Coaching ... what's in a name?

Coaching ... what's in a name?

Everyone coaches everyone at everything! Nevertheless, coaching originally defined a clearly marked field. Coaching takes place when neither the coach (or supervisor) or the coachee (or worker) has a solution for ‘the problem’ at the start of the coaching programme. Let’s just compare a few elements. 

What is training? 

As a trainer, I want to transfer as much knowledge as possible to my clients/workers.  During a training course, I invest a lot of time in guiding participants step by step and helping them put what they’ve learnt into practice. Their level of knowledge will seldom, if ever, exceed the level of the trainer. 

And giving advice? 

Giving advice means that I, as a consultant (or supervisor), know ‘how to do it’ and I expect my client (or worker) to do it in a way which I consider correct. That is a tried and tested method if things need to be done quickly and if responsibility lies and stays with the consultant (supervisor). And so, they know where to find me for the next problem…  

When to supervise? 

There is also the supervision of people. We are often confronted with things which we cannot change. Supervising a coachee (worker) then consists mainly of listening actively without becoming active in any way yourself. Situations where you cannot offer a worker a salary increase or where he or she has lost a loved one are just two examples where this style can help.


And so, what is coaching? And what is the benefit? During coaching, the coach (supervisor) supports the coachee (worker) to look autonomously and on his or her own responsibility for solutions to his or her problems in a certain area. New knowledge is created. Solutions are generated which are a perfect fit for this coachee (worker). And so, next time, the coachee (worker) will be able to work autonomously in a similar situation. The price for this way of working lies mainly in the investment of time. The basic conditions for this way of working are certainly faith in the ability of the coachee (worker) to solve problems and accepting that his or her further development is completely independent of the knowledge of the coach (supervisor). This can also be seen as a great opportunity. And so, those who train, give advice, or supervise are NOT coaching!

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