business man writing business strategy concept



So, what is this thing called “Coaching”?

The International Coach Federation (ICF) defines Coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought provoking and creative process the inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential”. These are some commonly asked questions that can also be found on their website:

“Awareness for how to pursue profound change is the intention of coaching exchanges. Coaches create an environment for clients to choose new behaviors and actions that are useful for experiencing a more desirable outcome or successfully navigating the transition path.”

Janet M. Harvey, 2012 ICF Global Board Past President and Master Certified Coach

Donna J. Spina ACC, CPC, ELI-MP, is credentialed through ICF after completion of her professional coach training from an illustrious school, iPEC: Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching. Bruce D. Schneider PhD, the highly accomplished Founder of iPEC, developed the Core Energy Process. “The process helps bring out the potential in a client, be it a person, couple, family, or corporation. This process is done by emotionally connecting the client’s inner purpose and passion to outer goals and strategies to bring about extraordinary and sustainable results”.

Is coaching right for me? Why should I Start? 

Ask yourself, “Why did this question even cross my mind?” Are you going through some changes or wanting changes in your personal or professional life, or both? Make a list of the things you have been wishing to get accomplished but have stalled in the pursuit of them. Coaching is a partnership. Do you think it would have been valuable to collaborate with someone who could support your mission? Decide if you are ready to commit the time and energy to make sustainable, overdue, fulfilling change. Coaching will help you “grow up” to greatness!

When should I hire a coach?

There are multiple “whys” a person, team, or company would decide to take this leap and invest in themselves.

  • Your life is in transition and you are not clear on which road to follow
  • You want more from your Life but cannot see your “hidden assets” to attain it
  • A sense of urgency has arisen and will be dealing with a large challenge or exciting opportunity which needs to be skillfully addressed
  • You need that “bridge” which takes you from where you are to where you want to be without falling into the murky waters below
  • You now grasp that coaches can get you to your goals faster than you would on your own
  • You are very successful, it poses problems, and need to create an integration of Work and Life before having to deal with unsettling consequences

How do I pick the right coach?

Most coaches offer a complimentary consultation to allow you the opportunity to experience coaching, perhaps for the first time. This gives the coach and the coachee the opportunity to clearly discover if their approaches, chemistry, similarities, differences, and goals desired work mutually well within the context of the coach’s specialty.

The sessions can be conducted face to face, by phone, or using technology!

How is coaching different from other service professionals?

The growing field of Professional Coaching sets itself apart from Consultants, Mentors, Therapists, and Family/Friends in the following ways:

  • Consultants are usually experts in your field with their own agenda. They analyze the current condition of a business and design a strategic plan to address the issues of concern. The plan “tells” what is to be done, leaving you to your own devices to implement it.
  • Mentors, are experts in your field, who take you under their wing to shadow their every move.
  • Therapists helps clients “fix” their problems, overcome issues, and manage some forms of mental illness which many times focus on past occurrences while analyzing behaviors to understand “why?” .
  • Family and Friends have a subjective approach. The majority of these well intentioned people view your life subjectively, listening to your hopes, dreams, and concerns through the filter of their own life’s experiences and agenda. Often, they will tell you what you should do, or worse, say nothing in fear of jeopardizing the relationship.
  • Coaches only have one agenda: to assist the client in getting what he/she wants and explore possibilities. A coach’s expertise lies in the coaching process to bring about effective, sustainable change by “asking” empowering questions which encourage the client to think deeper. The client is their own expert and all answers to any situation lie within them. At times, a coach may wear the consultant’s hat, suggesting new ideas from his/her intuition, knowledge, and experience. A coach does not treat or manage mental illness. The coach will partner with the client to help to implement the “How” plan they both have developed to gain clarity, purpose, and direction. The focus is on solutions, every problem is viewed as an opportunity for growth. The past is recognized, not dwelled upon, and accepted with forward moving actions. A coach is a keen listener, trusted advisor, providing constructive, objective feedback in a confidential, nonjudgmental environment in which the client can freely explore their ideas, issues, or concerns. A coach assists the client in moving from functional to optimal.

A Coach helps a person identify where they are and where they want to be. The Coaching Process creates action steps to bridge that gap.

How long should I work with a coach?

A general rule in the industry is that it takes usually three months to raise a client’s awareness and six months to create sustainable change. How effective the coaching process is also depends on the quality of the coach and the client’s accountability to perform the work needed for change. Consider, too, the extent of the goals the client desires to reach. Rome wasn’t built in a day either!