Frequently Asked Questions
What is coaching?
The top professional association in the field of 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. ICF envisions a future in which coaching will be an integral part of society and ICF members will represent the highest quality in professional coaching.
What is a coach?
A coach is a thinking partner and accountability partner to help assess where you are now, where you are going, to listen to you, ask you powerful questions, provide encouragement to take your thoughts to the end, set goals with you, provide ways to measure progress, and give you feedback to help you connect the dots of your most effective path to success. The coach provides customized accountability, support, structure, a knowledge base, and encouragement. These methods are conducive to problem-solving, decision-making and action planning.
What qualifications do coaches have?
Masterful coaches demonstrate excellent listening skills, build deep rapport and trust, are focused on the client, and they are both generalists and specialists. They usually have a depth of education (including coaching certification), knowledge and experience about more than one industry or organization, understand the implications of actions and decisions within organizations, and can gather data and apply it to real-world information for the executives they coach. The best coaches model the behaviors they coach others to develop; for example: integrity, self-confidence, focused actions, follow-through, trusting relationships, and successful business experiences.
I am a Professional Certified Coach (International Coach Federation) and a Board Certified Coach (Center for Credentialing and Education) with over 30 years experience in the fields of leadership and management and a specialty in helping clients leverage their strengths to create over the top results. I have an MA in International Management and have been a business leader as well as a nonprofit executive.
What could a leader gain from coaching?
Some areas where you might benefit from coaching are:
- Become more aware of your strengths, values and goals
- Learn about the most effective ways to reach your goals
- Develop a vision with buy in from stakeholders
- Achieve superior levels of performance for yourself and your team
- Manage relationships and leadership styles to increase and sustain personal and business success
- Leverage strategic thinking and influence to serve your goals
- Unleash team strengths and create a strengths based culture where things get done
- Lead organizational change while achieving exemplary business results
- Develop greater positivity, wellbeing and balance in work and life
- Shift your focus from what you don’t want to what you do want-and get it!
Who is a typical candidate for Executive Coaching?
Organizational leaders, emerging leaders or managers with proven leadership performance, who need to further develop their leadership skills and knowledge in order to be considered for other roles in the company.
What is Strengths Based Coaching?
What would you say if someone asked you, “What are your strengths?”
Looking to answer that question will engage you in a strengths based approach. Such an approach highlights who you are at your best. Strengths are the result of your natural talents that you’ve built upon with skills, knowledge and experience. When you know your strengths, you get to see yourself from a powerful perspective that can catapult you forward no matter your current circumstances. When coaching occurs in this context, it can exponentially expand the value of your strengths.
In this approach combining strengths and coaching, you and I, as coach and client, focus on your strengths. We identify them and discover together how using your strengths more consciously can increase your success. We don’t ignore your weaknesses. We look at how to manage them and find ways to use your strengths to develop them. We spend the majority of coaching time understanding, developing and applying your strengths to your goals. Why? Because your strengths are your best leverage for attaining peak performance.
In strengths based coaching, we apply this same positive approach to identifying your goals and aspirations. Sometimes it’s easier to recognize what you don’t want rather than what you want. So, we look into the opposite of what you don’t want to discover your real goals, the ones that will empower you to thrive.
Strengths based coaches like me help you think of gaps in skill, performance, knowledge, and training differently. We look at gaps as “fields of opportunity” for cultivating new behaviors, taking calculated risks, ultimately yielding greater influence and positive impact.
Strengths based coaching is a research based approach. It has been informed by world-class practitioners, researchers, and thought leaders in neuroscience, positive psychology, and appreciative inquiry, many of whom, I’m grateful to say, have been my teachers.
The Gallup organization has conducted research around the globe to provide data to understand our natural talents, the building blocks for our strengths. The people in the study reported using their strengths only 20% of their time at work. Could this be why so many are not engaged or motivated in their jobs? What might be possible for you and your team if you flipped this statistic and used your strengths 80% or more of the time?
There are many well-researched tools now available which strengths based coaches use to measure your strengths and help you develop them further. We use a range of assessments tailored for you and your goals.
Once you know your strengths, it’s important to calibrate them just right--so that you neither underuse nor overuse them in a given situation. An experienced strengths based coach helps you choose the most appropriate strengths for the situation, and helps you develop your weaker areas by applying your strengths to them.
In summary, using a strengths based approach increases your motivation. It provides a greater sense of “can do” empowerment to accomplish your goals.
Here are a couple of questions I encourage you to ask yourself:
What if my engagement in a strengths based coaching relationship exponentially expanded my efficacy in ways I had never imagined?
What might be possible?
How do I best work with a coach?
As your coach, we would explore several topics together before beginning a coaching engagement. These include: time available for meetings and development activities;priority you will give the coaching process and activities; personal demands (birth of a child, relocation, ill family member, etc.) that might distract you from coaching commitments and support to effectively manage those; and changes you want to make, and/or the areas you want to work on in coaching. We usually do one or more assessments with you (and your team) to help shed light on your values, leadership strengths, preferred styles, resources and ideal future vision.
Choosing a goal
It is helpful to have a general sense of your coaching focus, but is not necessary to know the exact focus, before starting the coaching engagement. Distilling your coaching goal can be part of the coaching. It often emerges or is validated through the initial assessment process, which, depending on how the coaching is set up and your role in your company, may involve the input of others.
How do I know if the coaching is effective?
Coaching is about making adjustments in some aspect of the way you are thinking (mindset) and/or working (behavior). Feedback from your manager, peers, direct reports, and other associates before, during, and after the coaching engagement, along with your own input, give you and your coach a focus at the beginning and criteria to measure progress at mid point and at the close of the coaching engagement.
Difference between coaching and therapy
Coaching is different from therapy: Therapy is related to healing and the past; coaching assumes wholeness of the individual and is focused on education, action and the future.
Free consult: is coaching right for me?
I provide a free consultation to help you know if coaching is right for you. I look forward to speaking with you in the near future.
Return on Investment (ROI) of coaching
While ROI for coaching is challenging to isolate, organizations generally report a 100% to 5,000% or more return on investment in areas such as increased retention/employee engagement, progress toward specific goals, higher morale, and bottom line productivity.
The Xerox Corp found that the impact of using follow up coaching after formal training gave a massive 87% increase in the effectiveness of training when compared to training alone.