Ever scratched your head wondering what Coaching ACTUALLY is? or how it compares to other change methods? 
I don’t know about you, but when we first started looking for help to improve our career prospects, communication skills, business potential or motivation, we were overwhelmed by the huge amount of options that were out there; and even more confused by the terms that were used to describe what was available. 
Should we find mentors? or business development coaches? or maybe hire a consultant or attend a course to be taught some new skills? 
We asked our trusted friend Dr Google only to be bombarded with definitions, and we were amazed by how many people were offering these services. 
We found the whole process quite draining. 
We are a few years down the line now and our Oxygen team have experienced much of what’s available. So we thought it would be useful to share a brief summary of Coaching and the other solutions available to those of you seeking to improve your emotional, physical and psychological performance. 
What is Coaching? 
You might approach a coach if you’re not able to move around your current thinking. You’re stuck not making progress in a certain aspect of your life. 
Coaches don't offer advice. Instead, they work with you to discover and use the most productive skills, values, and methods that you are not using to your fullest potential. They help you discover a new perspective on where your processes are going wrong, and help correct them. 
Coaches don't spend a lot of time absorbed or discussing your presenting problem or your past. 
Their focus is on your future and your growth as a person; through discovering what prevents you from achieving your goals and changing the strategies and structure to make them more achievable. 
Rather than teaching you how to perform something, the emphasis is on leading you to discover new strategies and thinking to help your improvement. 
What is Traditional Consulting? 
If you have worked with consultants in previous roles, you will know that they are experts in their own field. 
They either sell their advice or perform actions to complete a task on your behalf or on behalf of your organisation. They are highly skilled problem-solvers who charge a daily rate for their services. 
With consulting, you (as the client) have a lot of control over the process, but little control over the results. 
It is not always the case, but consultants often keep their professional distance and may be reluctant to form an ongoing relationship with you (the client) past the point of task completion. 
What is Training? 
The training process focuses on teaching you (the student) how to perform or learn something. 
Trainers are experts in their field and teach you processes, methods, and or skills to do something in a set way. 
Trainers won’t necessarily focus on improving you as a person, as their core role is teaching you a particular skill
With training, you are instructed what to do and how to do it. You have little control over the process or outcome. 
A trainer will form a transactional relationship that is not legally held confidential. They will involve themselves in your learning process to ensure you gain knowledge and understanding of the subject. 
What are Mentors? 
Mentors focus on providing you with advice and wisdom based on their gathered experience and knowledge, when you ask for their help. 
Mentors are an excellent source of knowledge in the areas of life and work where they have gained expertise and normally focus on providing knowledge, understanding and direction. They may have been enlisted by organisations to help you or your colleagues to improve as a person or for promotion. 
Very often they are colleagues working in your industry or organisation and aren’t always readily available for you when you are trying to overcome a problem. 
Is Self-help right for me? 
If you have enlisted self-help processes in the past, you will have followed the advice in self-help books, television shows, podcasts, seminars, radio shows, Internet sites etc. 
You could adopt this style of development if you, as the customer, are motivated and driven enough to summon up the energy and direction to learn and do what is recommended to accomplish your goals. 
The self-help process requires you to conduct most, if not all, of the improving process alone. 
This is by far the cheapest method of personal-development. However, using the self-help process alone can often result in incompletion or incomplete results if you don’t have ongoing support or motivation. 
What is Traditional Psychotherapy? 
Psychotherapy is an interpersonal process used by highly trained healthcare professionals to aid you in problems of living. 
We have significant experience of the therapies used by these professionals, the process includes providing you with an increased sense of well-being and reducing discomforting experiences through lengthy discussion. 
Psychotherapists can employ a wide range of techniques based on relationship building, verbal communication and behaviour change designed to improve your mental health and / or to improve relationships (such as in a family or workplace). 
A few short paragraphs can’t do justice to the intricacies and specialisms within each of these fields; our aim as Coaches, is to give you a brief overview of a few of the options available to you and help you see that you have choices when seeking life changes. 
Only you will know what is right for you, and we recommend you make contact with any of the above to learn more. Whether you choose coaching or one of the other options above, the most important thing is to take action! 
If you are interested in learning how coaching can help you achieve life changing goals and the future you want. Then please contact us at achieve@oxygencoachingcompany.com or arrange a discovery call. 
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