What Is Online Coaching? The Difference Between An Online Coach And A Tutor

Learn about online coaching and learn about the difference between an online coach and a tutor and what makes a coach stand out.

Let’s start the article by the simplest definition of ‘coaching’ because this article is for all of those people who are interested in coaching or are likely to start their new coaching business.

So what exactly is online coaching? 

Online Coaching is simply a way in which an experienced coach instructs others, with the use of the internet, in order to give mental help or physical help for completing future tasks or assignments.

So what does it take to excel in coaching and how is it different from being a tutor?

This article will answer all that! 

So let’s get started! 

Who Is A Coach?

A coach is a person who guides and motivates his/her pupils for the completion of their goals.

He can also offer a certain amount of training to his new learners for specific tasks.

As coaching also means an informal relationship between two parties; the coach and the learner, you can also call the learner as a ‘coachee’.

This relationship works on the effort of both parties and that is why this is also called a one-on-one relationship/interaction.

But we should all know that the coaching is different from mentoring someone.

It differs in the way by focusing on specific tasks or objectives, as opposed to more general goals or overall development.

On some level training and coaching also differs from each other, for instance, in training, knowledge is more likely to be transferred towards coachee but in coaching, the focus shifts from merely giving knowledge to enhancing coachee’s skills and previous knowledge.

In the training session, mostly there are new employees or learners/clients but coaching is done with the experienced people.

Besides, training is always a structured programme but on the other hand, coaching does not have to be a structured programme, it can be unstructured too.

And in coaching the whole focus is shifted towards the development instead of mere learning.

Hence simply, coaching is a whole process which aims towards improving performance and focuses on the attitude ‘here and now’ rather than worrying about the distant past or future.

A good coach always believes in his clients/learners and has that self-confidence which he can pass on to his clients/learners in which they believe more and more in themselves, and they believe that they have the answers to their solutions if they do not give up.

So how does a coach differs from an online tutor? 

Let’s analyze. 

1. An Online Coach Enhances Knowledge While A Tutor Transfers Knowledge

We think that you all can easily guess the difference between coaching and tutoring because we know that teaching is largely about the transference of knowledge. 

It does not have a severe responsibility of shifting its focus on the development of personalities of the learners.

Whereas, coaching entails this very responsibility.

In the business of coaching, whether it is online or face-to-face, it worries about the enhancement; the enhancement of knowledge, the enhancement of the learner’s personality, the enhancement of his skills.

Besides, a tutor, also either online or face-to-face interaction; only gives you knowledge about things but his job description does not entail this detailed work on a learner’s personality and the successful completion of his certain tasks.

A tutor may try to motivate you with the knowledge and his teaching strategies but a coach personally helps you to stay motivated and mentally healthy so you can reach the finish line.

Teaching is an approach which works under a certain fixed structure, which may further include steps towards the end of lessons.

A coach, on the other hand, is not a slave of steps or a fixed structure.

He interacts with his learners/clients and molds his ways according to each person.

He focuses on every learner separately and attends them individually.

A tutor makes you understand about the basics or detailed knowledge related to the topic, which may be the end of his focus, but the coach works to increase your abilities as well as your knowledge on the certain task/topic.

A tutor works by the book, whereas, the coach personalizes his programme according to the learner’s needs and requirements.

The difference, which we all may find huge between both is, that where a teacher gives you the fundamental/general know-how on topics, the coach prepares you for the real world and its application.

2. A Coach Guides In Building Self Belief While A Tutor Focuses On Academic Success

One fundamental thing which should be clear in our minds now is that tutor focuses on academic results only but a coach makes you ready for the real world struggles related to the area of your work.

A coach guides you to build your self-confidence.

He may also give you different tasks to build up your confidence, he may work on some physical and mental exercises with you to boost up your self-believe.

This self-believe and self-confidence then boost up the level of your self-actualization.

In a way, we can say that a tutor’s job is somehow superficial but a coach’s work is personal and requires more effort than a mere lecture on things.

By calling a tutor’s work superficial does not make it inferior or minor. 

In fact, we can easily say that a coach’s work starts where a tutor’s work ends.

Because a teacher does not worry much about the implication of the knowledge he provides to his learners. 

His work is to impart knowledge and answer the questions of his learners. 

It is not his responsibility to personally train each and every individual separately and see if they are ready to put forth their knowledge practically in the world.

Whereas, a coach sees these kinds of issues.

Because he looks after the mental health of his clients, he personally sharpens and enhances his practical skills and it is his responsibility to make them stand on their own in the related area or field.

