What is coaching?
Coaching is a guiding method based on dialog that aims at reaching objectives during a relatively short period. Through a co-construction approach and exchanges, the coached person finds within themselves the solutions that are the most adequate for their capacities, beliefs and representations, situation and challenges. Coaching is also a boosting and motivating approach. Indeed, once the objectives are clarified and defined, the coached person is invited to create an action plan that will bring them closer to their goals. The coach sometimes suggests some exercises or challenges to do autonomously at home in order to help the coached person in gaining awareness. Therefore, coaching is a particularly empowering method in the long-term. That is why the active involvement and participation of the coached person is essential to obtain the expected results.
Coach or psychologist?
Coaching is different from psychology as it is targeted at a current situation and the implementation of an action plan towards a clarified and defined objective. Psychology on the other hand enables an analysis of patterns, though processes and behaviours that have been established in the past and aims at installing a sustainable well-being. The awareness is based on the understanding of causes that are found in the past. The approach is fundamentally different from coaching which focuses on a co-creation process to find solutions in order to reach goals in a current situation.
Coach or mentor?
Coaching is not mentoring. Mentoring is an exchange between a person that needs information or knowledge in a specific field and a mentor who possesses that knowledge. There is a transfer of knowledge, advice or suggestions given from the mentor to the mentee. The coach does not provide advice even though they can use some exercises from time to time. On the other hand, the coach guides the client in their thought process in order to facilitate the emergence of a solution that is adapted to the current situation, no matter of the context or environment.
Professional coach or sports coach?
The professional coach can in some aspects have a similar posture to the one of the sports coach. Indeed, both will boost the morale and develop the potential of the accompanied people as well as work on their self-confidence. In contrast, the sports coach will have a much more tactical and strategic approach that incorporates technical and contextual advice. On the other hand, the professional coach proposes services that are agnostic of the context or situation. Moreover, unless it is part of a role play or an exercise, the professional coach will rarely shout or gesticulate depending on the performance of the client. The professional coach thus remains in a calm and considerate framework ideal for a genuine and open-minded exchange.