Frequently Asked Questions
- Discover, clarify, and align with what the client wants to achieve
- Encourage client self-discovery
- Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies
- Hold the client responsible and accountable
Coaches are trained to listen, to observe and to customize their approach to individual client needs. They seek to elicit solutions and strategies from the client; they believe the client is naturally creative and resourceful. The coach’s job is to provide support to enhance the skills, resources, and creativity that the client already has
Since coaching is a partnership, also ask yourself if you find it valuable to collaborate, to have another viewpoint and to be asked to consider new perspectives. Also, ask yourself if you are ready to devote the time and the energy to making real changes in your work or life. If the answer to these questions is yes, then coaching may be a beneficial way for you to grow and develop.
Therapy: Coaching can be distinguished from therapy in a number of ways. First, coaching is a profession that supports personal and professional growth and development based on individual-initiated change in pursuit of specific actionable outcomes. These outcomes are linked to personal or professional success. Coaching is forward moving and future focused. Therapy, on the other hand, deals with healing pain, dysfunction and conflict within an individual or a relationship between two or more individuals. The focus is often on resolving difficulties arising from the past which hamper an individual’s emotional functioning in the present, improving overall psychological functioning, and dealing with present life and work circumstances in more emotionally healthy ways. Therapy outcomes often include improved emotional/feeling states. While positive feelings/emotions may be a natural outcome of coaching, the primary focus is on creating actionable strategies for achieving specific goals in one’s work or personal life. The emphasis in a coaching relationship is on action, accountability and follow through.
Consulting: Consultants may be retained by individuals or organizations for the purpose of accessing specialized expertise. While consulting approaches vary widely, there is often an assumption that the consultant diagnoses problems and prescribes and sometimes implements solutions. In general, the assumption with coaching is that individuals or teams are capable of generating their own solutions, with the coach supplying supportive, discovery-based approaches and frameworks.
Mentoring: Mentoring, which can be thought of as guiding from one’s own experience or sharing of experience in a specific area of industry or career development, is sometimes confused with coaching. Although some coaches provide mentoring as part of their coaching, such as in mentor coaching new coaches, coaches are not typically mentors to those they coach.
Training: Training programs are based on the acquisition of certain learning objectives as set out by the trainer or instructor. Though objectives are clarified in the coaching process, they are set by the individual or team being coached with guidance provided by the coach. Training also assumes a linear learning path which coincides with an established curriculum. Coaching is less linear without a set curriculum plan.
Athletic Development: Though sports metaphors are often used, professional coaching is different from the traditional sports coach. The athletic coach is often seen as an expert who guides and directs the behavior of individuals or teams based on his or her greater experience and knowledge. Professional coaches possess these qualities, but it is the experience and knowledge of the individual or team that determines the direction. Additionally, professional coaching, unlike athletic development, does not focus on behaviors that are being executed poorly or incorrectly. Instead, the focus is on identifying opportunity for development based on individual strengths and capabilities.
- There is something at stake (a challenge, stretch goal or opportunity), and it is urgent, compelling or exciting or all of the above;
- There is a gap in knowledge, skills, confidence, or resources;
- There is a desire to accelerate results;
- There is a lack of clarity, and there are choices to be made;
- The individual is extremely successful, and success has started to become problematic;
- Work and life are out of balance, and this is creating unwanted consequences
- One has not identified his or her core strengths and how best to leverage them.
1) Rapid changes in the external business environment
2) Downsizing, restructuring, mergers and other organizational changes have radically altered what has been termed the “traditional employment contract”-companies can no longer achieve results using traditional management approaches
3) There is a growing shortage of talented employees in certain industries-to attract and retain top talent, companies must commit to investing in individuals’ development
4) There is a widening disparity between what managers were trained to do and what their jobs now require them to do in order to meet increasing demands for competitive results
5) There is unrest on the part of many employees and leaders in many companies-people are wrestling with fears around job insecurity and increased workplace pressures to perform at higher levels than ever before
6) Companies must develop inclusive, collaborative work environments, in order to achieve strategic business goals, and to maintain high levels of customer satisfaction
7) Individuals who have experienced the excellent results of coaching are talking to more people about coaching. In short, coaching helps people focus on what matters most to them in life: business and personal. People today are more open to the idea of being in charge of their own lives. Coaching helps people do just that; so the industry continues to grow.
