1. How does coaching compare to consulting?
In a consulting relationship, the consultant is assumed to be the expert, the “smartest guy in the room.” The consultant’s role is to solve problems and fix things for the client. In a coaching collaboration, the coach does not have all the answers and is not trying to solve problems for the client. The coach helps the client identify and focus on the issues, clarify them, and move into action. Deepening a client’s learning and moving clients forward in their professional and personal lives are core to the coach’s mission.
2. What are the differences between coaching and therapy?
Executives may undertake either therapy or coaching when they want significant change in their lives, professionally, personally or both. Both routes may lead to lasting positive outcomes. One may even choose to undergo both concurrently. However, there are major differences.
Whereas therapy is a clinical relationship, coaching is a collaboration between the coach and the client for the client’s behalf. The goal of coaching is long-lasting, positive changes in behavior, with added understanding. The goal of therapy is first understanding, hopefully leading to change. Coaching is focused on the present and the future. Therapy is focused on the past, present and to a lesser degree, the future. With coaching, the coach holds the client accountable for homework, requests and challenges given to the client to pull them into their magnificence. In a therapy relationship, there is typically little homework or accountability.
3. How long is a typical coaching engagement?
Coaching engagements vary in length from three months to several years. I require a minimum three-month commitment. The length of the engagement and frequency of the sessions is a matter for discussion between the coach and the client and may be modified at any time.