Over the last couple of weeks I have found myself in deep debate with my careers colleagues about the differences and similarities between Coaching and Guidance. I myself struggle to differentiate the two practices, so upon much probing a colleague clarified Coaching as “practice focused on goal setting and achievement where as Guidance is all about the past”
This got me thinking, both the Egan 3 Stage Model and the popular Ali & Graham Model contain a clearly defined action planning stage and there isa focus on goal setting. Yes, there is an exploration stage where practitioners are encouraged to help clients reflect on blocks and obstacles to their decision making, identify patterns of behaviour from the past that may impact future choice and hell we even work as catalysts in helping clients define their own way forward. So erm, what was the difference between Guidance and Coaching?
Then the penny dropped. Much of Guidance training encourages the practitioner to use a counselling approach, like me I am sure there are many who struggled to master the mysteries of contracting, summarising and challenging. Perhaps one of the reasons why guidance seems to be about the past is down to us as practitioners. Do we perhaps look for issues where there aren’t any to be had? Have we taken the use of counselling skills and confused it with the process of counselling itself? Perhaps the issue isn’t about the approach at all. Surely what approach a practitioner uses depends on who is sat in front of them. Maybe there is a bigger question here which is how do we as practitioners decide which approach (guidance or coaching) is right for the person sat in front of us?
- Why do you think coaching is gaining popularity?
- Do you think there is a difference between coaching and guidance?
- What style of practice do you adopt with your clients?