Coaching, an important aspect of employee development helps employees to enhance their performance. Coaching and therapy as terms ought not to be used synonymously. Many coaches, especially the new ones, are either unaware or simply ignore the differences between coaching and therapy.
Coaching enhances an employee’s performance by systematically transforming the individual actions or behaviours into a learning experience under the able guidance of a coach. Therapy on the other hand is treatment aimed to improve the undesirable symptoms to the point of being curative.
- Therapy, principally deals with changing a client’s behavioural patterns, whereas coaching assumes that the client is already functioning well but needs to enhance his performance.
- Therapy works on the client’s past that reflects on his present and tries to correct it. Coaching is oriented towards the future goals of the individual and helps him achieve them.
- While therapy aims to remove the emotional pain of the client coaching emphasises on overcoming obstacles and acquiring new skills.
- A therapist tries to find the causes or symptoms of a problem whereas coaches emphasise on problem solving techniques.
A coach should be very careful while dealing with his clients. The clients might show symptoms of a psychological problem, which need a therapist. These symptoms help him decide whether the client needs therapy or coaching.
Coaches should refer the client to a therapist immediately after determining that he needs therapy. This has to be done carefully as it is a sensitive issue. While appointing coaches, organisations should ensure that they are efficient. Appointing their own managers, as coaches would help because they are aware of organisational and employee needs.