Consulting vs. Coaching. We can consider coaching a form of consulting. Consulting is often more information and expertise based. For example, you might hire a consultant to help your business with a specific problem. Coaches may not have expertise in your field. A coach is a specialist at helping you improve your professional and/or personal life. Unlike many consultants who propose a solution and leave you to implement it, your coach stays with you to help you integrate the changes, new skills, and goals to make sure they really happen. This makes coaching effective.
Therapy vs. Coaching. Coaching is not therapy. Life coaches don't work on past-based issues or traumas. If you start life coaching and have not resolved an issue from the past, then it is likely you need to work with a therapist to resolve the issue. It is very common for unresolved traumas or addictions to stop us from getting what we want in our lives. Life coaches focus on the present and your goals for the future. We help you move forward and set personal and professional goals that will give you the life and career you really want. Most coaching clients are healthy, successful people who might be stuck or want to make a big change in their lives and want the support of a coach to do so.
Close friends vs. Coaching. Typically, friends are not professionals who are able and who have the time or the concentration to guide you through a structured process to achieve the most important aspects of your personal and professional life.
Sports. Life coaching often includes principles from sports coaching, such as being your best, doing more than you think you can, working with a team, going for the goal. However, unlike sports coaching, coaching is not about comparative competition; it is about incremental a better version of yourself according to your own standards and values.
The underlying philosophy of life coaching: If there is a gap between where you are now and where you want to be, then there is room for life coaching. Obviously, it is possible to close this gap on your own. However, coaching benefits are substantial. First, social and financial commitments increase motivation, focus, and seriousness about one's own personal and professional development. Second, a skillful coach provides a honed outside-view and goal-oriented processability and knowledge that leads to high-quality systems, strategies, and actions consistently. As a result, the gap between valuable theory and daily practice will be closed.