What is coaching? The ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.
How is coaching distinct from other service professions?
From the ICF website: Professional coaching focuses on setting goals, creating outcomes and managing personal change. Sometimes it’s helpful to understand coaching by distinguishing it from other personal or organizational support professions.
- Therapy: Therapy deals with healing pain, dysfunction and conflict within an individual or in relationships. The focus is often on resolving difficulties arising from the past that hamper an individual's emotional functioning in the present, improving overall psychological functioning, and dealing with the present in more emotionally healthy ways. Coaching, on the other hand, supports personal and professional growth based on self-initiated change in pursuit of specific actionable outcomes. These outcomes are linked to personal or professional success. Coaching is future focused. While positive feelings/emotions may be a natural outcome of coaching, the primary focus is on creating actionable strategies for achieving specific goals in one's work or personal life. The emphases in a coaching relationship are on action, accountability, and follow through.
- Consulting: Individuals or organizations retain consultants for their expertise. While consulting approaches vary widely, the assumption is the consultant will diagnose problems and prescribe and, sometimes, implement solutions. With coaching, the assumption is that individuals or teams are capable of generating their own solutions, with the coach supplying supportive, discovery-based approaches and frameworks.
- Mentoring: A mentor is an expert who provides wisdom and guidance based on his or her own experience. Mentoring may include advising, counseling and coaching. The coaching process does not include advising or counseling, and focuses instead on individuals or groups setting and reaching their own objectives.
- Training: Training programs are based on objectives set out by the trainer or instructor. Though objectives are clarified in the coaching process, they are set by the individual or team being coached, with guidance provided by the coach. Training also assumes a linear learning path that coincides with an established curriculum. Coaching is less linear without a set curriculum.
What is the structure of coaching with Chris?
Chris schedules a complimentary consultation to see if she is a good fit for you and your organization's needs. She uses select assessments designed to raise your awareness. Usually she works with clients bi-weekly for 40-60 minutes. In addition, Chris offers email and text support as needed and "just-in-time" calls in between sessions so you have all the support you need. A typical executive coaching engagement includes an initial meeting with you and your direct supervisor to discuss strengths and challenges as well as logistics of the coaching.
What topics can we coach on?
The easy answer is, "whatever's most important to you!" Here are some examples to give you an idea: relationships at work and at home, increasing confidence as a leader, communication skills, managing stress, improving health, losing weight, increasing fun, managing during a transition time, delegating effectively, changing habits that aren't working.
What is the duration of the coaching engagement?
The average is three months to one year.
How is working with Chris different than working with another coach or facilitator?
Chris' coaching style is warm and supportive versus "crack the whip" and overly serious. She has an irreverent sense of humor that makes the process light and playful. Chris employs techniques from the fields of positive psychology and somatic coaching. She's a big believer in the power of mindfulness and uses mindfulness to support her clients to raise their awareness. Because she's always engaged in new learning, Chris' clients get the benefit of trying various processes when appropriate to their issues. Chris' clients often report that after working with Chris they are more confident, courageous, have more clarity and are more productive. As a facilitator Chris has a unique ability to engage groups quickly and uses experiential learning techniques to promote new insights and follow up action.