Coaching is about having someone on your side. Someone with an outside perspective to bounce ideas off and get the encouragement and support that you need to ask more of yourself and to accomplish what you really want more easily. And we are talking about what YOU want -- not what you should want or somebody else thinks you should want.
Coaching helps you to focus, clarify and take action. It is an adult to adult relationship in which I will support you in being responsible for your own life choices. This includes supporting you in disregarding any of my suggestions or requests if you choose to do so.
Coaching is not therapy although that can have a useful role to play at different times. If you are in a lot of emotional pain or caught up with past issues then you may like to consult a professional therapist. Coaching is more concerned with taking appropriate action in the present time so as to create the life that you choose.
Coaching is not consultancy although that can also be a valuable tool and there is some overlap. Consultancy is appropriate if you want someone with specialist knowledge in a particular area to provide solutions and/or to implement them for you. Coaching is more to do with supporting you in generating and implementing your own solutions.
Coaching is not mentoring. Mentoring is a „sponsorship“ between a less experienced and a more experienced person inside or outside an organisation. The mentor’s task is to share knowledge specific to the organisation and the role and sometimes also to provide career-related advice. Mentoring aims to promote high potentials, reduce turnover and avoid conflict when integrating new employees. Coaching can therefore be an additional component in a mentoring relationship.
Coaching is not training. Training serves the targeted development of certain skills and/or behaviours. The individual needs of the client are important, but the focus is on delivering the training content (e.g. sales training, facilitation training, rhetoric training, presentation skills, etc.) to an audience.