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Coaching or Advising?

When I first started looking into coaching, I thought that coaches teach and provide advice. The word coach evokes ideas of authority figures who expound on the virtues of their experience and issue instructions on how to do or improve on an activity, such as a wicked tennis serve or taking charge of meetings.

As a leadership and career coach, rather than mentoring or advising, I’m here to help connect you to the intelligent and creative ideas that are already inside you, waiting to see daylight. If I offer advice rather than asking powerful questions, then I take over the conversation. The ideas that are surfaced are mine and you’re limited by my thoughts and experiences.

There are times when it is appropriate for a coach to offer feedback, but it should be offered as an idea that can be accepted or rejected, not stated unequivocally. If I notice a pattern or a contradiction, for example, I may share what I’ve noticed, solely for the purpose of partnering with you to move toward your goal.

You can get advice from a lot of people, unsolicited, which may be helpful. But for true growth, coaching can be transformative.

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