Leadership Rooted in Business Strength

Using the vFormation Coaching process, coaching for performance success involves three overlapping but distinct skills on the part of the coach: Coaching, Counseling and Mentoring.  Through a collaborative working relationship, the leader and the coach determine the optimal mix of these, based on the leader’s goals. 

  1. Coaching involves assessing the developmental needs of capable leaders and helping them achieve skill mastery for their current or future organizational roles.

  2. Counseling involves stronger direction on the part of the coach and focuses on measuring and delivering identified performance improvements.

  3. Mentoring enables high-performers to become all they can possibly be; frequently it occurs within organizational scenarios where personal advancement may be limited.

Our Principal, Bob Vavrina, sees a fundamental distinction between coaching on the one hand, and counseling and mentoring on the other. 

  1. Coaching is largely non-directive and focused on self-discovery, driven by the objective findings of an executive assessment. In coaching, the client does the lion’s share of the work, with the coach driving the assessment step of the process.

  2. Counseling and mentoring are more directed, and the coach more frequently advises or explains the way to move ahead or address skill development goals and challenges.


In an effective coach-client partnership, both people agree whether coaching, counseling or mentoring will provide the greatest development outcomes. An adept and experienced coach, however, will move fluidly among these to enable the best possible success from the engagement.

See this table that helps to differentiate the skills that comprise Bob’s approach.