What’s the Difference Between Business Coaching and Executive Coaching services?by Simon Hartley Consultant There are lots of terms used to describe coaching services in business. You’d be excused for not knowing whether these terms all refer to the same service, or whether there is a difference. Some of these terms, such as business coaching, executive coaching and performance coaching, seem to be used inter-changeably on occasions. So, what’s the difference? Is there a difference?
I was asked a question recently. “So, are you a business coach? Are you going to tell me how to run my business?”. I smiled. “No”, I replied, “I’m not a business coach. I can’t tell you how to run your business. In fact, I wouldn’t profess to tell anyone how to run their business. My job is to help you run your mind. When you run your mind better, I suspect that you’ll also run your business better”.
The business leader looked at me for a moment. “Interesting.”, he said, “So, what do you call your service?”. I explained that it is a very good question, and one that I’ve been grappling with myself for some time. Traditionally I have called it sport psychology, because for the first 10 years of my career I worked exclusively with athletes and sports teams. During the last 10 years, I have started to apply the same principles that I have used in sport, to businesses, in education and in healthcare. Of course, what I do in business is fundamentally the same as in sport. I use the same approaches and the same methods. However, in business you can’t really use the term ‘sport psychology’. Understandably, business leaders don’t know how ‘sport psychology’ applies to them.
I went on to explain that, in truth, I don’t apply sport psychology methods into business. The truth is that ever since I began, I’ve been practicing human performance psychology. To begin with I applied this purely with athletes. Now-a-daysI have clients in many difference disciplines. However, fundamentally, I do the same stuff, just with a different audience.
The business leader nodded. “That’s very interesting”, he said, “but you still haven’t told me what you call it”. I chucked. “True.”, I replied, “Most of my clients know it as ‘Executive Coaching Services’. However, I tend to use the term ‘Performance Coaching’. My aim is to help them perform better, by getting their mental game right. However, some of my clients have told me that they don’t have a budget for ‘Performance Coaching’, but they do have a budget for ‘Executive Coaching’, so that’s what we agree”. He laughed and said, “Well, whatever we call it, I can certainly see why it’s valuable. How can we get started?”.
I’m very happy to say that this particular business leader has been a valued client of mine ever since.
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