Coaching is a strength-based modality that can empower individuals, teams and organizations to reach their full potential with lasting change. Coaching can help shift and transform any aspect of an individual’s life including relationship, finance, career, health, and spirituality or that which is greater. Therefore, increasing quality of life and improving relationships.
Organizational and team coaching focuses on uniting and building team cohesiveness and culture, which in turn improves and increases productivity, as well as leading and managing change. Many companies today are developing employee wellness programs, introducing group benefits programs and hiring coaches for these reasons. This includes but is not limited to health care authorities, large corporations, and educational Institutions.
Coaching has shown to have a powerful and positive impact on anxiety and stress management, improved self confidence and esteem, and overall wellness. It can help with the mind body connection and calming our nervous system which sets the right conditions for growth and advancement. Coaching can help provide clarity in living an authentic life full of purpose, passion, and potential. For many, the thought of change is scary and can seem overwhelming, but it’s the small shifts that make the biggest impact.
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What Is a Life Coach?
Life coaching focuses on any area of a person’s life that has been identified that they would like to change or improve. Life coaching focuses on a person’s overall wellness and helps the person identify and achieve goals to enhance life, relationships, career satisfaction, improve connection to that which is greater than us and improve connection to money.
Lisa states that any anxiety, self doubt, or stress can be used as a catalyst for change and uses strategies to identify and overcome these obstacles. She also believes that life coaching helps a person know and understand their values with a goal of moving toward and maintaining self love, compassion and acceptance while learning valuable life skills along the way. Life coaching can sometimes be referred to as habit change coaching. When we identify areas a person would like to focus on we look at current habits and what’s working and not working.
A life coach supports a person in learning how to value themselves and build off their own strengths and experiences and then look at exploring and incorporating both old and new techniques to maintain change. It is important when making change that the area in which the desired change has been identified, has been replaced with new more positive activities, beliefs or way of living. A life coach will support, encourage and provide accountability to a person so they can show up as their authentic self and become the best version of themselves and discover their life purpose with lasting change. The demand for life coaches is growing to a younger population as well, especially in the wake of mental health due to the pandemic.
According to Insurdinary, and in their article titled Youth Mental Health in Canada – Moving into 2023, “You also need to consider the challenges that come with teenagers. At this age they are changing quickly and starting to build their identity”. A life coach at this age can be a tremendous way to help shape and form our young generation so they can perform at the peak of capabilities and beyond.
As a coach we start with what’s going on today in a person(s) or organization’s life and move towards the goals we have created for your future. Coaching touches on how our core beliefs, identities and relationships have shaped who we are and our current coping mechanisms. By knowing how our thoughts, feelings and behaviors have influenced us we can start challenging these beliefs and release judgment and old or untrue perception about ourselves. In releasing the old and bringing in the new we are allowing a person to be the best version of themselves and discover their life purpose.
Coaching vs Counselling
The biggest difference between counselling and coaching is the training, registration and continual competency expectations. To become a registered clinical counsellor typically requires 3-4 years of schooling. As well, a master’s degree with 400-500 practical hours is required to be registered as a clinical counsellor. Counsellors have more in-depth training which includes different therapeutic modalities, human developmental, family dynamics, sexuality, trauma, and mental health conditions. Counsellors are required to have continual supervision and peer consultations and on-going training and education. Counselling can also be quite in tense as exploration of the past can be deep and often quite emotional.
Many people are seeking support in dealing with different life issues and are trying to figure which is the best path to take. The question that comes up frequently is, what is the difference between counselling and coaching? Although there are similarities and cross over in both approaches there are also distinct differences.
According to author and Certified Life Coach Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby: “The objective of counselling is to help people address and resolve problems that make them feel emotionally ill or are impairing their ability to function well.” In general, a ‘counsellor’ is someone who creates a safe and supportive space for you to explore who you are and what you want in life. They help you identify and solve problems. They are a support system to help you gain the strength and clarity to cope and to move forward at last.
A simpler definition of Counselling is, counselling starts at a person’s past to resolve conflicts that have impeded a person’s emotional and function wellbeing with the goal of transforming a person’s future.
