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FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions About Coaching

What is coaching?

Coaching is a designed partnership that helps an individual or team produce desired results and, often, new awareness and personal growth. The individual or team chooses the focus of the conversation while the coach listens, asks questions, makes observations, offers possibilities for consideration, and requests action.

Coaching adds things: fresh ideas, new perspectives, clarity, acceptance, accountability
Coaching removes things: limiting beliefs, assumptions, conflicting ideas, and other types of mental or physical obstacles

How could coaching help me?

Coaching is all about helping you achieve your goals and overcome your challenges.
Coaching can help you to:
  • Gain clarity and focus
  • Achieve business and personal goals
  • Accelerate progress and results
  • Obtain a fresh perspective
  • Improve relationships
  • Change attitudes and behaviors
  • Discover untapped possibilities

How do I know if coaching is right for me?

Coaching is for people who have a goal and are ready to work on achieving it.

Ask yourself:

  • What is my desired outcome ?
  • Am I willing to put the time and effort into making changes to achieve that outcome?
  • Do I find it valuable to collaborate or have another viewpoint?

What are some business reasons for hiring a coach?

  • Individual and team assessment
  • Business growth
  • Vision, mission, and organizational development
  • Executive growth
  • Leadership development
  • Teambuilding and accountability
  • Career transition and advancement
  • Work/life balance
  • Improving business relationships
  • Training reinforcement and sustainability

What are some personal reasons for hiring a coach?

  • Build confidence
  • Improve health and wellbeing
  • Manage conflict, people, and life balance
  • Improve communication and relationships
  • Overcome indecision and procrastination
  • Clarify goals and priorities
  • Meet spiritual needs
  • Get "unstuck"

How is coaching conducted?

Coaching may be in-person, on the telephone, through e-mail or messaging, teleconferencing, or web-conferencing. The method is determined by the locations of the coach and the individual or team, and a mutually convenient and comfortable means.

How long does a coach work with an individual?

The length of a coaching partnership varies depending on the individual's or team's needs and preferences. For certain types of focused coaching, 3 to 6 months of working with a coach may be appropriate. For other types of coaching, people may find it beneficial to work with a coach for a longer period. Factors that may impact the length of time include: the types of goals, the ways individuals or teams like to work, the frequency of coaching meetings, and financial resources available to support coaching.

How should I select a coach?

The most important thing in selecting a coach is finding someone with whom you can relate, feel trust, and build the most powerful partnership. Most coaches will offer a complimentary meeting to explore whether there's a good fit.

Some questions to ask a coach:

  • What is your coaching experience?
  • What is your coach-specific training? (Many coaches hold International Coach Federation credentials and have trained at ICF approved training programs.)
  • What is your coaching specialty?
  • What specialized skills or experience do you bring to your coaching?
  • How do you conduct coaching?
  • What is your fee structure?

How can I ensure a compatible partnership?

Overall, be prepared to design the coaching partnership with the coach. For example, think of a strong partnership that you currently have in your work or life. Look at how you built that relationship and what is important to you about partnership. You will want to build those same things into a coaching relationship.

Here are a few other tips:

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

What is the ICF?

The International Coach Federation (ICF) is a nonprofit organization, the largest worldwide organization made up of professional coaches. It both serves its coach members and acts as a source for those who seek coaching. The ICF seeks to support advance the professionalism of coaching through its Code of Ethics, coach certification process and educational programs.