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What is Coaching?

Updated: Jan 12

What is coaching? And how does it relate to Mentoring? And Consulting?

It’s really all about people and communication.

A few Coaching definitions I found:

“partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential” (International Coaching Federation)

“a non-directive form of development focusing on improving performance and developing an individual”(Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development)

“a form of development in which an experienced person, called a coach, supports a learner or client in achieving a specific personal or professional goal by providing training and guidance. (Wikipedia)

My view?

It’s the use of open questioning from the Coach (What? How? Etc) to elicit thoughts, feelings, and challenges from the “Coachee” to find solutions to a given problem or objective. The solutions and required activities come from the “Coachee”, not the Coach, and this raises the probability of success.

Mentoring takes this a step further. While still using coaching practices the mentor will have additional experience in the area of the problem or objective. For instance when deciding to run a marathon it could be useful to have a coach with experience of the same. The same can be applied to anything with any technical element which the Coachee would have no way of knowing.

Incidentally the word Mentor comes Homers Odyssey. Mentor was entrusted by Odysseus & Penelope to be the guardian, teacher, advisor and friend to their son – Telemachus - while Odysseus was away on his .. er .. Odyssey.

But what about consulting?

Old school consulting tended to revolve around the client giving the consultant a question or problem and the consultant disappearing for a while and returning to present their findings – usually in a rather grand presentation – to an eager client. Both would then wonder why not a great deal happened as the work gathered dust.

The reason goes back to the heart of coaching ie the involvement of the Client/”Coachee” and the bulk of the answers coming from them. In the above example there is little client involvement and therefore limited investment in the way forward.

Thankfully things have changed. A good consultant will once more use coaching methodologies, involve the client throughout, create a robust and meaningful relationship, repeatedly test ideas and solutions during the process until the final “grand presentation” comes as much from the client as it does from the consultant.

I believe this is more like a Mentor. And that’s the approach we employ. And where we don’t know technicalities, we work with those who do.

So why not “Crag+Crest Mentoring” or Crag+Crest Consulting"? Good question. Easy. I love alliteration and I want to focus what I do as a Coach to "unlock a persons potential to maximise their own performance" leaving them with additional tools and a thirst for continual growth. My Consultancy experience provides a perfect foundation for this.

It’s all about people and communication afterall 😉

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