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Coaching is not ... therapy.
Coaching is not ... consulting.
Coaching is not ... the same as talking to my friends, family & partner.

Bike-Riding as a Metaphor

If an adult woman seeks help in learning to ride a bike:

A Therapist might try to help her figure out why she never learned to ride a bike
A Consultant might show her how to ride a bike
A Coach might steady the bike while she climbs on, and then run along beside her, encouraging her until she feels ready to ride alone.

Coaching is not Therapy

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." -- Maya Angelou

People go into both coaching and therapy when they are ready for something to be different in their lives. Both can be powerful and effective. They can be separate courses, or they can coincide. And yet, they are quite different.

Coaching is Change ... Therapy is Understanding, allowing for change
Coaching is Present & Future ... Therapy is Past & Present & Future
Coaching is a Partnership ... Therapy is a Clinical Relationship

Coaching is therapeutic, not therapy.  In coaching, people often begin ready for change, wanting to actively move forward.

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Coaching is not Consulting

"I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn." -- Albert Einstein, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics

The Coach’s experience and expertise informs her questions.

The Clients have all the answers.

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Coaching is not the same as talking to your family, friends or partner

"A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle." -- Erin Majors

While a coaching relationship is a partnership, all of the focus of the relationship is turned to the best interest of the client.

… The coach has nothing to gain or lose by the client’s actions…the coach’s only ‘stake’ is in the success of the client
… The client is taking decisive action in hiring a coach, and has someone who is invested in her/his success

... The coach is likely to be willing to be more candid than someone close who might be afraid of hurt feelings or causing offense

... The client has no reason to modify a story for the coach

... The coach is not there to give advice, but to help the client identify her or his own opinions, using all the tools in her toolbox

... The client is supported in making independent decisions based on what he/she values most in life

... The coach will make requests, challenge the client to stretch, and provide inquiries for furthering the ‘action’ between sessions

... The client will have support in holding him/herself accountable

... The coach is trained to help the client focus on the issues, clarify them, and seek action. Deepening understanding and making things happen are of the utmost importance to the coach.

... The client is paying for the coach’s time and thus has an incentive to work hard for the best value

"I find that my family, friends and co-workers see through their own clouds of judgment. When they give advice to me it is tinted and bent by the distorted lenses and clouds of their own lives.

So you are literally a mirror to me, a genuine and true mirror that shows me my true self, and that might be the most valuable thing that you offer as a coach."
-- Touchstone Client

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