What Kind of Coaching?

With coaching enters mainstream conscious, increasing number of coaching specialties on the market makes choosing the right coach overwhelming. Some coaches define their coaching by subject expertise, such as fitness, marketing, career or mindfulness. Others define their coaching by the type of clients, such as executive, entrepreneur or working mothers. Within specialties such as career coaching, there are many subsegments such as job transition, personal branding, new executive onboarding, managing workplace relationships or increasing productivity – just to name a few.

In my opinion, there are only two types of coaching – Being and Doing. Being is about “Who do you want to BE?” It focuses on exploring a person’s identity, purpose, values, beliefs and commitment. A clearly articulated Being is the personal WHO and WHY – the foundation that sets us on a fulfilled life path. Doing revolves around “How do you DO it?” It focuses on specific skills, tools and strategies needed to master certain tasks or goals. Doing is about HOW and WHAT. The right Doing should be a natural extension of the grounded Being.

Pure coaching facilitates a conversation with oneself. It requires a coach to ask good questions and mirrors back what she sees in the coachee. A good coach needs no knowledge about the coaching topic except curiosity and compassion. This way the coachee arrives to solutions himself. The goal of coaching is self-development or personal leadership, not getting a solution from the coach.

In reality, some coachees simply want ready-made solutions from their coaches. In fact, most people subconsciously prefer a combination of consulting, mentoring and coaching, especially when they focus on Doing or seek specific know-how from an expert. All choices are perfectly good as long as we are clear what we want and what the coach offers.

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