What is Coaching?
The International Federation of Coaching defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. Participating in coaching is different than receiving advice from a consultant. The coaching process is client-focused and client-driven with the client choosing their priorities and action steps. The coach serves to: provide perspective, create focus, clarify intention, motivate, and build accountability through empowering the client.
Why would someone hire a Coach?
People from all walks of life work with coaches to achieve their goals. What they have in common is that they are committed to taking initiative in their own life and are willing to think and do things in new or different ways. Many clients are people who are already successful at their career but they want to things differently or they want to apply their skills in a different career field. Some are adjusting to a new job or work environment. Some clients are frustrated with a particular aspect of their life or they want to stop making poor choices and decisions. A person may have so many options they procrastinate or become overwhelmed with moving forward. Some people resist change or advice from friends/relatives and prefer to create their own path. Others may enjoy reading self-help books but still need an accountability partner to move forward.
People hire life coaches for a variety of reasons including:
- Seeking career advancement or a job change
- Adjusting to a work environment or organizational culture
- Acclimating to a new job
- Managing stress
- Finding a healthy personal relationship
- Losing weight
- Seeking financial freedom
- Goal setting and organization
- Balancing work and home
- Preparing for retirement
- Managing an estate
What does a Coach do?
A Professional Coach is a trusted partner who can help you identify and uncover what keeps you from reaching your fullest potential. It is a one-on-one relationship that provides a supportive and non-judgmental space to help you create what you want for yourself. You can find a Professional Coach to help you strategize and acquire the tools you need to achieve your goals. The coaching method consists of steps to help you identify and reframe your thoughts and attitudes. It can also help you break negative habits, acquire new methods of identification, and take action to achieve your maximum potential!
What can I expect from Coaching?
The results will vary depending on what brings you to a Professional Coach. If you get a Professional Coach to help you out professionally, coaching can help you make your current job more gratifying, gain better focus on managing your work, improve working relationships, and market yourself more effectively. If your reasons are personal, you can find a professional coach to help you improve your relationships, resolve ongoing negative behaviors, help with retirement or other life event transitions, improve your overall health, and grow spirituality.
What happens in a Coaching Session?
Each session is tailored to the client and will vary based on individual needs. In the beginning, we will discuss your wants and goals, define priorities and what you are committed to accomplishing through our work together. Periodically, you may be given assignments to help direct your progress. We will work together to acknowledge barriers, explore alternate perspectives and celebrate successes. With the conclusion of each session, we will revisit your goals and evaluate the next steps that are needed to achieve these results.
Do I really need a Coach or can’t I just do it by myself?
Certainly many people are capable of achieving their goals independently, but even those who appear independent may actually have a “personal community” of mentors and “feedback challengers” to gain perspective and assess strategy. Life coaching can take you above and beyond your own personal limitations. Feedback is a gift and is invaluable in moving forward throughout our life. It is human nature to surround ourselves with people similar to ourselves. Many times our friends, colleagues and relatives want to maintain a successful personal relationship and avoid conflict, thus we may not be receiving the feedback needed to make us successful. We may receive criticism or suggestions that may not be a “fit” for what we need to move forward. We may actually reject their ideas or not take the suggestion seriously. Sometimes one good question posed to a client at the right time can create that “ah-ha moment” to see things from a different perspective. A Professional Coach can offer an unbiased and objective perspective, and can help you realize your patterns and habits. Most people experience that they are more efficient when working with a Professional Coach and that this provides the opportunity for them to better reach their potential. A coach offers support and encouragement. As much I enjoy and want the sessions to be fun as a Coach, it’s also about getting things done!
How is Coaching different from Therapy?
While coaching can be therapeutic, it is not therapy. Coaching is distinct from traditional therapy because it is not designed to address psychological issues. While emotional issues may arise, the primary focus of life coaching is to help you identify your goals, achieve them, and develop constructive habits and skills. Rather than focus on the past, sessions are forward-focused to create your personalized future. The Coach recognizes that the coaching process is different in nature from mental health services and coaching does not cross over in to mental health services through the use of analyzing,assessing, diagnosing, or giving advice. The Coach clearly communicates the nature of coaching to the client and maintains clear boundaries. The client is fully empowered through coaching to determine their own best course of action. The Coach shall end the coaching process if a reasonable person would believe there is a need for mental health services.
Are Coaching sessions confidential?
Yes. The Coach ensures all coaching sessions are private, and the confidentiality of the client is protected by the coach; records, notes and files are kept private and the coach does not discuss the client or the content of client sessions.
How long do people generally work with a Professional Coach?
The commitment for coaching varies. The coaching relationship is not meant to be a long-term relationship as the goal is creating a personal process the client can take with them moving forward. The average client stays with me for between four and six sessions. Four sessions provide ample opportunity to discover wants, define goals and prioritize, apply actions and experience results over a series of several months. Each client determines their own timeline and frequency of session. Personally I love it when clients are able to see results sooner than expected – even in one session! I prefer to give people tools they can use to keep moving forward after they have finished working with me.
What are your payment terms?
Full payment for coaching is due prior to the commencement of coaching. Under exceptional circumstances I will do what I can to accommodate anybody that has difficulty with this.
I accept cash, check, Paypal and all major credit cards.
What should I look for in a Coach?
It is important to do research before hiring a professional coach. Most coaches offer free introductory sessions, so I highly recommend participating in a free session. You gain understanding of the process, see if there is a “connection” with you and the coach and determine if coaching is right for you.
Consider the following if you are contemplating hiring a professional coach:
- Has a background in business, human development, sociology or psychology
- Maintains high standards of competence
- Is upfront and forthcoming
- Is inquisitive and has an interest in the client
- Knows how to motivate
- Can encourage and challenge the client
- Can help the client maintain focus
- Understands the client’s goals or helps the client set goals he/she wants
- Cares about the client’s success
- Knows how to ask tough questions of the client
- Offers insight and instruction the client would not have had otherwise
- Provides tools and structure to the program
- Is results driven