Coaching however starts at the present with what’s going on today that is interfering with emotional wellbeing and functioning. It then helps support and guide a person in discovering their potential and life dreams by setting goals to achieve a life with unlimited possibilities for the future. Coaching starts at the premise; everyone has the strength and ability to change what is already inside of them. A coach is there to help support a person in discovering their true potential.
In coaching, there are no formal mandated educational requirements and training can range from a couple of weeks to a year or two depending on previous experience and the type of coaching a person is specializing in. Many highly skilled coaches began coaching organically in their chosen profession with no formal education. They are typically experts in their field with natural talent, interest and tendency that leans toward coaching. Coaches have the option to register with the International Coaching Federation, which requires certificates from an accredited school and has required practice hours for certification which are on par with counselling requirements. Supervision, peer consultation, and continual education is not a requirement for coaches, but many coaches seek this out on their own for continual growth. Although peer supervision and consultation, many coaches network with each other of continual learning and development. Even though coaching can get intense periodically, it also has a softer, fun side.
It’s important not only to be aware of the differences when trying to determine whether a person would benefit from counselling or coaching. There are similarities that are important to mention. Both counselling and coaching work with the person on improving wellbeing and functioning of an individual, both aim to provide an environment and relationship that promotes trust, safety and a non-judgemental atmosphere. Both explore how core beliefs and identities have shaped the person’s perceptions and then challenge these old patterns. Although as mentioned above the starting place is different between the two but both empower clients in setting and achieving goals for the future.
Coaching vs Mentoring
The main difference between coaching and mentoring is that a mentor is usually someone who shares their knowledge, experience, and expertise to help a person grow either personally or professionally.
A mentor is someone the person typically knows, and respects. The mentor has consistently demonstrated attributes the person strives for either personally or professionally. The mentor has usually been identified as being a good role model, resource, and projects qualities the person admires and would like to achieve. In a mentorship vs a coaching relationship the differences center around, goal, timeline, relationship, and evaluation. The goal tends to be more abstract, with a focus on development rather than skill. Timeline is not identified, and the relationship tends to be long term with easier access to the mentor and is less formal with no identified end date. There are no structured performance evaluations in a mentorship relationship.
As a coach the time is typically indicated whereby there is a specific goal that has been identified that the coach and person work towards with benchmarks along the way to evaluating action plans, skills and progress. Coaching has a more formal approach; in most cases the relationship is contractual with clearly defined scheduled appointments whereas with a mentor the relationship is less structured. The individual has more opportunity to ask questions and consult when needed.
Different Types of Business Coaching & Their Benefits
There are many benefits to both business and individual coaching. Both types of coaching focus on empowering a person or teams to improve performance, productivity, relationships, engagement, and shifts in beliefs, behavior, and culture.
In business coaching the goal is not only to identify and develop growth and advancement for the business but also looks at the individual employee’s contribution to their full potential in self awareness, resilience, and self efficiency. By utilizing change management techniques and, which in turn can improve the culture of a team allowing for better collaboration, improve customer service, reduce costs and predict and act on future trends and gaps in advance. Business coaching utilizes change management techniques to identify strengths, gaps and to help plan. An effective business approach can also help to reduce such things as microaggressions in the workplace, and also help foster a unique employee recognition program.
One of the newer and more accessible ways to access coaching can now be set up in a virtual setting. Due to virtual coaching opportunities people are no longer confined to geographical locations and can benefit from their coaches from the comfort of their own homes. It also allows for group coaching, bringing together those with similar struggles to gain a support system from all over the world.
Many organizations today are developing organizational coaching programs internally. The purpose of this type of coaching is to improve internal systems, streamline processes, employee advancement, including identifying both new potential leaders and current leaders with a focus on supporting growth and development. Organizational coaching can unify teams, career planning and promote a positive workplace culture. With organizational coaching there is a change management component which looks at how to plan, implement and communicate executive organizational strategies and objectives. Organizational coaching identifies the overall objectives, designs action plans, executes the plans, and evaluates the outcomes. It supports both individuals and teams and focuses on input, education, and training at all levels including front line staff, upper management, and executives. This allows for accountability, participation, investment and retention for employees which then leads to improved overall employee satisfaction, performance and motivation. Organizational coaching is beneficial in the overall functioning of the system as a whole and improving the services provided.
