Coaching: Perspective Not Advice 3 of 3

Consultants provide advice. Friends give advice. Mental Health professionals give advice. Coaching is different from other professions; giving advice is not coaching.

The International Coaches Federation defines coaching in the Code of Ethics: “Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.” Giving advice does not promote creative thinking nor does it empower others to maximize their potential.

Consider: How often is great advice given and ultimately ignored? How often is advice taken with a negative result?

What are the benefits of a coach giving perspective instead of giving advice?

* The client develops a skill by going through the process
* The client makes a better decision because they think it through
* The client owns the decision and they are more likely to follow through

Now consider this possibility: if a coach gives advice, the client takes the advice, and then it does not work, is the coach responsible?

Professional coaches realize that the success of the coaching relationship is based in part on the coach recognizing the client as their own best expert and the coach serving to empower the client to explore possibilities and make their own choices.

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