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Happy Man


Your Questions Answered

  • What is Coaching?
    At its very best, coaching is about helping people make profound and lasting shifts in their lives. Members of the International Coach Federation (ICF) have defined coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.” ​ Of course, it’s not to be confused with simple accountability and encouragement, which is the difference between traditional coaching and coaching mastery. Adatped from Hudson, F. (2016, December 22). A Primer on Coaching. A Primer on Coaching.
  • Traditional Coaching vs. Masterful Coaching
    Traditional Coaching ​ In its simplest form, coaching is about helping another person strive toward their stated goals and objectives. This is accomplished by assisting them in following through on tasks and responding to challenges. In this sense, one can liken it to a personal trainer. Instead of the body, the focus is their life or business. Rather than provide a workout routine, a coach guides them with accountability and encouragement. ​ The weakness of this traditional definition is revealed in the phrase “their stated goals and objectives.” Left on their own, too many people limit what they say they can or want to accomplish. They do this in the interest of being “realistic” or “practical.” In reality, they may have no idea what they are capable of and are simply afraid of disappointment. ​ Unfortunately, some individuals have grown accustomed to feeling successful by just lowering their expectations – or worse, setting no goals at all. Still, others have all the enthusiasm required. They are great at constantly taking action but can’t figure out why they repeatedly fail. There seem to be hidden blocks that cause them always to fall short of their goals and desires. Left on their own, most people limit what they say they can accomplish. ​ Masterful Coaching ​ Where ordinary coaching leaves off, coaching mastery begins. Coaching mastery is much more than just traditional accountability or encouragement. As a skillful coach, I have the opportunity to help a client explore new goals, broaden their sense of what is possible in their life, and provide tangible tools to reach their full potential. ​ As a coach, I take on the role of raising the more profound questions that a person might not otherwise ask themselves. I challenge my clients to think bigger and perhaps question the “story” they have told themselves and begun to accept. I help my clients open an entirely new realm of possible results by going beyond traditional coaching. I then lead them in making permanent and profound shifts in how they approach their problems, goals, world, and those around them. In this way, I have an impact on my clients that continues long after the coaching engagement ends. Adatped from Hudson, F. (2016, December 22). A Primer on Coaching. A Primer on Coaching.
  • Coaching vs. Mentoring
    A mentor says, “Follow me.” A coach reveals where the client stands on the map and asks, “Where shall we go next?” Mentoring can be likened to serving as a wise role model. While mentoring may include advising, counseling, and coaching, it’s usually about helping the mentee to emulate the mentor’s own success. A mentor is often chosen because they have traveled the road the mentee wishes to follow. On the other hand, a coach empowers clients to find their own path. A coach can undoubtedly have valuable experience and insight in the client’s field. However, a coach’s value lies not in their technical expertise but in the ability to help a client draw from their own experience and wisdom as they move ahead. Adatped from Hudson, F. (2016, December 22). A Primer on Coaching. A Primer on Coaching.
  • Coaching vs. Counsulting
    Consultants improve situations; coaches improve people. The critical distinction between consulting and coaching is who is viewed as the “expert” in the relationship. Consulting typically involves finding an external expert whose engagement is problem/solution oriented. Clients hire a consultant to help them define their challenges and then formulate solutions to fix them. The consultant is usually viewed as the expert in what needs to be done and may go so far as to implement the solutions they recommend. In contrast, the coaching methodology views clients as the “experts” in their own lives and businesses. A coach does not tell a client what to do but facilitates the client in discovering their own answers. It might seem more expedient to deliver advice, but experience shows that people are much more likely to take ownership of and follow through on ideas that are their own. In this sense, the coach serves as a sounding board, confidant, and trusted advisor – roles not central to the work of a consultant. The coach provides guidance, tools, and methods for the client to improve their own ability to implement solutions, now and in the future.
  • Coaching vs. Training
    Training is curriculum-focused. Coaching is client-focused. Training is a practical approach when one must master specific skills or objectives. It uses an established curriculum set out by the trainer or instructor and measures effectiveness based on predetermined outcomes. A pre-test and post-test can even determine if the client successfully moved from point A to point B in their understanding of the subject. While the coaching process often includes clarifying objectives, it guides individuals or groups to set and reach their goals. In this sense, coaching is less linear and more organic. Adatped from Hudson, F. (2016, December 22). A Primer on Coaching. A Primer on Coaching.
  • Coaching vs. Therapy
    Therapy examines the past to help a client cope with the present. Coaching builds on the present to create the future. Therapists work to move their patients from a state of dysfunction to being fully functional individuals. Often this centers on resolving conflict within the individual or in a relationship, overcoming past issues, healing trauma, and sometimes managing a mental illness. Therapy, therefore, must often deal with the past so that a patient can exist in the present. In contrast, a coach works with fully functional individuals and focuses on a client’s plans for the future. The process is results-oriented and helps clients advance from functional to outstanding –and often from outstanding to great! Adatped from Hudson, F. (2016, December 22). A Primer on Coaching. A Primer on Coaching.
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