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Therapy vs Coaching vs Mentoring

Humble Rising E79 Transcript

[00:00:00] We all deserve to have fulfilling careers and lives. We deserve to experience joy and peace, and freedom and all of those things that make us feel truly alive.

[00:00:20] It takes a lot of courage. For us to take the reins in our lives and take action that honors the deepest parts of ourselves in this current season of life. It takes a lot of courage to lean into growing and to lean into learning and to know when it's time to make a change. I’m Arivee, I'm a first generation Latina mom of three, and life and high performance coach to women just like you.

[00:00:50] And this podcast is for all of us looking to grow and learn and explore what a joyful and fulfilling life and [00:01:00] career can look like. And how to start living into that life right now. We're going to go deep and we're going to honor our truth in this podcast, and the best thing is we're gonna do it together.

[00:01:13] So welcome to the Humble Rising Podcast.

[00:01:26] Today I'm going to answer one of the most common questions I get asked on coaching discovery calls. Discovery calls, are calls that are about 20 minutes to 30 minutes where I speak to a prospective client to talk through whether I can be helpful as a coach and if we'd be a great fit for each other, and the question that I often get asked on these discovery calls

[00:01:56] is, what's coaching and how [00:02:00] is coaching different from mentoring and how is it different from therapy? Because for me, what I will always do is if women don't ask on the call, I proactively share what the difference is, because it's important to know that what you're getting is a coach, and that a coach is separate and distinct from what I do as a mentor or what you'd be getting from a therapist.

[00:02:27] Mentoring, coaching and therapy are all different types of support and guidance that you may seek out. And while there are some similarities, there are key differences between them. So let's go through each of them one by one and I'll dig deeper into coaching in a bit. Let's start with mentoring. I've probably mentored hundreds of people at this point in my career, and it is one of my great [00:03:00] loves.

[00:03:00] I really do nurture and love those relationships. The other day, I was talking to one of my mentees who I met at least 10 years ago about a career move. That she wants to make like now, and we have a relationship where she can always text me and I will be there for her no matter what. I'll call her on my way to get my kids whatever it takes to give her the guidance and support that she needs in real time.

[00:03:27] And that's really the key word when you think about mentoring, that key word is guidance. Mentoring typically involves a more experienced person providing guidance, advice, and support to someone who's less experienced, like less senior in a specific area such as career development. Or building a specific skillset.

[00:03:55] And mentors are usually experts in their field. They provide insights. They can [00:04:00] provide connections to other people that you, they think you should know, get to know, introduce you to, and they can help provide feedback to you, to help you grow and to help you develop and navigate different challenges that you may be experiencing.

[00:04:14] So for example; you know a partner at a firm or you know, a judge or a very senior attorney may mentor a junior attorney and that more junior attorney or that less experienced attorney may ask them for advice on how to navigate certain challenges, or they may ask them for advice on career opportunities or options.

[00:04:37] And the mentee may ask their mentor questions like, how should I navigate a difficult conversation to have with someone? Maybe a mentee will ask their mentor, Hey, I'm thinking about asking my manager for a promotion or a raise. Can we talk through the best approach for that or, Hey, I have these three concurrent cases, one of [00:05:00] them is going to pick up significantly.

[00:05:02] How do I manage telling one of the partners that I need to pull back from that other case? Is that even the right approach? Or maybe if you're an attorney and you're at a firm, you wanna make partner, what are the things I need to be thinking about and what steps do I need to be taking to get there?

[00:05:19] Or mentees could even ask a mentor, Hey, are there one to two people you can introduce me to that could help me further in this or that area? Depending on what you're asking. The key here is that it's really about leveraging your mentors experience, their connections, their perspective. That really serves as the basis for them giving you that guidance and that advice.

[00:05:44] It's not a side note. It's an important note. Mentors and sponsors are different. A sponsor tends to be a mentor. But a mentor is not always a sponsor. Now, you may be thinking, well, what's the difference between a [00:06:00] sponsor and a mentor? You are only gonna be talking about mentors. Aha. We need to talk about this too though.

[00:06:05] A sponsor is someone who is in a position to advance your career. They have the power to either make the call, like make that decision, or they are in a position of power to influence a decision that would have a direct positive impact on you and your advancement. They're basically in the room where it happens.

