What's The Purpose of Coaching?

September 9, 2021

What’s the purpose of coaching? 

Coaching is about facilitating your personal learning, insights, and putting definition to your development plan, to define and reach your professional goals. A coach will help you with goal setting, clarifying your values, exploring your strengths, and should use a research-backed approach to enable your growth. The best coaching is solution-focused, rather than problem focused. It’s different from therapy and counselling, but coaching can definitely deal with mental health. 

So what are the different kinds of coaching? 

At BOLDLY, we don’t facilitate life coaching or business coaching - the former deals with your personal relationships and lifestyle goals, while the latter enables business acumen and functional decision making. It might sound complicated - ‘coaching’ comes in so many forms, and while each coach might call themselves something slightly different, the tip is usually in the name - life coaching is about your life, and business coaching is about how your business works! Here’s some info on how life coaching differs from career coaching.

BOLDLY coaches are generally known as career coaches, professional coaches, or executive coaches. Here, there can be cross over, but generally:

Career coach: 

A career coach works with you on specific career decisions and transitions - such as when you take on a new job or start managing a new team. Often career coaching happens earlier in your career (i.e. the first 15 years - for example, most MBA programs will involve some career coaching), when you’re understanding ‘how careers work’ and establishing yourself as a professional. A career coach can work with you to build a strategy around developing your network, or defining your management style, and some career coaches will even help you to build your resume or linked in profile, or work with you through a job search and interview process. Career coaches are incredibly valuable, and usually more ‘tactical’ for those times in your life when you need to develop a specific plan of action. Here’s some more information on what you can expect from a career coach.

Professional coach: 

A professional coach is usually someone who will work with you mid-career. They can bring all the tools and techniques from career coaching, but will often be less tactical and more exploratory and insights-based. A professional coach is well-versed in dealing with management issues, and will have experience in mid-career transitions, mental health, exploring professional identity, as well as development planning around specific competencies and learning objectives, such as building executive presence and storytelling for business impact. A professional coach will often work with a psychometric assessment of 360 assessment as a starting point, and will pose challenging questions to you to support you to reflect and learn.

Executive coach: 

An executive coach works with leaders who are interacting with boards, leading other leaders, and often facing the public markets. An executive coach should be well trained in the use of cognitive behavioural techniques and will have studied and worked with research-backed leadership development theories, such as transformational leadership. An executive coach will have a background in psychology, and will also have experience working with senior leaders, and ideally having lead businesses themselves. They will work with you on challenges where ‘there’s no right answer’ and it’s up to you as a leader to define guiding principles and insights for leadership decision making. An executive coach is absolutely able to work with themes of personality, complex organisational systems, and interpersonal stakeholder relationships to enable you to be the best leader you can be. Here’s some information on how executive coaches can support wellness

In each case, career coaches, professional coaches and executive coaches will work with you to develop your best performance, and ensure your wellness is taken care of. While they can work with you if you’re seeing a counsellor or therapist, and you can undertake coaching while also working through depression and anxiety, a coach will help you to identify these issues, discuss and explore how they impact your work life, and ensure you receive the right referrals to work with other professionals in parallel. 

In each case, our BOLDLY coaches are qualified with either the ICF or EMCC to ensure they subscribe to a high standard of ethics and continued education, and ideally undertake supervision. 

If you’re wondering if coaching could be of benefit to you, reach out for a conversation: connect@boldly.app

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