Frequently Asked Questions About Coaching

  What is Coaching?
  Is coaching different from therapy, consulting, or a supportive friend?
  How does the coach help?
  How long does a client typically work with a coach?
  What does the coaching process look like?
  What does it cost to hire a coach?
  How do I find the right coach for me or my company?
  What are the qualifications of a coach?
 
  What is Coaching?
 

Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. It is a process that supports the client in reaching deeper levels of fulfillment and success quicker and with more ease. Individuals engage a coach for many reasons and for support in any area of their life: career, business, personal transitions, relationships, financial, life balance, spirituality and more.

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  Is coaching different from therapy, consulting, or a supportive friend?
 

So often people confuse coaching with mentoring, consulting or therapy, and although coaching draws from these disciplines it is a distinct and independent discipline.  Coaching is not to be seen as taking the place of these other professions, nor is it in conflict with them. In fact, coaching often works in harmony with these fields.

Therapy is primarily for the purpose of diagnosing and healing mental illness. Coaching, on the other hand, supports fully functioning and capable individuals in making desired changes in their life and moving forward with intentional action.

Consulting is about solving specific problems and providing expertise, direction and advice. Coaches use well-crafted questions, as well as other techniques, to help clients tap into their own experience, knowledge and wisdom.

Mentoring refers to a developmental relationship between a more experienced mentor and a less experienced partner in order to obtain information, good examples, and advice as they advance. Although highly skilled mentors often provide some level of coaching the focus is on information and teaching.

A supportive friend can be a wonderful sounding board and cheerleader yet cannot provide the powerful questions and direction that a coach can offer. A professional coach brings unique skills, new perspectives and objectivity without emotional attachment to the client's choice.

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  How does the coach help?
 

A professional coach possesses talents, techniques, skills and tools that support the client in making the right changes, with greater ease and lasting effectiveness. The coach assists the client by helping them to:

  • Discover what they truly desire
  • Recognize their strengths and assets
  • Uncover the unconscious thoughts and beliefs that hold them back
  • Explore new perspectives
  • Gain clarity on values and life purpose
  • Identify and end self-defeating habits and patterns
  • Clarify goals and create action plans to achieve them
  • Learn from mistakes and failures
  • Celebrate successes
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  How long does a client typically work with a coach?
 

According to the International Coach Federation survey, the duration of a coaching relationships average around 9 months. However, clients often see the long term benefits of working with a coach and even after they have accomplished specific goals and/or projects they continue the relationship focusing on other aspects of their life.

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  What does the coaching process look like?
 

Typically, a coach starts the relationship with a detailed intake session to get acquainted quickly, develop a connection, and set the intention and direction of the coaching relationship.

The typical scenario is for a coach and client to meet privately, one-on-one, 2 to 4 times per month for up to an hour. Meetings may be held in person, by phone or by e-mail, although phone is most common. Another common one-on-one offering is laser sessions which may be e-mails or short phone calls targeting a specific issue to be resolved quickly.  Laser sessions may be offered separately or in conjunction with more structured sessions.

Group coaching is an offering in which the coach works with multiple people with similar goals. Group coaching sessions are normally held using a teleconference line although some coaches hold group sessions in person at offices or other meeting facilities.

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  What does it cost to hire a coach?
 

The cost of coaching varies widely based on the coach's experience, credentials, and area of specialization. Often a personal coach will charge less than an executive coach. Group coaching sessions are less expensive than private one-on-one sessions. A coach may charge by the month, by the program, by the project, or by the hour.

Some coaches offer sliding scales for clients who cannot afford the full fee.

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  How do I find the right coach for me or my company?
 

The most important thing is to conduct interviews. When searching for a coach, we recommend that you interview three different coaches to see who best fits your needs and style. This site includes a directory of our ICF Member coaches who are available to support you. 

Because trust and openness are necessary elements for a successful coaching experience, perhaps the most important criterion in hiring a coach is rapport and "chemistry" between the client and coach. Beyond this, consider the coach's background, credentials, areas of expertise, and fees. Discuss what you or your company are looking for and see what kind of experience the coach has in that area. Many executive coaches go through different training specifically geared towards business; this would be a more qualified coach for an executive engagement.

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  What are the qualifications of a coach?
 

Many coaches have professional certifications from coaching schools; some coaches are credentialed by the International Coach Federation (ICF). Since coaching is a self-regulating profession without clearly defined standards of competency and ethics, we highly recommend that you verify the credentials of any prospective coach. Seek a coach who has specific training and knowledge to serve as a coach. Hiring a coach who has been trained through an ICF approved program is an excellent choice. The ICF is the premier organization for professional coaches and has established a Code of Ethics and Core Coaching Competencies to ensure excellence in service to clients.

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Did you know…

90% of the failure people experience at work is not due to lack of knowledge or skill, but to not being able to create human relationships, according to A. Adler.  Research also shows that 82% of newly appointed leaders de-rail because they fail to build partnerships and teamwork with others. People withhold on average 40% of their cooperation as reported in studies by Robert S. Hartman, Nobel Prize nominee.

According to Profiles International’s Imagine Great People™ study, about $350 billion per year is lost because of employee disengagement. This $2.3 million study examined 8,000 employees in a cross-section of industries.

In our fast-paced, bottom-line economy, life-long learning, creativity, collaboration, and flexibility are much needed skills, yet these are skills that most people are not taught. As a result, traditional employee/employer relationships and high levels of employee disengagement are creating symptoms of stress, burnout, and imbalance in the workplace and at home.

All of these factors place tremendous pressures on people at every level to create a sense of focus, clarity, and balance in order to function and thrive. How can you and your colleagues accomplish this?

By working with a professional coach, you and your organization can break through obstacles and achieve outstanding results.


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The Central Florida Charter Chapter of the International Coach Federation (ICFCF) is a not-for-profit organization of professional coaches, committed to advancing the profession of coaching throughout the Central Florida region.
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