Assessments: A variety of assessments are available to support the coaching process, depending upon the needs and circumstances of the individual. Assessments provide objective information which can enhance the individual’s self-awareness as well as awareness of others and their circumstances, provide a benchmark for creating coaching goals and actionable strategies, and offer a method for evaluating progress.
Concepts, models and principles: A variety of concepts, models and principles drawn from the behavioral sciences, management literature, spiritual traditions and/or the arts and humanities, may be incorporated into the coaching conversation in order to increase the individual’s self-awareness and awareness of others, foster shifts in perspective, promote fresh insights, provide new frameworks for looking at opportunities and challenges, and energize and inspire the individual’s forward actions.
Appreciative approach: Coaching incorporates an appreciative approach. The appreciative approach is grounded in what’s right, what’s working, what’s wanted, and what’s needed to get there. Using an appreciative approach, the coach models constructive communication skills and methods the individual or team can utilize to enhance personal communication effectiveness. The appreciative approach incorporates discovery-based inquiry, proactive (as opposed to reactive) ways of managing personal opportunities and challenges, constructive framing of observations and feedback in order to elicit the most positive responses from others, and envisioning success as contrasted with focusing on problems. The appreciative approach is simple to understand and employ, but its effects in harnessing possibility thinking and goal-oriented action can be profound.
Have a personal interview with one or more coaches to determine “what feels right” in terms of the chemistry. Coaches are accustomed to being interviewed, and there is generally no charge for an introductory conversation of this type.
Look for stylistic similarities and differences between the coach and you and how these might support your growth as an individual or the growth of your team.
Discuss your goals for coaching within the context of the coach’s specialty or the coach’s preferred way of working with a individual or team Talk with the coach about what to do if you ever feel things are not going well; make some agreements up front on how to handle questions or problems.
Remember that coaching is a partnership, so be assertive about talking with the coach about anything that is of concern at any time.
The role of the individual or team is to create the coaching agenda based on personally meaningful coaching goals, utilize assessment and observations to enhance self-awareness and awareness of others, envision personal and/or organizational success, assume full responsibility for personal decisions and actions, utilize the coaching process to promote possibility thinking and fresh perspectives, take courageous action in alignment with personal goals and aspirations, engage big picture thinking and problem solving skills, and utilize the tools, concepts, models and principles provided by the coach to engage effective forward actions.
- Focus-on one’s self, the tough questions, the hard truths–and one’s success.
- Observe-the behaviors and communications of others.
- Listening-to one’s intuition, assumptions, judgments, and to the way one sounds when one speaks.
- Self discipline-to challenge existing attitudes, beliefs and behaviors and to develop new ones which serve one’s goals in a superior way.
- Style-leveraging personal strengths and overcoming limitations in order to develop a winning style.
- Decisive actions-however uncomfortable, and in spite of personal insecurities, in order to reach for the extraordinary.
- Compassion-for one’s self as he or she experiments with new behaviors, experiences setbacks-and for others as they do the same.
- Humor-committing to not take one’s self so seriously, using humor to lighten and brighten any situation.
- Personal control-maintaining composure in the face of disappointment and unmet expectations, avoiding emotional reactivity.
- Courage-to reach for more than before, to shift out of being fear based in to being in abundance as a core strategy for success, to engage in continual self examination, to overcome internal and external obstacles.
Examples of external measures include achievement of coaching goals established at the outset of the coaching relationship, increased income/revenue, obtaining a promotion, performance feedback which is obtained from a sample of the individual’s constituents (e.g., direct reports, colleagues, customers, boss, the manager him/herself), personal and/or business performance data (e.g., productivity, efficiency measures). The external measures selected should ideally be things the individual is already measuring and are things the individual has some ability to directly influence. Examples of internal measures include self-scoring/self-validating assessments that can be administered initially and at regular intervals in the coaching process, changes in the individual’s self-awareness and awareness of others, shifts in thinking which inform more effective actions, and shifts in one’s emotional state which inspire confidence.
[/spoiler] [spoiler title=”What Self Assessments do you incorporate into your services?“] Multi-Rater 360° Feedback – Strengths Finder 2.0 – Kolbe – DISC Personality, IPIP Scales – Bar On EQ-I 2.0 – MAPP Career Assessment – Strong Career Assessment – Various Leadership Assessments – Time Management Model – Neethling Brain Inventory (NBI)
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