Coaches as Counsellors

The point of coaching is to help people achieve more; whether in life or in their career.

In sport, a coach does the same thing; they can’t get on the field and tackle someone on behalf of their team, or volunteer to take the shot on behalf of their athlete.

Why then do some people think that coaching in business might be any different?

The role of a coach in helping someone get past an obstacle or to reach a significant goal, is to ask the questions that allow their client to see past the mental blocks that we all build for ourselves; it’s the job of the coach to offer a view from another angle by asking the client to reflect on something which the coach perceives to be a sticking point, thereby focussing the client’s attention on finding an answer within themselves to unlock or unblock.

However, in the course of an intervention it is possible to find the client dwelling on something that seems to them to be an insurmountable problem, in fact it becomes obvious that the problem is not solvable for other reasons than logical reasoning. The coaching has moved into a remedial situation and out of a coaching one. To ensure a duty of care for the coachee the coach must realise when this happens and then take the appropriate action.

The coach has, I believe, two choices at this point:

Explain to the client that you are not comfortable with continuing to explore the issue, or don’t feel that you are the right person to be doing so. Suggest they find a professional who can advise as well as ask and listen, and who has training in personal and inter-personal counselling.

Explain that this isn’t your key area of expertise, but that you have a degree of experience in such matters and, if they clearly understand that, and are prepared to accept that the dynamic of the intervention is about to change dramatically, continue the conversation, attempting to stay within the bounds of a normal coaching framework, but perhaps offering the client encouragement to keep going through what may be a very testing conversation.

There is a third option; namely that the coach decides that they are perfectly able to help the client and proceeds to offer advice based on their own experiences.

This third option leaves the coach and the client in vulnerable positions, and can backfire in the most disastrous ways. It is therefore to be avoided.

A counsellor can more easily coach than a coach can become a counsellor.

RECENT BLOG POSTS

Download our FREE BROCHURE

We are Gcologists

Find out more
GC Index.
Testimonials
 Caitlin has made a real difference to my confidence and to the way I approach my business on a day to day basis.
read more...
John Baker, Regional Director, The Jockey Club
 It (coaching) unearthed a depth of confidence that I was beginning to question and enabled me to make a significant change within myself and my work.
read more...
Luke Joy-Smith, Managing Director - Somerset Social Enterprise
 I connected with my coach on our very first call and I believe that made the whole difference for me. I wish I could dig deeper on some of my remaining issues but unfortunately all good things have to end. I will definitely recommend coaching and have been already doing it for while. It definitely changed my life.
read more...
Stephanie Malka, Director NOC Service Engineering – EMEA
 Great to see that there has been a positive outcome from this.
read more...
Simon Gosney, Head of Learning and Development
 Tim has provided some high quality coaching support to me through a time of transition both in terms of job, career and organisational changes. He is a skilled and experienced executive coach who facilitated just the right mix of reflection, future visioning, challenge, compassion and stretch. I’d strongly recommend working with him if you are going through a career or organisation transition. Fun to work with, I always left my sessions with him feeling significantly clearer and more content with my overall direction of travel and next steps.
read more...
Neil Savage, Director of Organisational Development 2gether NHS Foundation Trust
 “I selected my coach on the basis that she had a completely different approach to my structured way of thinking. Katherine challenged me and took me way out of my comfort zone – scary and uncomfortable at times but eye-opening. These coaching sessions enabled me to see things from a very different perspective, gave me the time and space to reflect on my practice and provided practical tips and approaches as to how I can develop my performance.”
read more...
Zenobia Daar, Head of People, Governance & Performance
 Please continue with the programme. For a guy, like Paul, who does not use the word 'fantastic', who then uses it..it must be really good!
read more...
Marissa Bartlett, Head of Organisational Development - Mid Sussex District Council
 Everyone learnt a lot about themselves and others. It was the first training in English that one of my mentors had done and it was really successful for him. We have all come away feeling more confident. I have been on many development programmes and I have to say it has been one of the best I have ever attended.
read more...
Radka Lankasova, HR Manager, DENSO MANUFACTURING CZECH s. r. o.
 Steve Delivered a professional, relaxed and engaging session. Relevance, interest and clarity of delivering allowed for a very productive outcome.
read more...
Andy Castle, VP of Network Operations and Engineering, EMEA
 I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with Steve. He encouraged me to look at how I view myself and my actions, to actively seek positive outcomes to every day situations. My perception of myself has certainly changed due to my conversations with Steve and I would highly recommend coaching sessions with Unlimited Potential.
read more...
Rik Roberts, Team Leader