A very important difference between coaching and either consultingcoaching perspective or mental health is that a professional coach does not give advice. The coach begins with the premise that the client is their own best expert. Because the client is their own best expert, the coach serves as a sounding board, and asks questions so the client explores different possibilities and opens their thinking.
Sometimes the client is stuck, and asks for an answer. A coach realizes that simply giving an answer does not work because:
* The coach does not know as much about the nuances of the client’s situation as the client
* The coach’s answer and therefore the outcome belongs to the coach not the client
* The client is less likely to follow-through
* The client benefits for the long-term by finding their own answer
What does a coach do instead of giving advice? A coach gives perspective. What is the difference? Definitions of each:
* Advice: recommendation regarding a decision or course of conduct
* Perspective: a way of regarding situations, facts, etc., and judging their relative importance
A coach works with a client to consider situations and explore different possibilities.
When giving advice, there is a specific recommendation for one course of action. When giving perspective, there is a discussion of different examples and possibilities and the coaching client considers their options and makes their own decision.
Watch for tips on how to give perspective in the blog post on Wednesday.