What is coaching?
The International Coaching Federation, (ICF), defines professional coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today’s uncertain and complex environment. Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole. Standing on this foundation, the coach’s responsibility is to:
- Discover, clarify, and align with what the client wants to achieve
- Encourage client self-discovery
- Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies
- Hold the client responsible and accountable
This process helps clients dramatically improve their outlook on work and life, while improving their leadership skills and unlocking their potential.
How does the coaching process work?
I provide all potential clients with an exploratory session (either in person in the Boston area or via phone) to learn more about what the client is hoping to achieve through coaching, to share what I can offer through a coaching relationship and to see if we are a good fit. Because coaching is all about partnership, it’s important to find the right coach for you. I generally meet with clients weekly or bi-monthly for 60 minutes for 3- 6 months while working towards a particular goal or project in the client’s life. Between sessions, clients work on assignments to make progress on the goals we are working on together. I provide resources, frameworks, tools, reading recommendations and assessments as needed.
What is a Certified Professional Coach?
A CPC is a Certified Professional Coach. I studied coaching at the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC) – an accredited coach training program through the International Coaching Federation (ICF). My training included many hours of in person training as well as extensive peer and mentor coaching and concluded with an oral and written exam to receive certification. I am a member of the ICF (International Coaching Federation), and am committed to upholding all coaching standards with integrity and confidentiality.
How is coaching distinct from other service professions?
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. Here is some clarification as explained by the ICF.
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 emphasis in a coaching relationship is on action, accountability and follow through.
In general, therapy is designed to move a person from DYSFUNCTIONAL to FUNCTIONAL. Coaching is designed to move a person from FUNCTIONAL to OPTIMAL.
Individuals or organizations retain consultants for their expertise. While consulting approaches vary widely, the assumption is the consultant will diagnose problems, 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.
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 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.
Though sports metaphors are often used, professional coaching is different from sports coaching. The athletic coach is often seen as an expert who guides and directs the behavior of individuals or teams based on his or her greater experience and knowledge. Professional coaches possess these qualities, but their experience and knowledge of the individual or team determines the direction. Additionally, professional coaching, unlike athletic development, does not focus on behaviors that are being executed poorly or incorrectly. Instead, the focus is on identifying opportunity for development based on individual strengths and capabilities.
Is coaching right for me?
1. Are you ready to hit the reset button on your current life?
2. Are you ready to take an honest look at what is working in your life and what isn’t?
3. Are you not willing to wait it out until things “get better” ( i.e. kids going to college, boss retires)?
4. Do you always feel overwhelmed?
5. Are you thinking about a career shift (staying home with kids, going back to work, starting a business?
6. Do you want to learn how to get out of your own way?
7. Are you willing to put the work in to make a change?
8. Could you use some support with clarifying your dreams and goals and making them happen?
If you answered yes to even one of these questions, coaching could be a great fit for you!
How do I learn more and get started?
Contact me for a complementary session. I’ve love to talk with you.