Coaching Curious: What Is A Coach

I want to dispel some myths around Coaching. Yesterday a potential client - with 30+ years experience running a multi-multi-million dollar construction company, with 2 successful adult children, who also navigated the downturn of the late 2000’s - asked me what I could teach her?

Um, what?

Coaches are not teachers. We are also not therapists. We are not consultants. We are not mentors.

Now, I am going to share my definitions for these other modalities, and in doing so, get into some of the background and training for coaches. Does this apply to ALL coaches, or any of these other areas of expertise, certainly not.

However, there are some broader philosophies that any certified member of these vocations share. I will share my very personal approach as well. My intention is this blog may be used as a reference and even resource for anyone considering the support of a coach for their business, professional career and life.

Let’s start with the others.


Therapists take people from non-functional to functional. They are highly trained and even in psychiatrists’ instances, medical doctors. They work with acute trauma and situations where people are experiencing highly debilitating dysfunction. There are differing areas of speciality, ranging from marriage and family to cognitive behavioral, and a multitude of other specialities. I often refer people to therapists and I owe a large degree of my success to seeking therapy at various intervals in my development.


Also highly trained professionals who are experts in transferring knowledge, with the purpose of bringing students to competence and eventually expertise in application of this learning. This approach assumes the Teacher has a higher level of knowledge than a student in a specific area. There is often a pre-approved format, repeatable approach, and even testing or performance measures that are applied.


For-hire experts in areas of industry or services paid to create a specific deliverable or result. Consultants are responsible for not only identifying the problem, but solving it. They use customized systems and templates, or are required to build out a unique solution for their contracted arrangement. Typically consultants have years of experience and they have crafted both a reputation and niche expertise their clients are hiring them to infuse into their own organization.

*** If you want the work done for you, find one of these.


These individuals are at the top of their game, very advanced and very successful leaders who lend their experience and leverage their network on behalf of their mentee. This can be a pro-bono or a paid arrangement. Mentors are often sought out to support a desired level of growth, income and/or success in one’s professional or personal life.


A facilitator that supports individuals, couples, groups, or organizations by clarifying goals, creating action plans, and ensuring accountability, both in success and facing obstacles. Experience, job-type, credentials and certifications, even scope of work varies wildly between coaches.

What is Coaching?

I’m not even going to bother to come up with a unique definition, I am copying and pasting from my training program, linked below:

Successful coaches enable others to be the agent of change in their own lives instead of simply dealing with unintended outcomes. In its simplest form, coaching is about helping another person achieve their personal or professional goals. Coaching, at its very best, is about helping people make profound and lasting shifts in their lives by pushing them to dig deeper so they can unlock their true potential.

How is coaching different than teaching, mentoring, consulting, and therapy?

Coaching is a co-created process where the coach and client set objectives, discover and reinforce motivations, and uncover blocks getting in the way of success. Unlike the other methodologies, coaches are not applying their expertise, they’re not implementing strategy nor are they responsible for the client’s results, and they’re certainly not telling their clients what to do.

Why do I need a coach?

Traditional coaching methods focus on helping individuals, couples, groups, or organizations to clarify their goals, create action plans, and hold them accountable to the plan. The style of coaching I was trained to practice, the fundamentals of my training and my personal belief is that we each have unlimited opportunities and endless potential. Therefore, in my coaching practice, I step beyond action pans and accountability and work with the client’s mindset, attitude, perspective, and energetic response in order to expand the choices they have available, allowing them to create their desired reality. This process yields unfathomable success, with less stress and struggle than previously experienced by the client.

What results can I expect from a coach?

I’m not going to lie - this is a tough question for me to answer. Why? Because the results are based on your commitment to the process. It’s different for every client, and honestly, not every coach is the best fit for every person. With the right coaching partnership in place, anything is truly possible.

Why Do I Need A Coach?

This is where a coach makes the difference in your path to success. Someone who is experienced, trained, and has supported a multitude of personalities, egos, and skill-sets, in navigating their own path to success. Are there guarantees? No. And I can only speak for myself, but I will guarantee that I will show up every damn day and meet you exactly where you’re at to ensure you have support, systems hat are tailored to YOU and your needs and your unique desires, dreams, and strengths.

What other resources may I explore for coaching:

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