Coaching and other Interventions
Coaching is often confused with other developmental interventions such as mentoring, training, supervision, consulting and counselling. All these forms of intervention promote personal and professional growth but have different audiences, serve different purposes and have different delivery mechanisms.
Most commonly, mentoring is confused with coaching. Mentoring involves an ongoing professional relationship between a more senior manager and a junior, talented employee usually, but not always, within the same organisation, focused on assisting the employee grow and develop to increase their chance of promotion within the organisation. However, the mentoring relationship is hierarchical rather than collaborative as it is in coaching. There is a power-distance between mentor and mentee, whereas the coach and coachee are equals. The coach brings their coaching skills to the table and encourages the coachee to find their own solutions.
Training is the provision of knowledge and instruction so that a new skill or technique is acquired which assists employees do their jobs better, faster, more efficiently or effectively. When coupled with coaching post-training, research has shown that the transfer rate of the new knowledge or skill to workplace application increases from 20% to 80%. That is, the outcomes of training programs are significantly enhanced when the training is paired with, or informed by, coaching.
Supervision involves observation of work performance once the new skill has been acquired. The supervisor provides essential feedback on the effectiveness of the new skill as it is being applied in the workplace. Constructive feedback stimulates reflection and corrective action. Ideally, performance feedback takes place at regular intervals via coaching conversations.
Consulting is the provision of expert advice which tells organisational leaders what to do to resolve a particular situation, improve productivity, and remain financially viable. Consultants are highly skilled and their knowledge and experience are extremely valuable to the organisation. They are experts in their field who hold a power position in relation to organisational leaders.
Counselling is entirely different from all these forms of developmental interventions in that it involves a therapeutic approach to working with clinical populations. As a therapeutic approach, it focuses on the past to help coachees resolve deep-seated issues or traumatic incidents that occurred in childhood, as teenagers or young adults. Therapy to resolve these issues is conducted by trained counsellors or psychologists who have a deep understanding of the human condition and skilled expertise from working in hospital, community or family relations centres. The therapy provides safe guidance for individuals through their trauma into a renewed perspective on life.
If you are considering undertaking a course of study and deciding whether to become a coach or counsellor, talk to our dedicated team members about the audience you would like to work with, how long a course you would like to undertake, and how much time you have to devote to your studies. Visit www.professionalcoachtraining.com.au to download information on the coaching qualifications delivered by the Australian Institute of Professional Coaches. Then contact us to learn more.