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The Difference Between Coaching And Counseling

Aug 18, 2007
Contrary to the common belief, business coaching is neither a therapy nor does it involve counseling of any kind. Professional business coaches focus on setting of business goals, laying down of business strategies, yielding results in the form of enhanced performance, production and profits and inculcating positive changes in personal as well as professional life of the proprietor and his personnel. Since coaching is a relatively new term in the field of business, many people very often misunderstand the entire concept and confuse business coaching with counseling.

To be able to understand the theory of business coaching and how its principles work, you first need to understand the difference between business coaching and psychotherapy counseling. They all function in a very different manner and adopt different approaches to a similar problem. For instance, if you hired a therapist, he will help you to find out what is it that is holding back your business from prospering. He will try to extract details from you and delve into the history of your business to discover as to what difficulties it is facing and why.

A consultant will teach you the basics of a business and explain the details about the principles of business. He will provide you all the necessary information that you need in order to run your business efficiently. He will merely provide you with instructions as to what should be done in specific situations and then leave you all on your own to decide on the right course of action.

On the other hand, a business coach acts like a mentor. He shares his personal experiences and skills in order to enrich you on the workings of the business. He applies his knowledge and expertise to provide your business with the right solutions. He takes the responsibility of providing your business with the right direction and ensures that it actually is proceeding on the right track. He stands by you and your business during trying times in order to make sure that all your business activities are working towards the accomplishment of your business goals and objectives. A business coach supports, acknowledges and encourages you all the way through till you feel confident enough to manage the business on your own.

Business coaching and counseling can also be differentiated based on the needs and requirements of the client. Clients approach traditional counseling for help when they sense that something is in the wrong and things are not proceeding the way they are meant to. Clients may decide to use coaching as a business tool when they sense that their daily business activities are slightly off the track or need proper direction. They may also hire a business coach when they feel that things are not working the way they want them to or are vaguely imbalanced. Coaching helps to focus attention on making positive changes in the business and reap more benefits in the long run.

Here a few distinct distinguishing factors between conventional counseling and coaching:

Focus: Counseling deals with emotions and the past, while coaching concentrates more on the present and future and is more action-oriented.

Method: Counseling uses medical and clinical therapy, where as coaching believes in implementation of learning and developmental skills.

Style: Counseling seeks to resolve the problems through nurturing and caring, while coaching adopts a more challenging and mentoring kind or role.
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