How do you learn to ride a bike?

A seemingly simple thing, you would think? Here I set out the methodologies offered by consultants, therapists, counsellors and mentors to explain the differences of each and to clarify how a coach can add real value.

A coach is not a consultant, therapist, counsellor or mentor. Let’s use the simple analogy of riding a bike to explain the differences.

Therapists would help you learn what is holding you back from riding a bike and would delve into your past to discover what kind of experience you had with a bicycle when young.

Consultants, meanwhile, would bring you the bicycle manual and tell you everything about its workings, then depart and return six months later to see how you were doing.

Mentors, on the other hand, would share their experiences of bike riding and the lessons that they had learned, and bestow on you their bicycle riding wisdom.

Coaches, however, would help you get on the bicycle and then encourage, endorse, acknowledge and support you while running alongside until you felt comfortable enough to go it alone. Coaching helps identify your skills and capabilities and enables you to use them to the best of your ability and increase your independence.

The aim of coaching is to get you from where you are now to where you want to be.