We’ve all been at a crossroads in our life that likely felt overwhelming. This could result from a potential career change, the start or end of a relationship, or a relocation. Whatever the decision was directly related to, it’s in these times that we often need guidance but are unsure where to turn.
Many times we turn to friends or family for advice with the goal of gaining enough information to make a solid decision. However, like most of us, you’ve probably received so many suggestions that you end up more confused than you were before. That’s why it’s just as important to know what type of assistance to seek, as the guidance is itself. This is especially true when it comes to making decisions in your professional life.
To identify the kind of direction you need, it’s helpful to understand some general differences in helping relationships. For example, coaching is often confused with counseling and even mentoring. While the principle may be the same, there are very distinct differences in their modalities. Just as you wouldn’t trust a dentist to treat your broken leg simply because she’s a “doctor”, each of these settings provide a unique form and focus that impacts growth in different ways.
A counselor is generally a licensed professional, such as therapists, psychologists, or psychiatrists. These specialists meet with patients to provide treatment for a diagnosis and are typically long-term relationships. A mentor, however, is usually an experienced individual who’s willing to share their knowledge with the mentee. In the workplace, this might be a senior-level manager who is paired with a professional who is seeking or sometimes in need of development. Similar to counseling, the relationship between mentor-mentee is often long-term.
Coaching on the other hand, is a collaborative relationship. The coach is generally skilled (certified) to provide guidance in goal attainment and has expertise in the area of desired growth. A coach will ask forward-thinking questions that challenge and support their clients while also holding them accountable.
Coaching relationships have proven to be successful for both the client and coach. In fact, statistics show that 99% of individuals and companies who hire a coach are either satisfied or very satisfied. In fact, 68% of individuals who hired a coach realized a full return on their investment, while 51% of companies with a strong coaching culture report higher revenue than their industry peer group. If this type of proven guidance is what you’re seeking, Bright Places offers a confidential and affordable coaching experience that addresses barriers to achieving both long-term and short-term goals.
Ultimately, whether you supervise employees, counsel clients, provide treatment to patients, or deliver a service, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the purpose of the relationship. To read more about the differences between these helping relationships, Positive Psychology provides a comprehensive analysis to help you decide which relationship best suits your needs. If you’re still not sure, feel free to contact us. We’d love to help point you in the right direction.