Coaching vs. Performance Improvement

By Del Negrillo, MATD Candidate

I am currently taking an Executive Coaching course and the author of one of the books we are reading, Flaherty, states that coaching is not helping someone improve “widget production”.

This doesn’t jive with me because of what coaching is supposed to do: improve the coachee and ready him for the “next level”.  What if the only thing holding the person back is his widget production?  The core of the issue may be something like time management, but the only indicator that time management is improving may be improvement in widget production.

I have received feedback from different sources that believe coaching and performance improvement are similar and interchangeable and that they are different.

In fact, these sources even break out the example above into being more coaching vs mentoring vs consulting.  Mentoring is more related to helping someone do better and coaching is helping someone “discover themselves” so they can do better at their task.

Consulting is something that helps others gain additional knowledge while coaching helps someone specifically improve in something.

A very interesting take on coaching vs performance improvement.  I myself am still stuck on the “line in the sand” difference between the two.  Maybe that is because coaching is a part of. Performance improvement.  Maybe it is that performance improvement is the over-arching goal and different functions play their role within to promote performance improvement.  So to me it is no longer coaching vs performance improvement, it is coaching to gain performance improvement.  Performance improvement may also include training and mentoring as well as other functions.

About Vince Cyboran

Professor in the graduate program in Training and Development of Roosevelt University.
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One Response to Coaching vs. Performance Improvement

  1. Heather Geegan says:

    I love your comparison of consulting and coaching, “Consulting is something that helps others gain additional knowledge while coaching helps someone specifically improve in something” (Del, 2012). I completely agree with your comment. Great blog Del!


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