[00:06:26] That is a Hamilton reference. Please, if you do not know that, go watch the movie or go see the play. They're basically in the room where it happens or has the ear of the person or people who are there in the room where it happens and making the decisions. Now as you climb in your career and you advance in your career or you whatever you're doing, having both mentors and sponsors is critical.

[00:06:53] I do not believe I would have had all the opportunities I did without them. I mean, to be [00:07:00] clear, I worked my behind off. I worked very hard, and I recognized the doors that were shown to me. Made available for me to walk through with the support of mentors and sponsors, so I didn't wanna continue without differentiating between mentors and sponsors in raising that point.

[00:07:18] Now, let's turn to coaching. Coaching. Unlike mentoring is focused on helping you identify and achieve specific goals. A coach can help you develop skills, maybe it's leadership skills, clarify your goals, and identify any obstacles that might be preventing you or slowing you down from achieving what you want to achieve in any area of your life.

[00:07:45] Coaches are typically certified, I believe they should be anyway, to work with you. You should require that they have some type of certification. They've been to some kind of training. They have hours, right? They've coached a lot of people, and typically coaches use some kind of structured approach [00:08:00] to guide clients through a process of self-discovery to guide clients through a process of goal setting and action planning.

[00:08:08] I definitely have my own frameworks that includes at a minimum, Assessing current state, understanding the outcome of result that a client wants to achieve, and thinking through why that's so important to them and what challenges could come up along the way. Now I'm going to dig even deeper into coaching, but I wanna touch on therapy for a minute.

[00:08:31] Therapy unlike mentoring and unlike coaching, is focused on helping you deal with issues impacting your mental health and wellbeing. Therapists work with clients to explore and process their past, like their childhood, or perhaps it is a traumatic experience and its impact on the present, like how that's impacting your current behavior.

[00:08:56] And therapists work with clients to explore their thoughts, [00:09:00] their feelings, their behaviors, and to develop strategies for managing difficult emotions and coping with stress like cognitive behavioral therapy. That's a very common technique. In therapy is really often more focused on addressing underlying psychological issues, whereas mentoring and coaching are more focused on that goal setting piece, raising awareness, raising self-awareness, raising internal learning and goal setting, and personal professional growth.

[00:09:32] And development so that you can get to where you wanna go and be who you wanna be. I, I think of therapy as more about processing the past and its impact on the present and coaching as more looking at the present for the purpose of designing the future. So overall, while mentoring and coaching and therapy involve providing support and guidance to you, they have different goals.

[00:09:57] They have different focuses, and they have different [00:10:00] approaches, and it's really important that you choose the right one for what you need. Remember, you could have all of them concurrently. Like you could have a coach and a therapist and a mentor, right? I mean, a lot of people do have coaches and mentors at the same time, or they have mentors and therapists at the same time.

[00:10:19] But you need to be clear about why you've engaged each one, right? Like what's the need you are seeking to fulfill with each of those relationships? And I'll also highlight here that some coaches are also consultants and some coaches are also therapists. Meaning a lot of therapists will get their like life coaching certification or a life coach will go to school and become a therapist and they'll get their clinical hours and become a licensed therapist.

[00:10:45] But in those worlds where a coach may also be a consultant or a coach may also be a therapist, the agreement between you and that person would typically outline precisely which service they are providing you. [00:11:00] You know, what I sometimes see in my discovery calls is that someone is really seeking a mentor, not a coach.

[00:11:06] And I'm honest about that when I'm talking to them and I explain the, the difference between the two. Or I see someone who is seeking a coach but is in some type of acute, emotional, or mental distress, or is in such an emotional or mental state that they'd benefit from working with a therapist first before working with a coach.

[00:11:29] Because to me, and this really sometimes depends on the coach. But to me, I don't think you can be forward looking if you're in acute distress or you're suffering from depression and anxiety, or you're burnt out and you're not able to function on a daily basis. Like I've been there, I've been there, and I actually only worked with a therapist for about six months because the coaching work was not going to move forward.

[00:11:54] When I was in that type of deep depression, I needed a therapist, not a coach at that time. [00:12:00] Now, the other question related to all of this is, And maybe you're thinking it as well, Avi. Well, what's the main difference between a friend's support and the support of a coach? For example, a life coach, right? And this is what I'll say.

[00:12:14] A friend's support is typically based on their personal relationship with you. They know you, they have known you. Whereas if we're talking about life coaches, a life coach's support is based on a professional relationship. Here's what I mean. When you turn to a friend for their support, they will likely offer you, let's hope they offer you this, cuz if they don't, that may not be a friend that you wanna keep around.

