I am spending an increasing amount of time coaching executives – reflective of the exciting business world. One challenge that I face is that the coachee wants a solution and, quite often, wants it now. This can be based on a misunderstanding of the nature of coaching and mixing it up with mentoring – an experienced person sharing wisdom – or a consultant – an experienced person brought into to provide a solution. Coaching is about allowing the coachee to find their own solution. Getting these distinctions across at the beginning of a coaching assignment is crucial.
I came across a great summary in Excellence in Coaching edited by Jonathon Passmore:
- A therapist will explore what is stopping you driving the car
- A counsellor will listen to your anxieties about the car
- A mentor will share tips from their own experience of driving cars
- A consultant will advise you on how to drive the car
- A coach will encourage and support you in driving the car