Transactional versus Transformational Coaching

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Coaching holds the promise of transformational change, but not all

coaching delivers on this promise. Coaching that is limited to being

transactional, for example, focusing more on surface-level issues

such as tactical actions, follow-up, and advice, fails to access the full

transformational power of coaching. With transactional coaching,

clients often learn technical skills and personal effectiveness techniques

but little else. This kind of coaching can be useful in situations

where assistance with technical expertise is required, but it is

not strategic, and the value derived is minimal. Clients who are

engaged in transactional coaching may report making progress

initially, often in areas of personal effectiveness, but within a few

months they often find that their interest in coaching is waning and

they are uncertain about what additional value can be derived.

The transformational power of coaching lies in the ability to

transform insight into action. Transformational coaching guides

clients to reach into their own treasure trove of inner resources and

use those resources to create personal and organizational change.

Transactional coaching tends to skim across the surface, whereas

transformational coaching creates awareness and delivers results on

many levels. Insight—that inner knowing that resides within us

all—is the essential ingredient for transformational change. The

continuous exchange of insight and action, one fueling the other,

forms the core of transformational coaching.