[00:12:40] Okay? They will likely, they should offer you empathy. Compassion and a listening ear, they should be there for you. Okay? Friends may offer you their opinions and their advice based on their own personal experiences, but their perspective may not always be objective or based [00:13:00] on a deep understanding of your unique situation.

[00:13:03] On the other hand, a coach is trained to help you stay accountable to yourself. And is trained to help you support yourself. Coaches help you identify your goals. They help you develop a plan of action. They help you keep yourself accountable for making progress towards your goals. They are equipped and trained, hopefully cuz they're certified, right to ask you questions, to move the needle.

[00:13:29] Questions that make you think differently. Questions that make you consider another perspective on a situation. They ask questions to get to the root of what's going on in your life. This is my view. A great coach knows how to peel back the layer of the onion that is you. We know how to peel back layers.

[00:13:48] We understand that maybe the first answer to the question is it really the real answer, and we dig deeper. We go below surface level because we know that there's a lot inside of you, and so we ask you [00:14:00] questions so that you can become more aware of what's going on inside. We help you challenge your own beliefs.

[00:14:06] The ones that aren't serving you aren't moving you forward, the ones that are keeping you stuck. We help you challenge your own beliefs, those thoughts about what's going on in situations you're experiencing to get you to move forward. A coach will not typically offer you their personal opinions or advice.

[00:14:23] There are exceptions to this, and again, some coaches operate differently, but coaches typically are not there to offer you their personal opinions or advice, or they be consultants or mentors. To me, that's what the key difference is. But coaches will help you to find your own answers and solutions based on your unique needs and your circumstances.

[00:14:45] Because for a coach, how we think is you have your own inherent wisdom. You have your own. Inner knowing. Our job is to bring that out to view. And let that lead to your learning [00:15:00] and then to action so you can achieve what you wanna achieve. And this is really because no one is you and what works for one person may not work for another.

[00:15:09] What I have done in a coaching session with a client is say, okay, I'm going to offer a perspective. Would you like me to share that with you? And then I may give an opinion as well. But I'm always going to preface it with something so my client knows I'm stepping out a bit from my traditional coaching role, or I'm trying to break up the conversation so that they know, Hey, I'm pivoting a little bit because I'm about to give you something that typically isn't within the sphere of my coaching.

[00:15:35] Another key difference though between asking a friend for advice and their support and a coach's support is typically that, as I alluded to before, a coach's support is more goal oriented and structured. So coaches may use tools and techniques like visualization exercises, goal setting action planning to help you achieve what you wanna achieve, [00:16:00] your goals, your results.

[00:16:01] I personally love visualization exercises, intentions, exercises, goal setting values, core values exercises. Cause I really think they help to move the needle. And women really do seek coaching for a wide range of personal professional goals. So I do wanna share, and I've put them in about, I think five buckets, five different categories here.

[00:16:26] And some of these will naturally overlap, but I wanted to give you a sense of, hey, like why do women seek coaching? Okay, for personal professional goals, okay, but what does that mean? So here are some of those categories. The first, and you see this all over LinkedIn, there are a lot of coaches who are career clarity coaches, career development coaches, career coaches, and this is that first category, it's career development.

[00:16:49] So some women may seek the support of a coach to help them clarify their career goals, to clarify what they wanna do in their career. Help them recover from a layoff. Like, how do I get [00:17:00] back into the workforce? What do I wanna be doing? Some of them will seek support of a coach to help them advance in their career or develop some new skills.

[00:17:07] Maybe you wanna strengthen your leadership skills, for instance, and navigate some challenges in the workplace. The second category, that's a broader one. I would say it's personal growth and self-improvement. Women sometimes want coaching to help them overcome limiting beliefs, which are, that's a fancy phrase for beliefs that don't serve you.

[00:17:27] Beliefs that get in the way of you doing what you want to do or what you say you wanna do, right? So some women seek coaching to help them with that. Some seek this type of personal growth coaching to improve their confidence to develop new habits and routines. A big one here could be getting a coach to help you set and keep boundaries to help you set and reinforce boundaries with work and others and with yourself, so you can take care of yourself, so you can master yourself care.

[00:17:57] You can make yourself a priority. You can make [00:18:00] your wellbeing a priority. That's definitely a big one that I see there. The third category, why women sometimes see coaching is to help them improve their communication skills. Maybe it's to navigate complex relationships with partners or family members or colleagues.

