Coaching vs counseling or consulting

To be polemic, for the sake of this discussion, counseling and consulting do not describe what is coaching, although they are often mistaken for each other.  Counseling, let me generalize,  is all about compassion and insightful invetigating the past  for the sake of understanding what then didn’t bring blessing in order to choose current behavior that does now (nothing wrong with that!), and consulting, again generalizing, is all about showing and telling how to do something in the present, practicing a new skill in order to initiate and complete a current project (nothing wrong with that either!)

Coaching, on the other hand, is an open-ended process with no preconceived outcome on the part of the coach. It is all about activaatng and supporting the client’s goal-setting,  self-motivation and new mindful or more conscious behavior or achievement.  The coach’s support is based on a ‘trained curiosity and method or use of tools to insightfully inquire.’   This defines “Coaching” under ICF guidelines.

As a former pastoral counselor and former Haldane career counselor and consultant (Bernard Haldane, d. 1992, the grandfather of the industry), I read counseling and consultation in most “Career Coach’s” business positioning and marketing statements.  The outcomes of these other two “disciplines, counsel and consult, are presupposed.   Be clear!  The results are foreordained: a new job or position, a new entrepreneurship, or a new vocation/career, however small or large is the change in the client’s vision and direction.

Purpose coaching is the holistic approach to supporting a person’s porcess of choosing a new direction for theier life.  My intention is to hlep people tuen intotheir inner voice so that the choice of direction or purpose is conscious and their motivations are clear and strong.  If I Consult my Coach client it will be only by his/her permission and with complete clarity of how my role differs in serving them one way or another.  I can do both but my aim as a Purpose coach is to see my clients move forward with new clarity and traction,  ability derived from a deep motivation that makes them unstoppable!

The public may not see the difference because ‘coaching’ is a broad old term.  Today it is become a buzzword mostly for marketing purposes.  Professional or certified coaches are continously defining and clarifying their role as Coach, for the public and for their clients.

Respectfully yours, a ‘Pot Stirrer,’ El Coyote,



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