What is Coaching anyway?
Coaching is a thought-provoking and creative partnership designed between a coach and client that inspires the client to maximize their personal and professional potential. It is judgement free and confidential.
Coaching utilizes personal strategic planning, strengths identification, values clarification, brainstorming, motivational inspiration, and other techniques. Coaches believe that you know the answers to every question or challenge you may have in your life, even if those answers appear to be obscured, concealed or hidden inside.
Our Coaches know the right questions to ask and have the right tools and techniques to empower you to:
- Clarify what you want
- Identify and overcome obstacles
- Take action and learn
- Be accountable (based on your values and goals)
Coaching is not for the person who expects the Coach to do the work for them.
Key Elements of Coaching
1) You have the answers, not us.
Coaching isn’t mentoring, therapy, or consulting, although it’s related to all of those disciplines. A difference is that in those relationships you’re typically seeking answers from an expert. Our expertise is in building meaningful coaching relationships, but we’re not an expert on you or your goals, and we don’t have answers for you. We have questions, and you’ll ultimately have to determine the answers that are right for you. We provide feedback and advice at times, but we are careful to note when we do, so that you can decide for yourself what to do with that information.
2) You set the agenda.
You’ll decide what issues we address, both during the course of our work together and in each individual coaching session. We’ll help you track issues over time and prioritize issues in a given conversation. We’ll raise certain issues at times, drawing upon my experience with other clients, but the agenda is ultimately your responsibility.
3) A coaching relationship is an equal partnership.
We’re not an authority figure, nor a subordinate. We’ll work together as equal partners in this process and share responsibility for its success. If we ever feel that we’re not acting as partners, we’ll say so.
Characteristics of the Coaching Relationship
We will not disclose your identity as a coaching client, any information that would identify you as a client or any details of our work together without your permission. Note that this is a “one-way street”— We strongly encourage you to tell people you trust that you’re working with a Coach and to share what you’re working on. We find that clients who invite colleagues, friends, and family into these conversations get more out of the coaching process.
We subscribe to and are governed by the International Coach Federation’s Code of Ethical Conduct. (www.coachfederation.org) This code includes a prohibition against disclosing that you are a client, without your express permission.
You’re ultimately accountable to yourself, not to me, and our role is to help you fulfill any commitments you make to yourself. That said, we also need to honor the commitments we make to each other, starting with an agreement to be on time and ready for each coaching session.
While we need to feel a sense of caring and appreciation in our coaching relationship we also need to be honest with each other. We’ll always speak professionally and with respect, but we’ll also strive to be as candid and direct as possible in order to be as helpful as possible.
Things to Expect in a Coaching Session
1) Interruptions and pointed questions.
We may interrupt you, and we may ask direct, pointed questions. It’s important that we find the communication style that’s most effective for us as a team, and it’s essential that you feel heard in our discussion, and yet excessive politeness should not get in the way of real communication.
2) Suggestions and responses.
We may make some suggestions and you always have at least four responses to choose from: You can say “Yes,” say “No,” propose an alternative, or ask for time to think about it. Any feedback or advice that we provide can be thought of as a suggestion, and you always have the ability to accept it, reject it, modify it, or defer it.
3) Reflection and note-taking.
Coaching sessions shouldn’t feel like other conversations, in which both parties feel an obligation to “keep up.” At times we may pause to allow you to reflect or to choose where to go next, and at times you may pause to take some notes or gather your thoughts. We’ll take occasional notes to avoid being distracted by points we’re trying to remember or questions we’d like to raise later.
Consider this a warning…
YOU ARE GOING TO WRITE when you work with us.
Write what? You will be asked to write on a number of topics. Ex: How you feel about this process, what’s next for you, what’s working for you, what’s not, etc.
Not all of the homework we give to you will be writing, it might be reading, but reflection is key to this process. You will be in transition (if you aren’t already when you reach out to us) and writing during transition helps you get from the known to the unknown.
Now, if you are not a “writer” or “journal-er”, we are open to you using your other skills to express yourself instead. But express you will. And you will be asked to share your thoughts in session.
So if you aren’t willing to put in the work, no need to keep reading.
Service and Fees:
Our Coaching most often includes anywhere between six to twelve* 50-minute coaching sessions which we can determine during your complimentary exploratory session. The sessions may be spread out over the next 5-8 months (or even shorter) and are available both in-person or virtually (by phone) to allow for flexibility in your location. The package includes unlimited email, text and phone correspondence between sessions because navigating career change doesn’t just happen in the 50-minutes we are working together. Homework WILL be provided to help you move forward between sessions.
Why 50-minute sessions instead of an hour? Because 30-minutes is too short for us to really get into what we need to dive into and 60-minutes for most is too intense. So we have found for career transition coaching, the magic number is 50-minutes!
And fun fact: Coaching services are tax-deductible!