Why coaching isn't for everyone

Coaching can work for anyone, but it isn’t for everyone.

Coaching is unlikely to be a great fit, if what you want is someone to give you advice or guidance.

Also, it’s important to understand that coaching isn’t therapy.

Whilst we work with people who have previously experienced mental health distress (and as many as 1 in 4 of us will experience issues with our mental health every year) coaching isn’t a substitute for professional mental health support.

If you’re currently experiencing (or suspect you might be experiencing) a mental health problem that requires diagnosis or treatment, please consult your local GP, or a qualified mental health care professional. You can also talk to the people at Mind on 0300 123 3393 or the Samaritans on 116 123.

How coaching differs from other approaches

If you're wondering whether coaching - or something else, might suit you best; it's useful to know how coaching differs from other approaches: like Mentoring, Counselling and Consultancy. Different types of approach all have a place, in helping people move forward in their life and work.

Coaching is all about…

…asking great questions

Coaching is about asking, not telling. Being coached, isn't about guidance and direction from an expert in a particular area. Whereas a Mentor or a Consultant might offer you the benefit of their own advice - a coach won't do this. A good coach will ask questions, to help you think about what you could do - and what you're ready to do, so you can move forwards.

…creating opportunities in the present and developing solutions to current challenges

Coaching isn't about delving deep down into past problems. Whereas Counselling and Consultancy often focus on unpacking things that have gone wrong in your personal life or at work - Coaching involves working with a creative thinking partner, to come up with fresh perspectives on your current challenges and opportunities.

…looking towards the future

Whereas a Counsellor or a Consultant might primarily look backwards into the past, Coaches (like Mentors) concentrate on where you are now - and where you want to be. Coaching focusses on what we can do in the room - right here, right now - that will help you move forwards into the future. Unlike a Mentor - a coach won't offer advice, or give you guidance, direction or answers. What a good coach will do, is support you in drawing your own answers (and maybe some more questions!) out of you.

A good coach:

  • will listen to what you want to think about; where you are now - and where you want to get to

  • won’t give you advice or tell you what to do

  • will ask powerful, practical questions, so you can explore your options - and work out what you could do next.

  • won’t impose their own values, beliefs or worldview on you

  • will keep you company while you think

  • won’t tie you in to be accountable to them - but will encourage you to put in place any support and accountability you might need to help you follow through.