That Coaching is not:

Teaching or telling

As your coach I will not tell you what to do or how to do it. Rather, with my help and partnership, you will learn and develop the new skills, attitudes and capabilities you need to craft your desired future.

Counseling or therapy

As your coach I will work in partnership with you to see the present clearly and focus on the future. There is no attempt to fix or re-live the past, except with regard to recognizing possible patterns of behavior that might inform the present and the future. If I feel that counseling may be necessary, it is my duty to make that recommendation to you.

Advising or mentoring

Advisors generally give advice; coaches do not. Mentors support and guide their mentees to meet a certain predetermined goal or image; coaches partner with the client to reach whatever goals the client wants to pursue. You are in control; as your coach, I will facilitate your desired growth and development.

Punitive

Many people, especially in certain business situations, suggest that someone “needs to be coached” if they are not performing up to a certain standard, or are unaware of certain underlying rules or guidelines of the organization. This is NOT my role as a professional coach. That role can be played by a manager or a peer in the organization. Even if I am working with someone by request of your employer, you and I will work together to establish goals of the coaching engagement, as in all other coaching situations.

Consulting

A consultant is generally a content expert and is expected to bring new information, ideas, structure, and/or strategy to an organization or an individual. Although there are times that I may be hired as a consultant in a sector in which I have expertise, if I am working with you as your coach, I will always look to you as the content expert in your field. It is my job to help you realize the expertise that lies within you.

Athletic Coaching

Because the presence of athletic coaching is ubiquitous in our society, many think that the professional coach will act like the athletic coach; giving tips, correcting technique and prescribing actions that will lead to improvement. First, I am not an athlete, and if I were to try to do this it would be disastrous for both of us. As your professional coach, I will partner with you, encourage you, and hold you accountable to achieve your goals.

Cheer-leading

Although as your coach I will clearly be on your side, I will not just stand on the sidelines and cheer. Rather, I will engage with you to foster an environment in which you will thrive, and work toward the goals set by us in partnership.

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© 2019 Alice D. Ackerman, MD, MBA

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