May 8, 2016

Coaching FAQ’s

Chalkboard with FAQ: Coaching FAQ, Frequently asked questions

Coaching FAQ

How is coaching different from talking a friend?

A coach is hired to help you focus on your goals. A friend’s job is to support you, whether you are right or wrong, prepared or unprepared, ready or not. How would a friend necessarily know the difference? If they did, would they risk hurting you to tell you?

Coaches aren’t paid to sit and empathize your woes. They WILL NOT sit, listen, then wind the session up until next time. They WILL listen to your concern, ask challenging questions and help you find your way out. Their main goal is to elicit the information on how to move forward and reach the ultimate goal defined by your unique set of circumstances.

Professional Coaches receive training (if certified) on how to listen for the most important things you say and mirror them back in a way that helps you to discover the way forward. They then help you brainstorm other possible ways forward and decide the best action, given your specific goals and preferred outcomes. With expansive expertise in business and psychology, best insights from both perspectives are offered. The coach’s priority is to put their education and experience to work with your unique insights and situation to definition your best possible outcome.

What’s the difference between Counselling, Consulting and Coaching?

Counselling Psychology is a practice that is focused on helping clients release problems from their past to free them to move forward. It takes a certain education and expertise to understand the issue and specific techniques aimed to move the client forward, that a coach is not trained to utilize. Psychologists are held to specific ethical standards that are not the same as the ethical standards of coaches. For differentiation, a coach spends approximately 1-2 years getting certified while a psychologist must have a minimum of 4-6 years plus a professional Internship to receive their license. Further, Psychologists are often covered under health care plans, while coaches are not. They are equipped for different types of concerns and so it’s important to discuss with your coach or psychologist which is a better fit for your particular concerns.

Consulting is a practice of adding expertise and recommendations on how to move forward, given a specialized area of expertise on the part of the coach. A consultant it hired with the aim of gaining specific guidance from them, based on their education and experiences.

Coaching is a forward looking process that is aimed at assessing where you are now, where you want to be and how to get you there. Coaching doesn’t offer domain specific expertise (unless blended by the professional) and doesn’t address how the individual’s past may factor into current problems.

How do I know if coaching is right for me?

  • Are you looking at an objective or a goal and having trouble making it become your reality?
  • Do you know you want more but not sure what and want to clarify that goal or end result?
  • Do you have an idea of where you want to be but keep finding it never really comes fruition?
  • Do you know what you want but how do you capitalize on strengths?
  • Do you feel like you need someone to hold you accountable to the goals you have set?
  • Do you feel alone in a major journey and feel you need some support and unbiased discussion to get you moving?
  • Do you have a plan but lack a certain piece of knowledge to make it happen?
    Have you met success but it’s more than you thought and are scared you’ll miss out because you can’t keep up?
  • Do you feel you need support to achieve all you desire.

If you answered yes to any of the above, you are a great candidate for coaching. There are very few driven individuals who don’t benefit tremendously from having a great coach at their side through a major transition, striving for a goal or completing a project.

What are some reasons people work with a coach?

People work with coaches to have a partner in their journey. A partner who is with you every step of the way. Someone who can find the inner wisdom in you that you didn’t know was there. Someone to champion your great ideas and challenge those that need more thought and refining. Someone who can direct your efforts in a direction that help you achieve success in less time. Someone who can help you clarify the exact decisions you have to make to get that outcome you desire.

How do we measure success?

You set the standard of success. In the initial sessions, we will define the success you are looking for as well as what you can expect from your coach throughout the process. We will define the measures together and monitor them together to ensure we meet your definition of success. At the end of each session, you can expect that the last couple minutes will be spent relating our session back to your original goals, to ensure we are meeting your defined expectations for success.

What does a session usually look like?

The initial session will be spent in discovery where we look at what you are trying to achieve, your expectations for coaching, and what we can deliver. I will spend 15 minutes or so explaining my approach, and your rights then we will spend another 20 minutes or so exploring your interest in coaching and what you are hoping for. We spend the remainder defining the goals we are working towards concretely and making an agreement on how we will go forward.

After the initial session, we will spend the first 5-10 minutes on where we are at in the process of meeting your goals, and what you have accomplished in the past week. You will then speak freely about where you at in the process, what obstacles you are facing, what you would like to work towards in the session. We then get to work discovering, working on, and elaborating on the issues you have brought to the session. The coach will listen to you, offer their reflections/interpretations of what they are hearing, recommendations to move forward, and any reflections on what you are not saying but might be coming through in the communication. The last 5-10 minutes is spent reflecting on what you have learned, the action steps you are going to take next, and the expected accountability steps you and your coach will take.

How long does coaching usually last?

Coaching sessions are usually an hour long. The coaching engagement usually lasts anywhere from 3-18 months depending on the goal you wish to achieve.

To help you define that, a coaching agreement may last only 3-6 months if you are looking to change specific situation, find a new job or get a start on a project you’ve been putting off. If you are looking to move a company forward, start your own business, get your people performing at a higher level, or want to achieve a large project with support and accountability it is more likely to take 6-18 months.

The specific time frame for your specific project will be discussed in the initial consultation so you can decide on the time frame most applicable to your situation.

What can I expect from my coach?

Your coach will partner with you through the process. Their job is to be your mirror. They show you your blind spots (hidden strengths you can capitalize on, hidden downfalls you can improve upon). They have no stake in your particular issue so they will be honest with you when you idea might need need further refining, or when you you can really capitalize on something you have within you that maybe you aren’t giving yourself credit for. That’s what they are trained for. To find the hidden spots that you may miss and the opportunities that are ahead that you may recognize and therefore not otherwise capitalize on.

Your coach won’t push you in a direction you are not comfortable with. Their job is to figure out the best way forward, according to you then help guide you there. To help bolster us when we need it and ground us when need it.

Is telephone/skype coaching as effective as face to face?

Think about the last time you met a stranger face to face and the time you spent preparing for that. What else could you have done with that time? When we meet on the telephone without the face to face element, you can be in your most comfortable environment and your coach in theirs. The only focus then, is on you and what you need to achieve in the session. No time is spent on the exchange of comparison, evaluation etc. We get to be two people exchanging on topics that are important to you.

For those reasons, my experience has shown me that telephone coaching actually turns out to be more effective than face to face coaching. I have years of experience in both forums and have found that telephone coaching, even in the same city, has given me the best results. If you prefer video coaching, that is an option as well.

How much does coaching cost?

So, I know you hate the answer, “it depends”. I tried to avoid this and found I kept coming up with the “what if’s”. I have created specific packages for the most frequent personal coaching engagements I see. It is by no means exhaustive and meant as a guideline. I have specific hourly rates that use to calculate my packages based on the expertise and research that is required on my part. That said, because what you bring to the relationship is going to be different between each individual person, these rates I offer are only as a guideline.

Business coaching is offered with a more blended approach and the free 15 minute consultation will include a quote on rates based on the aims of the client.

I will assess your unique personal needs in our initial FREE 15 minute telephone discovery session and give you the exact recommendation with a monetary amount in that session (assuming I don’t need to research anything further, in which case I will have a monetary amount to you within 24 hours). I do not start coaching engagements without a clear idea of cost and agreement between us, EVER. It’s not a partnership with hidden fees etc. and my ultimate goal is to partner with you to reach your goals so you are so happy you want to refer me to others (I work largely off referral business so it’s important to me that you become a member of my referral network).

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