What coaching suits you?

Getting help to get ahead

There are a range of ways in which you can receive aid to support you in achieving your goals.

The 10 different support roles provide quite distinct levels of support.  Therefore, when seeking aid it is important that you clarify what sort of support you want and ensure that you convey that expectation to the person you are soliciting support from (bearing in mind that they have the right to refuse).




Someone who will “promote” you to others and may even take action on your behalf.

Cheerleader or sponsor

This role offers positive emotional support.  They remind you of your positive qualities and strengths, work to restore a positive mindset and encourage commitment to your stated course of action.


Someone who takes an active role in supporting your endeavours through listening to you, offering advice and providing concrete skill-building support.  Maybe a professional service involving a fee or gratuity.


Some who receives a fee for providing you with emotional and behavioural guidance.  This can range from simply non-judgemental listening and reflecting up to and including information and social skill-building.  Counsellors are typically more in the traditional psychological or social work frame and can provide insights into thinking and behaviour styles.

Critical friend or accountability buddy

This role encourages accountability.  They remind you of the commitments you have made and to “nag” you into completing them.  This is a difficult role and it is important that there is absolute clarity with respect to expectations.  What form is the “nagging” to take?  How “heavy” are they expected to be?


A mentor is usually an “advanced” peer.  They are further up the chain of experiences and deemed “successful”.  The mentorship role can be one of unceremonious benevolence or can be more master/apprentice.  The two styles have different expectations sets.  Help can include access to networks, close supervision and constructive feedback, guidance and insider knowledge.

Non-judgmental listener

Someone to whom you can express your concerns and emotions.  They don’t add information, they simply allow you to debrief.  This can include reflecting your comments and feelings back to you.


This role is held by someone of similar “level” in terms of experience or achievement.  The role usually involves exchange of information, help and/or referral services.  If the relationship is not reciprocal in nature, then the expectation is that the one benefiting most from the relationship is to do the same for others lower down the chain of experience.  Peers offer the opportunity for checking our understanding, information, and appropriateness of action.