A supportive relationship with a trained professional that enhances clients' ability to learn, make desired changes, solve problems, and achieve goals. Coaches work with their clients individually or in groups, face-to-face or by telephone, typically in a series of regularly scheduled sessions.
Coaching differs from consulting because the coach's primary role is not to give advice or design solutions. Coaches ask questions and suggest alternatives that guide clients to discover their own unique answers and choose their own path. A coach may provide ideas, expertise, and skill-building techniques, but doesn't solve clients' problems for them, nor tell them what to do.
Coaching differs from teaching in that the coach doesn't determine what the client will learn, nor provide a curriculum to be followed. The client decides what he or she needs to know, and the coach facilitates learning by providing accountability, feedback, helpful resources, or useful models.
Coaching differs from therapy because coaching sessions are primarily focused on learning and achievement, rather than healing or resolution. Coaches help clients to make changes in their lives by observing present conditions, visualizing future goals, and determining action steps. Analyzing past events, understanding emotional reactions, or determining the cause of a client's behavior are typically not addressed in coaching.
Coaching clients experience a sense of partnership and support in achieving their personal goals that is often not available elsewhere in their lives. Regular coaching sessions provide clients with dedicated time to focus on what they truly want and what must happen to create it.
Coaches help their clients design action steps to meet their goals, then hold them accountable to their own stated desires, providing perspective, feedback, and smart questions along the way. As a result, clients stay motivated, make significant changes, and achieve more than they may have thought possible.
The typical investment for individual coaching is $300 to $600 USD per month for a series of regularly scheduled sessions. To achieve significant results, most coaches ask that clients commit to work with them for at least three months. The investment for group coaching may be less per person, depending on the program design.
First, ask friends and colleagues if they have worked with a coach to achieve goals similar to your own. While coaching does not require a professional license, there are a number of organizations that train or certify coaches. The largest certifying body is the International Coach Federation ( www.coachfederation.org ) which offers a referral service to match prospective clients with appropriate coaches.
As a certified coach and credentialed member of ICF, Monique adheres to the ICF Code of Ethics.
Learn more in this brief presentation.
A typical coaching client is someone who wants to make changes in his or her life, and is ready to take action. You might hire a coach for yourself when you are looking for a new job, needing to improve your management skills, wanting to increase profits in your business, launching an ambitious new project, planning your retirement, or dissatisfied with some of the conditions in your life and seeking a new direction. You might hire a coach for your organization when you want to improve productivity, increase teamwork, implement new ways of working, or adjust to changing conditions.
Coaching clients are men, women, and young people, of all ages, professions, and income brackets. What they have in common is a desire for partnership, support, and strategic guidance in solving problems and achieving goals that are personally important to them.
The best coaches are those who excel at listening, communicating, questioning, action planning, and creating accountability, and have the ability to hold the client's agenda rather than follow their own. Coaches come from a wide variety of backgrounds, including business, counseling, consulting, training, and sports. There are no standard educational or licensing requirements for coaching. Many coaches have completed formal training programs or earned a credential from a training school, university, or professional association. Others have built their coaching abilities through substantial career or life experience.
To determine the qualifications of a coach, in addition to asking the coach about his or her background, ask for references from former clients about the coach's capabilities. Satisfied clients are often the best measure of how well-qualified a coach is to help clients achieve results.
First, determine what you want to accomplish. Most coaches specialize in a particular kind of coaching, for example: small business, career transition, executive/management, team facilitation, life planning, relationships, or attention deficit disorder.
To locate a coach with the specialty you are seeking, begin by asking friends or colleagues if they can recommend a coach they have worked with to accomplish similar goals. To widen your search, use one of the many coach referral services offered by training schools and coaching associations, such as the International Coach Federation
( www.coachfederation.org ). You can locate a referral service relevant to your needs on the web by searching for appropriate keywords, such as "career coach referral" or "Florida coach referral."
Interview two or three possible coaches for comparison. Ask about their background and the type of results they typically help clients achieve. The personal fit between client and coach is an important factor. In your initial conversation, assess not only the coach's ability to assist you in reaching your goals but how comfortable you feel interacting with him or her. Some coaches also offer complimentary coaching sessions for prospective clients so you can experience what it would be like to work with them. You should also ask to speak with two or three references.
To get the most from a coaching relationship, clients need to be willing to learn new ways of doing things and make changes in their attitudes and behavior. Anyone who is open to hearing new perspectives, willing to question how they are currently acting, and ready to take on new challenges in their life or career can benefit from a working with a coach.
Take this 1-minute quiz and determine for yourself if you are ready to work with a coach: