What is Coaching?
There are many definitions of coaching, but they share fundamentals. It’s useful to understand coaching in relation to what its not.
First, coaching is client-focused. Said another way, coaching is not mentoring (an experienced person teaching a less-experienced person the ins-and-outs of a job or profession) or consulting (an expert offering both an opinion on what’s wrong, what’s needed and a solution). Coaching assumes that 1) the client has their own answers and 2) they are whole and capable, needing only greater awareness and some support to achieve their goals.
Second, coaching is not counseling or therapy. When someone has something from their past that is getting in the way of their present, counseling or therapy can be very useful. Sometimes we need to heal something from the past to get into the present.
Coaching is a co-creative partnership where each party brings the best of themselves. The client brings their goals and aspirations and the coach their training and experience. Together, we uncover what the client really wants and what’s getting in the way. Then a plan is collaboratively developed and executed, with necessary adjustments along the way.
A coach asks lots of questions. Coaching is inquiry-based. Coaching is iterative (meaning it builds on itself). Coaching is a partnership, focused on what the client whats to create in their life.
* * *
How Long Have You Been a Coach?
Since 2006. I completed my coach training with CoachU and added leadership training with Doug Silsbee in 2010. I supplement my formal training with various continuing education and consistent personal development work.
* * *
Does Coaching Really Work?
Absolutely! The result of of working with me is not just some achieved goals or completed tasks, but a better understanding of self, change and success. My clients go forth from a coaching engagement with a deeper sense of what is possible for their lives and have the tools and skills to achieve those larger – and truly meaningful – goals. Working with me is as much about executing a developmental plan as it is deepening one’s capacity and sense-of-Self.
* * *
Will I Recover the Investment I Put Into Coaching?
Yes. Although my lawyers say I can’t “guarantee” anything. Your results – as they are in anything – are dependent on your inputs. When you combine hard work, a willingness to experiment and change and sustained period of coaching, you will see excellent results, both during coaching and after.
* * *
What Results Can I Expect?
We will work together on developing greater clarity, energy and effectiveness.
Of course, what you get out of coaching is proportional to what you put in. That said, if you show up and step up, you can expect to:
- Think bigger about what you want and who you are
- Feel truly supported in your efforts
- Be held accountable for what you say you’ll do
- Clarify your Values and understand the (fundamental) role they play in your life
- Understand how your Beliefs create your perceptions (and results . . . )
- Learn how your thoughts determine your state – and how to use that your advantage
- Raise your standards and increase your self-esteem
- Have more energy in all areas of your life (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual)
- Be happier, feel less (dis-)stress and generally feel better
- Have greater confidence and more faith in yourself
* * *
How Quickly Can I Expect Results?
Many clients see immediate results – particularly because they begin to view the world, and their “problems,” differently. Fundamentally, progress depends on your level of commitment and effort. It’s been said that success is simple, but it’s a lot work. Coaching works if you do
Big goals take big time but they come faster with coaching. But I can assure you that you will achieve your goals – both big and small – faster if you work with a coach. I can also assure of one other thing: time will pass and what you do along the way matters. I suggest leveraging my expertise and experience to make better use of that time.
* * *
Do You Have a “Coaching System?”
Yes and no.
Yes I have a coaching system which is easily understood and applied.
No, in the sense that every coaching engagement is unique and customized to each client.
There three main “phases” to my coaching system: Discover, Design and Practice; they move in a circle and are more a process framework that can be applied to whatever the client want to work on.
My main “come-from” is Align, Then Strengthen. Meaning: we will work on fundamentals first and go from there in Discovering exactly what you want, Designing a Plan and Practicing the behaviors that will create the changes desired.
I do have nine core developmental principles that inform my work and life. I seek to weave – and optimize – these principles into the work I do with my clients. These principles are the fundamentals that all successful people practice, experiment with and develop:
- Take Full Responsibility for Your Life
- Know Who You Are
- Manage Energy (Not Time . . . )
- Cultivate Complete Integrity
- Create a Plan for Your Life – and Keep Growing and Adapting that Plan
- Learn, Experiment & Practice
- Develop Supportive Relationships
- Know How Change Works
- Serve First
* * *
Who Are Your Clients Exactly?
I work with emerging leaders. Typically, corporate professionals and entrepreneurs in their 30s and 40s. Together we develop a clear and ambitious plan for their lives and I help them execute the plan.
My clients want to take charge of their lives, both the content and the direction. My coaching helps them them get clear on who they want to be – at home, at work and with friends – and what they want to create and achieve.
* * *
What Type of Personality Do You Work Best With and What is Expected?
I am someone who asks myself what I want all the time. I also always follow that question up with another: what must happen for me to create that result? I regularly compare my results with my rhetoric; meaning: am I doing what I must to achieve what I say I want? These three “questions” are the basis of a life of authentic achievement. Because I, and you, are constantly changing and developing (in ways positive and otherwise), the process of asking these questions is ongoing.
We will be a good match if you’re willing to be asked these three questions again and again. And to do so in a context of curiosity, acceptance, accountability and support.
Consider the work I do with my clients as combination of comprehensive planning and a series of guided, authentic life experiments where we consistently ask what do you truly want for your life, what is in the way of you achieving the results you desire and how can you build on your strengths and unique gifts.
Life is iterative; meaning it builds on itself. It is often impossible to know what we will want (or what’s possible) until we actually do some exploration and experimentation. I have found that life rewards intelligent movement. I help my clients focus on getting in motion in a way that serves their development, effectiveness and happiness.
- are able to work with a partner and can collaborate;
- are ready to be asked many questions;
- want to examine who they are and what they truly want;
- are ready and willing to make positive changes;
- understand that action is the key to any change or shift;
- are prepared to experiment and learn – there is no failure, only results; and
- have the resources for coaching: time, money and energy
If that sounds good to you, then we’ll likely be able to achieve some great things together.
* * *
For What Type of Person is Your Coaching NOT Going to Work?
I have come to learn that fit is very important in who I coach. I am selective in who I work with and will not take on just anyone. I take the time to meet with every prospective client (generally on the phone) before any money ever changes hands. This time is as valuable for the prospective client as it is for me. I use this time to gauge the person’s level of commitment to change and the likelihood of my coaching services to useful. I interview clients as much as they interview me.
My coaching programs are not for people who are in crisis or have issues that are keeping them stuck in the past. We all have things from our past that slow us down, but once we identify these issues in coaching there must be measurable progress. There are people who are better suited for therapy or some sort of counseling. If I sense that in the initial conversation, or in the course of the coaching engagement, I make any appropriate suggestions/referrals. There are instances in which a blended approach is appropriate and a coaching client also sees a therapist of counselor, but these are rare.
* * *
If I’m Not Sure I’m Ready to Get Started, How Can I Sample Your Work at Low Cost to See if it’s the Right Solution for Me?
I would encourage you to have a conversation with me first. Coaching is an investment in your future. If you’ve read this far, I believe you 1) are connecting with the part of you that knows you are capable of more in your life and 2) that working with me might be just the thing. If you are at all curious, please contact me and we’ll talk.
Absent a conversation, a good way to get to know me, my approach and personality and how I help my clients is to visit my blog where I post regularly.