What will help to build your confidence?

You, or someone you know, needs help developing greater confidence or self-esteem. You’ve heard some people saying that training is an effective approach. You’ve read that coaching might help you see things differently. One of your friends is a keen advocate for counselling. How do you decide which approach will work?

First, it helps to understand the difference between the three approaches. This ensures that you’re working in a way that you feel comfortable with. Training is a group process which focuses on providing models and techniques for workshop participants to try out together. Because it is a group approach, you will find this most useful if you are willing to participate in class conversations and small group activities.


Coaching is a one-to-one technique, in which a trained practitioner asks you questions to help you solve your own problems. Good coaches don’t advise, they guide. They’re clear about the focus of the conversation, which in coaching, is moving from where you are now, to where you want to be.

Counselling, on the other hand, focuses more on past experiences. It is a ‘deeper’ style of working and should only be undertaken with a qualified counsellor, psychotherapist, or psychologist.

With these distinctions in mind, here’s a tool you can use to work out which approach is most appropriate for you or the person you care about.

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About the author of this article

The author of this article, Eleanor Shakiba, is passionate about bringing out the best in professional women.  She has been a trusted coach and trainer to thousands of women in high intellect fields. Eleanor is based in Sydney and has an international client base. She is qualified in Social Anthropology, Applied Psychology, Adult Education and Neuro Linguistic Programming.