relationship. This video is providing three simple and practical distinctions of what coaching is, as well as a review of different terms that oftentimes are misused, or misunderstood, when referring to coaching.

To your growth and success.



Video Transcript

Many Managers and Leaders from organizations ask questions around coaching: what coaching is, and what coaching can do for them. Because there is a lot of confusion.

You just need to make a search. You go to Google and search any area of activity or profession, and you will see that there is plenty of people who call themselves coaches, that they offer 'coaching'.

When in reality, unfortunately, the reality is that very few of them actually offer coaching; they offer something else.

My purpose today is to add my two cents on this clarification process, for you to better understand what coaching is and what coaching is not.

Despite the many definitions of coaching that you can find over there, I would like to leave you today with three specific and clear distinctions of what I consider coaching is.

Distinction number one.

Coaching is a tool to support you to increase your level of results on your personal and on your professional life.

And, like any other tool, you can decide to use or not to use it.

But the paradox here is that, when we think about specific professions, like artists, musicians, actors, singers, or in the area of sports, sportsmen, we cannot conceive those professionals achieving the level of results that they get without working with a coach.

But, in our environment, being Managers and Leaders in our organizations, with the responsibility of maximizing the results that we are getting, we, many times, doubt that working with a coach will help us.

This is a thought that I leave to you.

But, the first distinction is this, coaching is just a tool. You can decide to use it or not to use it. Many people decide and, go and use it.

Distinction number two.

Coaching is a partnership.

You partner with a person whose only purpose and objective is you becoming successful, you achieving your goals, or whatever you want to achieve. This is his only preoccupation and purpose.

So, the coach will not be a person who will tell you what to do every day, will not teach you basically anything new that you probably don't know, will not instruct you new ways of doing things, but it's a person who will challenge the way you think, who will challenge the way you do things, who will support you in developing action plans, and who will help you in implementing these action plans.

So, it's the power of that relationship that makes coaching so powerful and that you will not find that outside the coaching environment in many many other places. Because the purpose of the relationship is you becoming successful.

You can name how many people you could partner with, whose only purpose is you becoming successful.

So this is distinction number 2. It's a partnership.

And the distinction number three is, that it's a professional engagement.

You engage with a professional coach. A person who has his own code of ethics, his own education, and a person who will summarize in a professional contract, anything related to that engagement:

the purpose of the coaching engagement, the expected level of results, the length of the engagement, the price of the engagement and, many other things that you, plus the coach, will discuss and decide to include.

So, the whole relationship, from the beginning to the end, will be very clear and transparent to both of you.

So, these are the three key distinctions that, for me, make coaching so powerful and successfully used for many years in some other professions.

And then, there is another set of concepts that I would like to talk about today, that clearly it's not coaching, but many people confuse it with coaching.

For example, training.

A trainer is a person who teaches you something you don't know, and who gives you additional knowledge. This is not coaching; this is training. Usually, the coach will not teach you anything new.

Another concept is mentoring.

You may work with a mentor. It's very convenient if you want to achieve something. Partnering with a mentor will help you, will guide you to get there.

But who is a mentor? A mentor is a person who has already been where you want to be.

For example, you are a young professional, and you want to become vice president of your organization, it's very likely that you will benefit by partnering with somebody who has already been vice president of your organization.

And that person will guide you, will tell you what to do, what not to do, what to avoid, so you will be constantly taken by hand on the way to where you want to go.

But this is not coaching, this is mentoring. The coach has not been where you want to be.

Will co-create with you that way together.

Another concept is consulting or advising.

So you hire consulting or advising services when you need professional advice.

Some people who already know more than you, have more experience than you, and then you pay for their services for them to help you. So they are giving you advice on some specific topic.

The coach will never do that.

And then, the other topic that is very close to coaching in many situations is therapy.

In therapy, you explore a lot of what happened in the past, what happened to you in the past for you to become who you are today, for you to think what you think today.

In coaching, we focus on the future. We focus on today and on the future. Where we are and where we want to be. Regardless of what happened in the past.

We may learn something from the past, but our main focus is on the future.

So these are the two distinctions: the three things that I consider basic distinctions in coaching, and those concepts that I just commented that many people confuse with coaching, but it is not.

If you have more questions, if you would like to have a longer conversation, I'm adding below a link, so you can book a meeting with me and we will go together through any question or doubt that you could have around this topic.

And, also, if you would like to subscribe to our Newsletter, please go ahead, click the link below, and we will be in touch with all the material you need to become a better and more successful manager and leader in your organization.

Thank you very much for listening today. Take care.


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