Frequently Asked Questions About Coaching

What is coaching?

The International Coach Federation defines coaching as, partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. Coaching is a powerful, ongoing relationship that helps you focus and realize your visions and goals. With a Professional Coach, you will get the tools and support to remove obstacles and facilitate change.

Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole. Standing on this foundation, the coach’s responsibility is to:

  • 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

This process helps clients dramatically improve their outlook on work and life, while improving their leadership skills and unlocking their potential.

What are some reasons people hire a coach?

An individual may to choose to work with a coach for a multitude of reasons. In most cases, it is to improve some area of their life or performance. Some examples:

        • Improve leadership skills 
        • Increase effectiveness as an executive or other organizational leader
        • Get started on the right path after a promotion
        • Skill improvement to be more competitive for a promotion
        • Fill a gap in skills or knowledge
        • Improve performance
        • Assist in decision-making with a career change
        • Assist in the transition to a new area or job

Am I ready to be coached? 

This question requires reflection. We encourage you to read Brenda Steinberg's Harvard Business Review article titled, Are You Ready to be Coached? Ms. Steinberg finds seven core characteristics that differentiate people who benefit from coaching versus those who don't:

1. Tolerance for discomfort
2. Openness to experimentation
3. Ability to look beyond the rational
4. Willingness to take responsibility
5. Capacity for forgiveness
6. Self-discipline
7. Ability to ask for support

How is coaching done? 

Typically, individual coaching is done by Zoom or phone, for two one-hour sessions each month. To create profound changes, we ask for a three-month minimum commitment.

How is coaching different from other professions like consulting?

This answer is from the International Coach Federation Website:

Professional coaching focuses on setting goals, creating outcomes and managing personal change. Sometimes it’s helpful to understand coaching by distinguishing it from other personal or organizational support professions.

  • Therapy: Therapy deals with healing pain, dysfunction and conflict within an individual or in relationships. The focus is often on resolving difficulties arising from the past that hamper an individual’s emotional functioning in the present, improving overall psychological functioning, and dealing with the present in more emotionally healthy ways. Coaching, on the other hand, supports personal and professional growth based on self-initiated change in pursuit of specific actionable outcomes. These outcomes are linked to personal or professional success. Coaching is future focused. 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 emphases in a coaching relationship are on action, accountability, and follow through.
  • Consulting: Individuals or organizations retain consultants for their expertise. While consulting approaches vary widely, the assumption is the consultant will diagnose problems and prescribe and, sometimes, implement solutions. With coaching, the assumption is that individuals or teams are capable of generating their own solutions, with the coach supplying supportive, discovery-based approaches and frameworks.
  • Mentoring: A mentor is an expert who provides wisdom and guidance based on his or her own experience. Mentoring may include advising, counseling and coaching. The coaching process does not include advising or counseling, and focuses instead on individuals or groups setting and reaching their own objectives.
  • Training: Training programs are based on objectives 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 that coincides with an established curriculum. Coaching is less linear without a set curriculum.

What is a typical session like?

The hallmark of coaching is self-responsibility. The client sets the agenda for the session and the coach follows that agenda. You can expect powerful and clarifying questions, focused and fine-tuned planning tools, and accountability. As your coach, I'll have high expectations of you and support you thoroughly. 

How do I get started?

It's easy. Just go to Mark's calendar on any of our web pages and schedule an appointment to arrange a time to talk and discuss your goals for coaching and set up a sample coaching session. Alternatively, feel free to fill out your information on the Contact tab and we will follow up with you to discuss more. 

Have questions? Want to learn more? Pick a date & time below to schedule a 15-minute Q&A with Mark.

 Existing Clients: Feel free to schedule your 30-minute first meeting or next 60-minute coaching conversation here.