There are lots of misunderstandings about coaching and what it is. Sometimes there is confusion about the difference between training, mentoring and coaching, especially in the workplace. Coaching isn’t about teaching or supervising and doesn’t involve ‘telling’ a person what to do or giving them advice. It is about finding direction, developing potential, creating a vision, and planning steps to reach a goal.
So who has coaching? Potentially anyone. Coaching involves a series of focused conversations between a coach and their client or a team. Whether it involves a group of individuals or one ‘coachee’ the process and purpose is similar and is intended to help them to progress in the future. It is a future-focused approach and is about setting objectives to reach goals that the individual or team wants to achieve and helps them to improve their performance or develop skills or expertise.
In the corporate world coaching is commonplace and is used to help improve an individual’s performance. It can also help teams of employees work more effectively to increase productivity or morale. It is (or should be) an empowering experience which helps people to reach their potential individually or as part of a team. Coaching doesn’t focus on problems and isn’t counselling, therapy or training; it is developmental.
Everyone in an organisation can benefit from coaching, from management teams to apprentices. When a company invests time and money into the workforce, personnel are generally happier and more fulfilled, productivity often improves and staff retention increases. Coaching improves communication and helps staff feel valued and improves self-belief and aspiration.
Outside of the corporate environment, it is becoming increasingly popular for individuals to seek the help of a coach. This may be to help them to achieve fitness or health goals, to get a better work/ life balance or to find direction in their life or career. Couples may seek the assistance of a coach to improve their relationship or communication style. Coaching is becoming more and more mainstream and appeals to people who want to make changes, but don’t feel they have a problem that needs therapy or counselling.
Whilst coaching definitely isn’t a form of therapy, it can be combined with therapies such as hypnotherapy, to support a client who wants to make changes in their health, well-being or fitness. By helping a client to set goals and plan steps to change, a therapist with coaching skills can encourage commitment to a process and personal responsibility.