That is why people hire a coach.

Coaches can be taken as leaders because they coach you and lead you towards the fulfilment of your goals.

He trains your mind and as well as your body, your character to face the obstacles.

These obstacles need not to be something which one can see through eyes only, in fact, they can be mental obstacles which involve one’s personality.

Abstract hurdles are the worst and that is why a coach helps you to diminish them.

3. An Online Coach Guides While A Tutor Instructs

We think that all of you can imagine this phenomenon easily, that how guidance is more important than a mere instruction.

And especially when this guidance comes with some exercises which further helps you to achieve your wanted aim.

It is a sure thing that all of us would love an individual guidance much more than a two-step instruction.

For instance, a coach can give you some exercises to give you indirect guidance. 

This way learners do not become passive and they still believe in themselves.

These guidance exercises can be like completing sentences by putting their personal thoughts and perceptions in them.

For instance, like:

  • I believe…
  • I want to live in a world…
  • This is what I know to be true…
  • I want to become…
  • I want to reach my goals…

All of these sentences will entail their personal thoughts about their character and their true perception about their future, completion of their tasks and successfully reaching their goals, which they set for themselves.

Learners’ goals can be anything from a minor point to a huge success, they can set it however according to their needs and their coach has to guide them through to attain what they desire.

Doing these exercises will provide a couple of key benefits in building learner’s trust in their coach.

It also helps the learner to decide what he cares about most. 

So when they sit down to create such content for their exercises, believe us that they will surely have clarity on what key messages to emphasize and what they want.

Secondly, it also helps the coach to decide what he wants to be known for and for what he is working. 

What are his goals towards his clients or learners? 

Then the second essential phase is to choose what selected text of language they write in their sentences because it becomes their specialty and it gives them the transformation they want to associate with.

This way a coach can guide you through so many strategies and let you reach the point you wanted to reach.

4. An Online Coach Believes The Coachie Has Answers To Their Own Challenges But A Tutor Has The Right Answer

A tutor always thinks that he has one correct answer to each question and query his learners ask but the coach does not think this way; a coach knows that the same question can have many different answers when it is asked by different persons.

A coach believes that his coachie has all the answers to his questions within himself if he works to discover them, that is why the coach works to enhance his client’s skills and personality.

He motivates them enough to see all the answers in themselves, what they look outside of them.

That is how the coach guides his clients and lets them feel the self-confidence they require.

We can say that the coach is obviously not a subject expert but rather he is focused on helping the individual.

He helps them to unlock their own potential, which we called self-actualization above.

The focus is very much on the individual and what is inside their head.

The key skill of coaching is asking the right questions to help the individual work through their own issues.

This is the best way to work on an individual’s self-confidence.

A noticeable comparative point between the works of a coach and the tutor is that where we assume that the tutor’s work is somehow superficial, a coach works on a different level.

For instance, a tutor answers the questions which we relate as ‘What’, whereas, a coach works on the level of ‘How’.

A coach also works on coachie’s ‘present’ for his future.

And he believes that the future cannot be made better if there is no proper work and hard work done in the present.

He raises the bar of competence in you.

5. A Coach Helps People Unlock Their Own Potential While A Tutor Builds Concrete Skills

By now we all know how much a coach can work hard on and for his clients/learners. 

We know that he creates some personalized exercises for each of his clients to let him attain what he desires.

And for this he is willing to unlock their potential to let them see what they already had in them, they just wanted some work to let their true potential out.

We know that when we believe in someone’s potential, our beliefs about the capability of others have a direct impact on their performance.

That is why the purpose of coaching is to unlock people’s potential to maximize their own performance

It is to help them to learn rather than teaching or telling them. 

And there are some trivial but fundamental examples in front of us all, such as:

How did you learn to walk? 

Did your mother or father instruct you? 

We all have a built-in and inborn natural learning capability which is far more incredible than we realize.

Attaining true inner potential is the engine of coaching and of performance. 

Because while leaders focus on potential and observe the coaching fundamentals of curiosity along with a non-judgmental attitude and companionship, they no longer measure people by their past performance or even blame them for mistakes, they just keep on moving forward with them towards the results.

This way fear and other inner interferences decrease like a miracle.

Self-belief, awareness and responsibility increases

By adopting a coaching frame of mind, leaders can release rich reserves of talent and motivation and a strong sense of purpose in their clients and learners.


Now we believe that after reading this article, you must have reached the point where you have gotten all the answers to your previous queries about coaching. 

We believe that you are now ready to launch your own coaching business.

We hope you found this article helpful! 

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