Executive coaching focuses on the individual rather than the team and is offered to the top tier leaders of a company or an organization. This type of coaching focuses on providing the training and skills for a leader to enhance growth, development and career planning. Executive coaching aims to provide the necessary skills to promote, maintain and improve the culture of the organization, improve employee relations and overall results and performance of a team. It will even assist with managing high performing employees. Executive coaching offers training in effective communication, conflict management, goal setting, implementation, and critical thinking skills. Executive coaching supports the person’s leadership style and strengths and builds from that point forward. Through self awareness and perspectives, clear objectives can be developed to improve employee relationships, desired outcomes, better performance, and productivity. It is the leader who sets the culture of a team. The organization who invests in executive coaching programs and provides the proper skills and tools for their leaders can transform and encompass a safe and trusting environment. It also improves employee recruitment and retention, higher functioning teams and more engagement from employees.
Business coaching focuses on providing the necessary skills and tools to build and grow a business. It is performance and results driven. Business coaching can benefit both small and large companies whether they are just starting up or are well established. Business coaching in conjunction with the owner(s) to develop individualized business plans while incorporating current strategic initiatives and the purpose and vision identified. Goal setting and the developed action plans are specific, measurable, attentional, relevant, and timely for the desired outcome. Business coaching can help the owner(s) to build clarity and awareness and enhance sustainability in a competitive market that sets them apart from their competitors. Business coaching can help identify niches, current trends, and gaps to help navigate the change management process and achieve the desired result. It doesn’t matter the type or size of a business, business coaching can benefit any company wanting to improve services, customer satisfaction and profitability.
Mental Health Coaching
In Lisa’s opinion mental health coaching and lifestyle coaching incorporate the same approach and modalities; be it in business or for individuals. Both look at the person from a holistic perspective incorporating all aspects of life including, health, lifestyle, spirituality, career, relationships, and finance. Caution must be applied in seeking a mental health coach. When determining the support required for mental health issues it is important to determine the following factors. If a person has been diagnosed with a mental health condition and requires support in managing the illness a more trained professional such as a counsellor, psychologist or psychiatrist would be the best resource. A coach with specialized training in mental health and proper education could provide this service, but Lisa would advise researching the education of the coach and years of experience prior to a session. On the other hand if a person is requiring life skill support in dealing with anxiety, stress management or depression (low level) that impacts living life to their fullest and reaching their highest potential, a coach can provide the necessary skills and tools to live a productive, healthy and happy life.
Learn more tips on how to improve the work culture of your business with our article.
Group Enroll: Find Insurance for Your Employees Today
Everyone can benefit from having a coach. In an article written by Myra, Altman Ph.D published on Psychology Today on July 12, 2022, titled “ New research finds coaching on par with therapy”, Myra includes a reference from a peer-reviewed study accepted for publication at the Journal of Technology in Behavioral Science, which states “58 percent of people who started care with symptoms of depression experienced clinical recovery after at least one session with a certified coach and saw a 76 percent increase in their well-being over all”. The article further states, “that for some, coaching can be a less stigmatized form of care and that research also found that in a one-on-one virtual care setting, therapeutic alliance was just as strong between clients and coaches as between clients and therapists”.
Coaching doesn’t just emphasize change it also focuses on a person’s strengths and what currently is working in their life and builds from there. The person drives the change, and the coach supports the change. It can help open the mind to new possibilities and outcomes. Coaching helps quiet our monkey brain which fills us full of fear and self doubt and can be the root of why many of us don’t have lasting results. It’s our monkey brain that can sabotage us because it feels safe and secure because it’s our familiar and ingrained ways of thinking and behaving. Many of us only focus on the negative things in our life, but coaching helps a person to see the positive aspects, which can be energy producing and is one of the most powerful motivators for lasting change. Coaching offers a non-judgemental approach that is client focused and can be a fun journey of self discovery and empowerment.
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