What is Coaching?

What is professional coaching? 20234597_m(1)

The International Coach Federation (ICF) defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today’s uncertain and complex environment. As an ICF coach, I pledge to honor you as the expert in your life and work and believe you are creative, resourceful and whole. Standing on this foundation, my responsibility as your coach is to:

  • Discover, clarify, and align with what you want to achieve
  • Encourage your self-discovery
  • Partner with you as you generate solutions and strategies
  • Hold you responsible and accountable

Through this process, you will dramatically improve your outlook on work and life, while improving your leadership skills and unlocking your potential.

 What are some typical reasons you might work with me as your coach?

You, as an individual or team leader, might choose to work with me for many reasons, including but not limited to the following:

  • Something urgent, compelling or exciting is at stake46976740_m-Bud (a challenge, stretch goal or opportunity)
  • A gap exists in knowledge, skills, confidence or resources
  • You feel a desire to accelerate results
  • You face a lack of clarity with choices to be made
  • Success has started to become problematic
  • Work and life are out of balance, creating unwanted consequences
  • Core strengths need to be identified, along with how best to leverage them

 How is coaching delivered? What does the process look like?

I typically begin a coaching relationship with a personal interview (either face-to-face or by teleconference call) to assess the opportunities and challenges you’re facing, define the scope of our relationship, identify your priorities for action, and establish your specific desired outcomes. Subsequently, we’ll meet in person or over the telephone, with each session lasting a previously established length of time. Between scheduled coaching sessions, you may be asked to complete specific actions to support the achievement of your personally prioritized goals. I may provide additional resources in the form of relevant articles, checklists, assessments, or models to support your thinking and actions. The duration of our coaching relationship varies depending on your needs and preferences.

Coaching works because

  • I use an appreciative approach, grounded in what’s right, what’s working, what’s wanted and what’s needed to get there, as a primary tool. I incorporate discovery-based inquiry, proactive (as opposed to reactive) ways of managing personal opportunities and challenges, constructive framing of observations and feedback to elicit the most positive responses from others, and visions of success as contrasted with focusing on problems.
  • I bring a fresh perspective, because as your coach I stand outside your emotional system. Being an “outside observer” allows me to “hold up a mirror,” allowing you to better understand yourself and your relationships.
  • Synergy between you and me, as your coach, creates momentum.
  • Better defined goals support you in moving toward those goals faster and with better energy and less stress.
  • Your skill development over time translates into more success and a more balanced life.

How can the success of the coaching process be measured?

Measurement may be thought of in two distinct ways: external indicators of performance and internal indicators of success. Ideally, both are incorporated.

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 that is obtained from a sample of your 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 be things that you are already measuring and that you have some ability to influence directly.

Examples of internal measures include self-scoring/self-validating assessments that can be administered initially and at regular intervals during our coaching process, changes in your self-awareness and awareness of others, shifts in your thinking that create more effective actions, and shifts in your emotional state that inspire confidence.

Part of our successful coaching relationship will be our regular review of your achievements during the preceding time period.

What factors should you consider when looking at making a financial investment in coaching?

Working with a coach requires both a personal commitment of your time and energy as well as a financial commitment. Fees charged vary by specialty and by the level of experience of the coach. You will want to consider both the desired benefits as well as the anticipated length of time to be spent in coaching. Since our coaching relationship is predicated on clear communication, I count on you to raise any financial concerns or questions in our initial conversations before our agreement is made. The ICF Coach Referral Service allows you to search for a coach based on a number of qualifications, including fee range.

Adapted from the International Coach Federation website.