A couple of years ago, an interviewer asked if I knew the difference between Counseling, Mentoring and Coaching. The first I was certified in and the second was what I was considering for assistance with my career. Where coaching was concerned, all I knew of was athletic or sports coaching and academic coaching. The interviewer then went on to explain – something that stayed with me till this day.
Leaders, he said, must be able to coach, mentor, counsel, train and/ or manage depending upon the individual and the situation. Understanding when to counsel, mentor or coach is extremely important and thus it is essential to know the difference.
Counseling seeks to explore the underlying dynamics of individuals and their relationships. It focuses on past experiences that might be the root cause arising from the way a person lives or feels.
Mentoring emphasizes both professional and personal development of the individual. A mentor could have some great answers for your questions while a coach has some great questions for your answers.
Coaching helps people move through transitions and supports them in achieving a specific personal or professional goal. The focus of a coach is to guide others by asking questions and structuring a process for an individual to achieve his/her goals.
He summarized saying that they are all ways of influencing others.
As a Human Resources professional, I was already in the profession of influencing others. I was curious to know if and how coaching could help me influence others better. I put my skills of information gathering to work right away. However, I doubted if I was cut out for coaching altogether – did I have what it took? did I have it in me? It was time to ‘mind the gap’.
In my quest for info., I met and interacted with qualified, practicing coaches and being a keen observer I found there were some notable qualities that they possessed. If like me you too are in a dilemma to become a coach, here are seven qualities that one should possess to take up coaching.
I read somewhere, “Words are events, they do things, change things. They transform both speaker and hearer; they feed energy back and forth and amplify it. They feed understanding or emotion back and forth and amplify it” so also with coaching. This quote by American author Ursula K. Le Guin prompted me to move in the direction of getting certified as coach which I believe will provide me with a tool kit and variety of ways to work on myself and with people beyond what’s on the surface.
When was the last time you did something that changed your life?
Roche Al lives in her own shell and pops her head out from time to time to soak in the world around. She is passionate about people and psychology. Her mission is to create a unique culture that will truly impact the lives of people.