Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between coaching and counseling?
Coaching is forward focused and goal oriented. The purpose of coaching is to help you identify what you want more of in your life, work or relationships, and identity specific strategies and actions to help you get there. On the other hand, counseling is focused on healing things from the past, looking at issues that are unresolved and the possibility that well-being is being impacted by mental health conditions or diagnosis. Counseling and therapy focus on the past to be able to work in the present. Coaching is about want you want now and where you want to go. Here’s an analogy that was shared in Co-Active coaching training using the example of riding a bike:
A counselor has past experience with riding a bike. They know lots about riding a bike and all the challenges that could pose.
A coach is going to help you get on the bike and stay with you until you are an expert.
To take this analogy one step farther, let’s fold in how this analogizes to consultants and mentors as well:
A consultant is going to give you a manual and some ideas to try to help you ride the bike faster and smarter.
A mentor is going to help after you’ve fallen, provide some places you can get your bike and road rash fixed so you can get back on and ride again.
Who is a good fit for coaching?
Truly, anyone who desires something more in some aspect of their life, personally or professionally, and wants to have someone ask great questions and listen intently to help them identify what that more is and come up with tangible ways to reach it. While coaching may sound easy, great coaches have the ability to ask questions that truly help draw out the things that are important and help people think about them in different ways. When you walk away from a good coaching session, you will find that you have come to some new awareness and realizations and have a few tangible, manageable steps to achieve before the next coaching session to help move forward.
What is a coaching like?
Imagine having someone always on your side, trying to help bring out the best in you. That's coaching. You can try a free sample coaching session--just contact us using the form at the bottom of this page.
A coaching relationship typically starts with a discovery session (1-2 hours long) where you and your coaching get to know one another. Your coach wants to know who you are, what is important to you, and why you want to engage with a coach. Prior to this session, your coach may have you do some easy self-reflection activities that you will go over during this discovery session to help spark discussion and deepen conversations for the future. After this session, coaching sessions are usually every other week for a half hour, usually for at least three months. For coaching to be most effective, it’s best to have consistency in interactions and enough time between sessions to try out some of the things you have discovered about yourself. Three months also gives you time to see growth in yourself and for your coach to help you recognize and overcome patterns that might be holding you back. Coaching sessions are often via phone or video technology, so you can pick where you are most comfortable.
Yeah, so you’ve talked a lot about coaching. What about consulting and organizations?
Our focus is on helping organizations discover their strengths and looking at how to use the places where they excel to create and drive greater success. When we work with an organization, we want to look at how we can capitalize on the good things that are already happening. Many consultants only focus on solving the problems, which can result in uncovering more problems and losing focus on what good is actually happening. How often has a problem solving approach led to throwing out everything, the good and the bad, and starting over, rather than seeking out the successes and growing those? We help organizations uncover their strengths, grow their successes, and excel.
How do you do this?
Often times, people are surprised when we start asking them about the great experiences they have had in work environments. They are so used to businesses (and consultants!) being focused on the problems that our approach creates greater openness to sharing experiences, stories and where they see great things happening. This approach merges the analytical side of business and organizations with the day to day lived experience of those people who give their all day in and day out. When we go into an organization, we ask a lot of questions about the good, draw out those experiences that tell us more about the people, culture and successes, and use those to create tangible outcomes that the organization can immediately implement.
Okay, you win. I’m intrigued. What now?
Contact us using the form below! We can’t wait to talk more about what we can do for you or your organization. You can also request a free sample coaching session to see what coaching is like.