Being a Coach, not doing Coaching — Tom McCallum

Tom McCallum
2 min readMar 24, 2022

This week I was on a group call with a network of coaches and found myself mentoring them around coaching skills as some of them had been on a multi-day coaching skills course. I myself went on this (with the same master coach leading the course) for the first time over a decade ago and it remains the single most powerful learning experience ever for me.

The group call found the group asking me a lot of questions around coaching and coaching skills and the transition from being an expert businessperson (perhaps some think of themselves as a consultant) and the transition to being a coach.

One thought I had as some were wrestling with thoughts around this transition is that it is easy to get lost in definitions, in tools, skills, methods.

However, the distinction for me is between BEING a Coach and DOING Coaching.

The journey of learning as a coach is ongoing, we practice, we never attain full mastery. One key marker on that journey is when we realised we have stopped DOING coaching, that we are simple BEING a coach.

Being a coach is about a mindset, an energetic state. It is about being present with and for the client fully, deeply listening to understand what they are focussed on, what their agenda is, then supporting them in finding the answers. Sure, sometimes the coach will, from their experience and expertise, give advice (when asked), yet the role of a coach is to BE the coach, to be that person that supports the person in being better, in finding the answers for themselves faster, smoother, easier than they could on their own.

Originally published at on March 24, 2022.



Tom McCallum

Sounding Board for Visionary Leaders ready to make a Massive Impact. Daily posts here, or