Black Oak Coaching

Living with Change & Personal Growth Coaching


Yes, but what IS coaching?

The two main types of coaching, and why it is important.
I have found that there really is a great deal of confusion around coaching and what it actually is. As I think about it, I guess it’s really not surprising, as we grow up and learn about the world, the most used definition of coach we see is one who is leading a team, helping the team to get better in a sport, individually and collectively. That’s the coaching definition that we first hear and understand. And sometimes it’s difficult to wrap our heads around an additional definition, no matter how much we might want to.

When I accepted my first coaching role and started down the certified-coaching path, I too had to really understand that there really are two main types of Coaching; Coaching for Compliance and Coaching with Compassion. Neither is wrong, but they are two very different types of approaching a situation.

  • Coaching for Compliance: The type of coaching where you, as an expert and very knowledge-able person in your field, are guiding, mentoring and moulding the coachee in that area of expertise, in order to get them to comply and excel. This is often used in an area where someone is not meeting expectations and needs to improve within specific parameters. The idea of correctional advisement. “You did this, when you should be doing this” or “You performed poorly, when you should be performing better”.

  • Coaching with Compassion: The type of coaching where the coach don’t have all the answers and is helping the coachee to identify and realize their power within, their ability to take control, and their ability to find a path, in order to move forward in a specific situation or in their lives in general. The coach uses empathy, compassion and accountability to help the coachee realize their own strengths and weaknesses, and identify and commit to their own way forward in whatever situation they are currently in. This type of coaching also works in the present, by holding accountability for an amazing future. It’s compassionate, it’s caring, it’s empathetic and it truly holds the best idea and wishes for the coachee/client.

They both have accountability and they both can be amazingly productive, but they are drastically different.
This coaching with compassion is where I firmly and passionately, place my practice. I’ve experienced its power in my own life and seen it change so many others.

I don’t have all the answers and my life isn’t perfect, and that’s OK.
My coaching isn’t about me.

It IS in service of and to the coachee/client.