What Coaching is Not

Coaching is none of the following:

Structured Training

Structured training relates to a fixed agenda of learning, and a prepared approach to make learning happen. 

Coaching follows a more flexible format, according to someone’s objectives. Both the individual and the coach influence the direction and content of sessions. Coaching also places responsibility for learning on the individual and encourages learning to continue after the session, e.g. through an agreed set of actions.


Therapy, psychoanalysis, psychotherapy

Some issues are best handled by someone trained to support a specific set of skills, principles and approach.

Coaching can offer an alternative to people who may have previously considered some form of counselling to address, for example, a crisis of confidence or self-doubt. 

This is because coaching promotes a greater self-awareness, and fuller appreciation of our own situations and circumstances. Sometimes, we know our own answers and simply need support to implement our own solutions.


A way of someone else solving your problems for you

Coaching assumes that an individual is ultimately responsible for the results they’re creating.  If we acknowledge that we are responsible for something, it follows that we have power and influence over it. For example, if you’re not getting the results at work that you want, a coach might encourage you to: 

 - Understand that situation more clearly.

 - Develop new ideas or approaches for those situations.

 - Take constructive action that gets you the results you want.

An effective coach aims to empower you by supporting you to act, rather than acting on your behalf.




(source: Julie Starr - Coaching Manual)