In my last three posts, I have talked about the differences between knowledge and skills coaching (Just scroll down to read them).
Consider this post a summary of them all.
To answer the title of this post – “Is all coaching the same?” The answer is no.
There is a difference between skills and knowledge.
And there is definitely a difference in coaching to each of those outcomes.
It is easier to coach knowledge. You can give advice on the facts, data and what works and doesn’t work.
It takes less time to coach knowledge – it can be a one way communication and done pretty quickly.
It is more predictable to coach to knowledge, because you know what you want to share, and the questions are also pretty standard, if they are asked at all.
And while there are times in real life people need us to coach to knowledge; the reality of most executive leadership coaching, supervisor coaching, ledership coaching, and in fact most coaching and mentoring of any kind, is that people want and need to improve their skills.
People want and need to perform better and get better results. While some additional knowledge is needed, what is needed much more fully is feedback on skills and a chance to practice.
So coaching to skills is needed.
And coaching to skills is harder, takes longer, is less predictable, and requires more patience. It also requires more dialogue and less one way communication.
If you want to be a more effective coach in real life, you need to recognize the differences betwen coaching for skills and coaching for knowledge, and know that while both are valuable, in the end we must improve our ability to coach for skills.