When I first went to Asia, coaching was virtually unknown. Potential clients were often confused by the idea that coaching was somehow related to Psychology, Psychiatry, Counseling, Mentoring, or Advice Giving. Coaching is none of that. Does a coach on occasion give advice? Sure, just that it's not coaching, it's Advice Giving.
The difference between the different fields are quite significant.
Psychology is about the past and coaching is about the present and the future. Psychology is about healing what happened, coaching is about powerfully creating what is happening and WILL happen. You can already get a sense here, can't you?
Psychiatry is concerned with your nervous system and your body chemistry, speak your hormones. In coaching we won't touch that, yikes :)
Mentoring is about telling you what to do from a perspective of 'been there and done that'. Most mentors will be working higher up in the same or a similar organization, they will have considerable experience and can share this wealth of knowledge with you. Having a mentor is powerful and highly recommended, however it's not coaching.
So what does coaching do? A coach won't give advice and won't tell you what to do. Most won't even have any experience in your industry, so how can they be effective?
Coaches are not in the business of giving advice. Experienced coaches may have an intuitive sense of where they would like to lead you, however for coaches it is important that they keep an open mind. After all it's about you and your goals, not theirs. AND a good coach will see you as the expert in your field. Your coach will ask the right questions so you can reveal your own best answer.
It wouldn't feel empowering if I gave you all the answers, would it?
How do I see my clients? I see my clients as whole and complete. When Leonardo DaVinci created the statue of David he was asked how he did such marvelous work. To Leonardo this was easy, David was always there and he claims that all he had to do was remove what was NOT David. We all have David within us just waiting to be revealed. In coaching we reveal and bring to light your own greatness.
How does coaching work? There are many structures to coaching and many different models to choose from. A seasoned coach will never rely on just one or two or three coaching models, a well-rounded coach has an entire tool belt full of coaching tools to choose from. Of course good coaching skills don't get developed over night and you will find that there are coaches in various stages of development.
In short, a coach will ask you questions that will lead you to a goal that inspires you from within. It's probably been there for a long time, just like David who's been waiting for billions of years to be revealed. (Warning: Your goals may not be as old as David)
Coaches are experts at asking questions. They ask really good questions. Questions that will help you reveal your own answers. And that's why a coach doesn't necessarily need to be in your field. A coach believes in you and your abilities, you are the expert in your life, the coach is the expert at revealing your greatness.
To be continued…
*Bjorn Martinoff is an executive coach focusing on accelerating business results where it counts most for his clients. Bjorn has nearly two decades of experience in senior management coaching and has been referred to as Number One Global Executive Coach on the Global News Network - GNN. You may check his websites at: www.f1c-international.com and/or www.fortune100coach.com. For a FREE 30-minute coaching session with Bjorn, the Executive Coach, Click Here .