When I first got certified as a coach in early 2012, it was just starting to take off in NYC, where I was living at the time.
As a practice, coaching took a straight uphill ascent pretty quickly after that!
The thing is, in a lot of places around the world people are still pretty unsure what coaching is all about. After all, it’s a pretty unregulated industry and lots of people without credentials or proper training call themselves a coach.
On the other hand, lots of folks who have heard about coaching often confuse it with therapy or counseling. It makes sense; you’re spending an hour each week talking about yourself to someone who promises to help you make a difference in your life.
I know there are so many unanswered questions out there, so I’d like to address some of the most common ones here.
If you have burning questions about coaching, or specifically, what kind of coaching I offer, or how coaching can benefit your life, feel free to drop me a line!
1. What is professional coaching?
- Coaching is a partnership between a certified coach and a paying client.
- Coaches create a safe space for a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires their client to maximize their potential.
- Coaches honor the client as the expert in his/her life and work.
- Coaches act as a sounding board, offering up different perspectives, possibilities, solutions, or resources to help the client make the most informed choices in his/her life.
- The coaching process is most beneficial for those who are open minded and open to change.
2. What are some typical reasons someone would work with a coach?
People choose to work one-on-one or in a group with a certified coach for many reasons. Here are a few:
- A gap exists in knowledge, skill, confidence, or resources.
- There is a real need to make changes.
- A lack of clarity with choices to be made.
- Trouble with work/life balance, time management, or interpersonal relationships.
- Core values need to be identified, strengthened, and/or leveraged.
3. What factors should be considered when looking at the financial investment in coaching?
- Working with a certified coach requires many levels of investment. Every client who makes the choice to work with a coach commits their time and energy, as well as an agreed upon financial commitment.
- Fees charged vary by geography/location, specialty, and level of experience of the coach.
- Individuals should consider both the desired benefits they hope to receive from the coaching relationship, as well as the length of time to be spent in the coaching relationship.
- Since the coaching relationship is predicated on clear communication, any financial concerns or questions should be voiced in initial conversations before the agreement is made.
4. Within the partnership, what is the coach’s role? The individual’s role?
The certified coach:
- Maintains professional boundaries within the coaching partnership, including ethics, safety and confidentiality.
- Listens closely to fully understand the client’s circumstances.
- Acts as a sounding board, offering up different perspectives, possibilities, solutions, or resources to help the client make the most informed choices in his/her life.
- Challenges a client’s blind spots to illuminate new possibilities and support the development of unique and alternative solutions.
- Champions opportunities and potential, encouraging clients to challenge themselves in a way that is consistent with their personal strengths and aspirations.
- Creates the coaching agenda based on personal circumstances and goals.
- Assumes full responsibility for personal decisions and actions.
- Enacts the tools, concepts, models, and principals provided by the certified coach, and engages in effective forward actions.
- Maintains an open mind to alternative perspectives, possibilities, and solutions.
- Uses the coaching relationship to advance self-awareness.
- Coaching partnerships are constantly evolving as individuals grow on their personal journey. You’ll want a certified coach who is evolving alongside you, one who can support your growth and change without fear or judgement.
- Interview more than one certified coach to determine what feels like a symbiotic and supportive interaction you can build upon. Notice what feels “right” or “wrong” in terms of chemistry and feedback. Most consultation calls are free, so be sure to ask.
- Listen for cues from the certified coach about what might sound like someone who would make a great partner. A coaching relationship truly is a partnership! Be assertive in talking with the certified coach about any concerns that arise.
- Look for a certified coach who is clear about what their specialty is. There is no “one size fits all” approach to coaching, and a certified coach who’s focus is too broad may lack the skills to help you grow in your specific needs.
- The goal is to find a certified coach with whom, should things not go well, or if something unexpected arises, you are able to have a mature conversation. Feelings of safety and comfort are essential.
Here are some ways that Coaching differs from Therapy:
Therapy focuses on healing & recovery from old wounds.
Coaching focuses on evolving & moving forward toward the future the you envision.
Therapists work with you to achieve self-understanding.
Coaches work to motivate you to a higher level of functioning.
Therapy emphasizes understanding your past, your feelings, and your behaviors.
Coaching is for individuals who have accepted their past, and emphasizes taking action towards a more peaceful future.
If you’d like to begin your search for a professional, certified coach now, please email me here to schedule your first, free call.