Professional coaching is a process of guiding individuals to reach their goals and create sustainable transformation. It is distinct from mentoring and consulting, as it focuses on helping people find the resources within themselves to achieve their objectives. Quality coaches accompany their clients on a journey towards self-awareness and collaborate on concrete action plans that move them forward. Mentoring, on the other hand, has a broader focus than coaching.
It can also guide others to reach their goals, but it concentrates less on performance and specific tasks. Sir John and his colleagues at Performance Consultants were the first to bring coaching to the workplace and coined the term “performance coaching” in the early 1980s. The International Coaching Federation (ICF) defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a creative and thought-provoking process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential”. It is essential for coaches to maintain confidentiality with their clients, however, under the law, a governing body could force conversations.
Coaches should also receive a certain number of hours of mentoring to help them improve their training skills. The advice of a mentor is well received on a personal and holistic level due to personal familiarity and professional admiration. Coaching creates space for the use of more cognitive tools, providing more accurate heuristics for self-discovery. In turn, ethical counselors will understand the value of coaching and will develop symbiotic relationships with coaches working in their area.
It is important for coaches to include their personal values and business expectations in their training agreement to protect themselves and their clients. There has been some criticism of the coaching profession from some counseling professionals, and vice versa. However, understanding the differences between coaching, mentoring, and counseling can help individuals make informed decisions about which approach best suits their needs. Professional coaching is an effective way for individuals to reach their goals by finding resources within themselves. It is important for coaches to maintain confidentiality with their clients, receive mentoring hours, include personal values in training agreements, and understand the differences between coaching, mentoring, and counseling.