In one of my past articles, I spoke briefly on the different types of leadership advice that someone might get, with the most familiar type being the mentor. In this article, I want to show how a Coach approaches challenges in a way that a mentor might not be equipped to do.

People or organizations often hire Coaches to help with problems. The most common way we can address any kind of challenge is by analyzing exactly why there is a challenge in the first place.

For example, let’s say Sue is transitioning into a new position within her company, and it’s her first opportunity to really lead a team there. She has expressed concerns to her Leadership Coach surrounding this upcoming change.

When Sue and her Coach sit down to talk about it, Sue begins to list all the reasons why she is having difficulties. This is where the magic of a Coach happens.

Behind Sue’s story surrounding her current challenge, there are themes and underlying details that Sue completely overlooked, but her Coach has the training to catch. A professionally trained Coach cares a lot less about the details or how things happened, and more about the why that’s behind it all.

Once the Coach has extracted those bits of information, the real work can begin. From here a Coach can take that why information and translate it into actionable tasks to work on. With their expansive toolkit of personal development tools, Sue’s Coach will be able to guide her through those challenges and arrive at solutions that come from within.

Sue will come out of her Coaching a more well-rounded person able to tackle those transitional challenge head on, with a new knowledge of how to approach them.

Now, what would a mentor have done?

As we discussed before, a mentor might not have the exact toolkit to get Sue to this point. A mentor, or someone without a Coaching education, can only call back on their own experiences. This isn’t always as helpful as the self-reflection and growth that a Coach can provide.

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