Coaching Fundamentals

What is Executive Coaching ?

Coaching is Not Counselling


Based on an article by Dwight Bain
Executive Director of the International Christian Coaching Association, ICCAonline.net

A common area of confusion for people helpers these days is understanding the difference between counselling and coaching. Both disciplines involve people skills that can bring transformational life change to clients; however, they are not the same. More and more professional counselors are exploring the growing profession of life coaching and may want to expand their skill set to offer more comprehensive services to meet the growing needs of their clients. But we must be clear—counselling is NOT coaching, or vice-versa.

Difference Between Coaching and Counselling

What are some significant differences between these two powerful professions?

  • Counselling is more focused on solving painful problems from the past; Coaching is more about finding creative ways to reach your potential in the future.
  • Counselling guides clients toward experiencing relief through recovery; Coaching is driven by one word: – results – in people’s busy lives.
  • Counselling helps people to build supports to stabilize their lives; Coaching guides clients toward strategic ways to maximize their lives.
  • Counselling develops healthy emotions and relationships to experience peace; Coaching builds healthy patterns with accountability to experience personal power.
Christian coaching provides that extra push because of the rapid results that occur when a client is on track with a trusted guide focused on helping them rapidly reach their goals.

Successful people need both Counselors and Coaches! Coaching is a new way to be part of helping people live out the biblical challenge King Solomon gave in Proverbs 15:22: “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”

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Media quotes:

“Part consultant, part motivational speaker, part therapist, and part rent-a-friend, coaches work with managers, entrepreneurs, and just plain folks, helping them define and achieve their goals — career, personal, or most often, both.”

— Kendall Hamilton, Newsweek

“The goal of coaching is the goal of good management — to make the most of an organization’s valuable resources.

— J. Waldroop and T. Butler, Harvard Business Review

“Coaching is an action-oriented partnership that, unlike psychotherapy which delves into patterns of the past, concentrates on where you are today and how you can reach your goals.”

— Time Magazine

“The hottest thing in management is the executive coach — part boss, part consultant, part therapist.”

— Betsy Morris, Fortune

“If you’re thinking of overhauling your career to achieve a more fulfilling life, consider joining the estimated 100,000 Americans who annually enlist the help of some 4,000 personal coaches each year.”

— Money

“Coaching started in the business world to help stressed out executives cope with their professional and personal lives, and it still thrives in the corporate environment. But, increasingly, individuals are turning to coaches for help with every sort of problem.”

— Diane White, Boston Globe