[00:18:14] So that third bucket is relationship support. The fourth category is life and career transitions. Maybe you want to seek coaching during a time of a transition, a significant life or career change such as motherhood. Maybe you are a new mother or you're becoming a mom of more than one child. Maybe it's a career shift or a career change that you want help with, or you're switching roles or industries, or you're navigating a new role at work.

[00:18:45] Again, that's a transition. The season of your life is shifting a bit. And then that fifth category is health and wellness. There are women who seek coaching to help them develop healthier habits, manage their stress, and improve their overall wellbeing. They wanna feel better, they wanna have more [00:19:00] energy, they wanna sleep better.

[00:19:01] So I would say overall women may go for coaching for a wide range of reasons. And honestly, in my coaching, a lot of these categories I've shared with you overlap. Because most of my clients are at some type of inflection point or crossroads in their life or their career, or both. And our big focus together is honesty about what is, like, what is the current reality.

[00:19:26] Let's be honest about the current reality, honesty about who we are, our values, what we want, what we need. The season we are in and setting goals that align with who we are and how we want to be living in the next six months to a year or more. And I do use a framework and exercises for that, but the common thread is always, it is always that the client has a desire for personal and professional growth.

[00:19:55] They have this desire, they're hungry to have [00:20:00] a sense of peace. To finally feel peace, to feel fulfillment, joy, alignment with their values and core beliefs. And they are ready. They're able and they're willing to invest in themselves to commit to that investment in themselves and their future. Most of my clients come to me when they can't take it anymore.

[00:20:22] Like some things I hear are, I can't live like this anymore. I can't continue to move through life like this anymore. And they've reached their fed up point. Okay, this is not, I wanna be really clear. This isn't that they have depression. They have not been clinically diagnosed with depression or anxiety or anything like that.

[00:20:39] It is that they have reached a point where they're just fed up with how it is. It's not causing them to not function on a daily basis. It's not interfering with basic functioning. Okay, but they wanna make different decisions, but they may not know how to do that. Or they need support along the way to make those different decisions, to consider other perspectives and to [00:21:00] make what they want happen.

[00:21:01] Or, you know, they don't wanna keep living with the internal tension they feel every day and they wanna feel differently and to feel differently. They know they have to think differently and change what they are doing. We wanna match what's inside, wanna match the inside with the outside. I wanna match my beliefs, my values, my thoughts with what I am actually doing on the outside, my daily actions, my daily behaviors.

[00:21:25] What I'm focusing on, where's my intention? Where's my attention going every day? There has to be alignment there. And as you know, I do mainly coach, first generation women and women of color. I mainly do coach them and there are common themes that arise with my clients. And I really do wanna share those with you and how as a coach and client, we've navigated some of those challenges.

[00:21:51] And I wanna really do that in an upcoming episode of the podcast because I wanna be able to do it justice and that will take some time. So you are [00:22:00] not going to wanna miss that. It may provide you with something that you can apply to your own life to help you move forward closer to where you want to be and closer to the person that you want to become.

[00:22:12] So beyond the lookout for that, you're not gonna wanna miss that. I do hope this episode was helpful in clarifying for you the difference between coaching, mentoring, and therapy. If you are interested in coaching, there are so many coaches out there. If you are ever interested in coaching with me, you can go to my website, it's, and reach out to connect with me directly there.

[00:22:38] I do have. I will say I do have a special offer coming up where I'm offering one-off coaching slots. One off coaching slot. So it's like a single session basically without the need to commit to more sessions, which I have never done before. I did not do this. So be on the lookout for that if you are not looking for that six week, three month, or six months coaching [00:23:00] commitment with me.

[00:23:00] But here's the thing. You will want to be on my email list to get access to all the details on that special offer and when I'm going to release it. In other words, you won't see me posting that special offer on LinkedIn or social media. It's only something I will be offering my email subscribers because of how seriously I take it that you all let me into your inbox twice a month.

[00:23:25] It's a really special relationship to me and I am treating it that way, so get on that email list. You can scroll down in the episode show notes to get on the list. Okay? Until next time, I need you to know you are powerful. Now you have the power to create, to nurture, to recreate the life and career you want and deserve in this particular season of your life.

[00:23:51] It is not too late. You can make it happen. You can. I know it. I know it.[00:24:00]


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