What is Coaching?
What is coaching?
Coaching is a personal development experience like no other, totally focused on your own needs and desires for change.
The International Coach Federation defines professional coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise their personal and professional potential”.
This is why coaching is a conversation with a purpose. Unlike a helpful chat with a trusted friend or family member, every coaching conversation has a specific focus or goal set by you and it is the coach’s responsibility to facilitate a powerful process which supports you to achieve that goal.
What does a coach do?
Using powerful questioning techniques and exercises, a coach will:
- Discover, clarify, and align with what you want to achieve
- Encourage your self-discovery and self-awareness
- Elicit solutions and strategies from you
- Hold you responsible and accountable for your actions
This process is likely to involve the coach challenging your long held beliefs, asking questions that you may not have considered before and stretching you to think very differently. The coach will respect that you are the expert in your own life and will not tell you what to do or give direct advice.
Sometimes this won’t be easy; personal development is meant to stretch you and may feel temporarily uncomfortable, but that’s how you know you’re learning and changing! The rewards include significantly heightened levels of self-awareness, which can be a revelation.
Be reassured that coaching always takes place in a confidential, safe and non-judgemental environment which the coach will ensure for every session.
How long does coaching take?
The process involves a series of coaching sessions, typically about an hour each, spread over several weeks or months. The number of sessions you want will be agreed at the outset along with any other “ground rules” for the coaching partnership. The sessions may be in person, via Skype (or equivalent) or over the phone, depending on what you prefer.
During these sessions, the coach will give you the time, space and encouragement to explore and identify what you want to achieve and support you in establishing your goals for the overall coaching programme. Each session will also have a focus so that you stay on the path towards your goals.
Do you coach over the phone or internet?
Coaching can be provided in person or on-line (video or audio) or by phone. The appropriate fee charged is the same in each case. Whether in visual or audio format, internet based coaching can be just as effective as sessions in person. You are welcome to try a different format for some sessions if you prefer.
What does coaching cost?
Coaching packages and rates differ depending upon whether you are seeking corporate or private coaching, so the level of investment will vary. You are welcome to contact Siobhain to find out more (email@example.com).
What is the difference between coaching and counselling / therapy?
Professional coaching focuses on setting goals for the future, on creating outcomes linked to personal or professional growth and change; coaching is very much focused on future success.
Counselling / therapy focuses on understanding and healing pain, dysfunction or conflict, within relationships or at an individual level; in general, it tends to focus on difficulties which arose in the past and are compromising functioning in the present. Understanding emotional triggers may arise within a coaching process but with the focus firmly on using that understanding to inform decisions and actions for the future.
How does coaching differ from consulting?
In broad terms, consultants are typically engaged by a client for their expertise in analysing a situation, making specific recommendations for action and sometimes for implementing the chosen solution. In contrast, the premise with professional coaching is that the client is capable of generating his or her own ideas for action; the coach facilitates that self-discovery process by using questioning techniques or exercises and by challenging the client to build the self-awareness needed to enable change.
Can I have a free sample session?
Yes; you are welcome to contact Siobhain (firstname.lastname@example.org) to set up a free sample session to discuss what you want to get out of a coaching programme; this will last approximately 45 minutes. A sample session should always be the first step in choosing to work with any coach to ensure that you pick the right coach for you.