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Coaching FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)
  1. How is coaching different from therapy, consulting, and mentoring?
  2. What are the benefits of coaching?
  3. How long does a coach work with an individual?
  4. What are some typical reasons someone might work with a coach?
  5. How is coaching delivered and what is the process of getting started?
  6. Why hire a life coach and how is it different from other kinds of coaching?
  7. Could we measure the success of coaching process?
  8. Does coaching work for everyone?

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FAQ Answers:

1. How is coaching different from therapy, consulting, and mentoring?
Coaching is more of a partnership; present oriented; focused on performance and forward movement; agenda will always come from the client; coaching is impartial and focuses on enhancing skills and improving quality of life.  A coach is a challenger, a supporter of client’s vision, direction and ultimate goal with a keen interest to help client move forward towards specific goals; helping with discovery, awareness and choices is the most important part of being a coach. In general, the assumption with coaching is that individuals or teams are capable of generating their own solutions, with the coach supplying supportive, discovery-based approaches and frameworks

Mentors function more like teachers; they give advice, share experiences, and even direct someone to do something. The relationship is hierarchical and the mentor is older and more experienced and knowledgeable than the client.  A mentor is also biased and in favor of the person being mentored as the mentor has a personal interest in this relationship and as seen as a role model; and the focus of mentor usually is on specific part (issue) of client’s life.
Consultants will be hired by individuals or organizations to look at a situation at hand for the purpose of offering a solution. There is an expectation that the consultant will diagnose the problem and prescribes and solutions.
Psychotherapists work with clients to help them with their psychological and emotional issues.  The focus is often on past history and how it relates to that individual's current situation and issues. <back to top>

2. What are the benefits of coaching?
Some of the benefits of coaching include:

  • Increased self-awareness
  • Stress Reduction
  • Dealing effectively with change
  • Increased confidence and assertiveness
  • Setting up and achieving health and wellness goals
  • More adaptability
  • Greater motivation
  • Re-evaluating/rearranging priorities
  • Clarifying/examining values and beliefs
  • Greater focus
  • Achieving more balance, fulfillment, and contentment in life
  • Enhanced performance
  • Deepened learning
  • More creativity
  • Better goal setting (SMART goals)
  • Improved productivity
  • Promoting effective communication. <back to top>

3. How long does a coach work with an individual?
The length of a coaching partnership varies depending on the individuals or team’s needs and preferences. For certain types of focused coaching, 3 to 6 months of working with a coach may work. For other types of coaching, people may find it beneficial to work with a coach for a year or longer.

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. <back to top>

4. What are some typical reasons someone might work with a coach?

  • Something might be at stake; individual might be facing a challenge, stretch goal or opportunity and it is urgent, undeniable or exciting,
  • There is a gap in knowledge, skills, confidence, or resources,
  • A big stretch is being asked or required, and it is time sensitive,
  • There is a desire to speed up the results,
  • There is a need for a course modification in personal or professional life due to an obstacle,
  • Ineffective communication styles which is not supporting the achievement of one’s goals,
  • Lack of clarity and conviction of what a rewarding and fulfilling life looks like and what choices can be made,
  • Unbearable stress in light of great success to the point that success has now become a problem,
  • Work and life are out of balance, and this is creating unwanted consequences,
  • Needing support in identifying one’s core strengths and how best to leverage them,
  • Desire to live a balanced, more simple and less complicated life,
  • Desire and need to more self-manage and better organize. <back to top>

5. How is coaching delivered and what is the process of getting started?
Coaching will begin with a personal meeting (either face-to-face or by teleconference call) to identify and confirm information such as:

  • Discussing coaching process and the scope of partnership between the coach and the client
  • Discussing client’s interests, goals, objectives and challenges
  • Identifying client’s priorities for action
  • Establishing structures to achieve desired outcomes

Following coaching sessions could be conducted in person or over the telephone, with each session lasting between half an hour to one hour. Between scheduled coaching sessions, if need be, the client will have access to his/her coach via e-mail or short phone calls as per the agreement on the first (trial) session.  As well, the client might be asked to complete specific actions before the next meeting occurs. <back to top>

6. Why hire a life coach and how is it different from other kinds of coaching?
Life coaching is a practice with the aim of helping clients determine and achieve personal goals. Life coaches use multiple methods that will help clients with the process of setting and reaching goals.  Those who require assistance in overcoming obstacles, fears and stuck state in their lives would benefit greatly from life coaching. In addition, they would be supported to step out of their comfort zones to achieve their long lost dreams and to live life fully and passionately.  Those who have personal, financial, spiritual and business goals are very likely to hire a life coach so that they are kept on track, accountable, focused, enthused and empowered to stay on their path in the face of adversity and unforeseen challenges.

The process of life coaching is not much different from other kinds of coaching; however, the content and context varies. People are often aware of what changes they would like to make in our daily lives, but don't know how to make those changes or don't commit to doing it. Often they don’t want to invest the time or money in the process or they don't know where to start. Assessment of an individual's strengths and areas for growth, and learning how to find a balance in between, is an important part of the process of coaching. <back to top>

7. Could we measure the success of coaching process?
The answer is yes. The two main ways to measure the coaching process are:

  • Through external indicators of performance; some examples would be achieving the established goals such as obtaining promotion at work; increased income or more balance and contentment in personal life
  • Through internal indicators of success; some examples would be changes in the individuals self awareness; shift in perspectives that was no longer serving the individual and shift in the level of confidence, assertiveness and emotional balance and fulfillment. <back to top>

8. Does coaching work for everyone?
Coaching can work for everyone if they are willing to be accountable for their behaviors and intentions. Clients have to want to change inside and out and to follow that through by working diligently with their coach. If clients are not committed to work hard for what they want to achieve, then coaching will not work.  <back to top>