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What is a Coach?

What is a Coach?


  • A coach is a facilitator of someone’s thought process to create personal change
  • Through the use of questions and listening coaches enable people to learn about and change what motivates them, and what their beliefs and skills are
  • A coach helps individuals discover how to get what they want and what the organisation wants
  • The scope of coaching discussions would generally be limited to the acquiring to a new capability but could also be more generally related to personal career progression
  • The coach may choose to be directive and give advice based on experience but would usually be more facilitative and draw from the individual’s experience

  • A Mentor is usually a senior figure inside or outside the organisation who could act as a career guide
  • Within large organisations, Mentors are often useful for individuals who are potential high flyers as they can help spot opportunities and open doors
  • Mentors take a long term view, helping individuals discover long term goals and how to reach them
  • Mentors may tend to meet individuals less frequently than coaches

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  • “Leaders do the right things” – i.e. they are effective
  • A leader has the responsibility managing for a team of individuals to deliver tasks that meet organisational goals
  • A leader’s role is to create a vision and inspire his/her team to deliver best possible performance through involvement, development, innovation and creativity rather than directing and controlling
  • A leader changes his/her style of leadership depending on the capability and commitment of the staff member
  • The more a leader empowers his/her staff to take responsibility where possible and be leaders themselves, the better the leader they are
  • The leader also acts as a coach to their team for the delivery of team objectives
  • The leader is a role model

  • Traditionally, “Line managers do things right” i.e. they are efficient – they establish and manage budgets, resources, people and processes to meet organisational goals
  • Line managers are focussed on the here and now of getting things done and making things happen
  • Nowadays in progressive company cultures, a line manager who is responsible for a team, should act as a leader
  • In company cultures where freedom is not encouraged, line managers take a more directive approach yet still act as role models like leaders
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