Coaching and Mentoring: 9 Myths of Coaching

Myth 1: You need to be an expert:
You don’t and often knowing what you would do and how, gets in the way of the coachee finding the right answer for them.

Myth 2: You need to have a formal coaching qualification:
No not necessarily, but you do need some key interpersonal skills, broad life and business experience.
The knowledge of and confidence to use an appropriate coaching model and approach would be very useful.

Myth 3: You should not coach a manager and someone reporting to them
Yes you can. However in all things coaching and mentoring be extra confidential and make sure that you are not being used as a communicating vehicle for them.

Myth 4: You must know the answers:
Absolutely not.
However it is your role to help the coachee to find answers that will work for them.

Myth 5: You give coachees what they want (ask for):
Yes but occasionally you should also offer them what you perceive they need – which may well be very different from what they are asking for.

Myth 6 : You cannot coach someone on the telephone:
Yes you can and some coaches have set themselves up coaching purely on the telephone
– However it is not the same communication relationship experience as face to face and we only use telephone conversations or emails usually to augment face to face coaching sessions.

Myth 7: It is enough for a coachee to merely ‘get it off their chest’
Whilst there is a benefit for coachees to be able to unburden themselves to a coach this is not the point of the exercise.
The aim is for them to think and then ACT differently as a result.

Myth 8: You must stick to the organisation’s agenda:
Not in our experience, however if an agenda does exists then you should ensure that the coachee knows exactly what it is from their manager/sponsor and that they buy-in to working on it.
The essence of non-directive coaching is that the coachee gets to work on their own agenda and not just that dictated by the organisation.
It is important that the sponsor knows that you are taking this approach.
In either case usually the end goal is to help the coachee to maximise their performance and satisfaction.

Myth 9: Anyone can be coached:
Only if they take responsibility, follow through on the actions that they have agreed and they want to be supported by a coach.