What is a Life Coach?
And How Can a Coach Help Me?
And other Frequently Asked Questions:
Coaching:The earliest definition of the word coach is a conveyance, a means of transportation, a method of getting you somewhere. Perhaps the simplest explanation is that a life coach helps you get to wherever it is that you want to be, in your business, your career, your education or any aspect of your personal life faster, easier (more comfortably) and with the ability to bring more along with you than you would by yourself. We help you reach higher, expanding your vision and achieving many more of your goals, much earlier than you imagined!
Its a lot like having a personal trainer for your mind. In the gym, a personal trainer helps us maximize our effort for the best possible gain. They do this by showing how to use the equipment correctly and exercise properly to increase our results. They can also be a spotter, giving us the benefit of another pair of eyes to evaluate our performance and avoid injury. They also provide focus, motivation, encouragement and feedback that helps us set new goals and reach them.
Similarly, a Life Coach (Executive or Personal) is a "thought-partner": a sounding board, a mirror in which you can see your thinking and planning processes more clearly. Not someone who tells you what you must do, but rather someone who helps you discover what you can do, finding any missing answers or puzzle pieces that will help you overcome potential obstacles. By asking provocative questions, a coach helps activate your mind, often making possible extremely usefully insights and discoveries, possibilities and solutions that would otherwise go unrecognized. As an accountability partner, the coach helps you stay on track and improve your follow through.
How does the coaching process work? What do I have to do?
Most coaching sessions are held on a weekly basis over the phone, and while initial sessions can last up to an hour, personal coaching sessions are usually limited to 45 minutes. Executive coaching sessions can be a little longer. The schedule is negotiated between the client and the coach before the coaching begins. There is usually e-mail contact between sessions to share insights and report on progress, as well as other information. Together we form what we call a coaching alliance, which becomes a powerful partnership with the means to move forward.
What if I am not really clear on what I want
(or need) to do?
Can a coach help me with that?
Yes, definitely. Clarity of vision or purpose is where we usually start. And there are a number of tools and assessments that assist the client and coach in defining or refining the client's vision. We can also help make that vision more compelling and assist in discovering the steps that will take you there.
What if I'm already quite experienced at setting and reaching goals and my vision is quite clear?
What can a coach do for me?
Many experienced executives or entrepreneurs feel this way. After all, you had to have something great going for you to get you where you are, right? Yet in even the highest offices, the words are often heard, "It can be very lonely at the top!" Even the highest performing athletes in the world have coaches. But in business, it can be hard to find (inside the company) a trusted and objective pair of eyes to help you see how things might look from another perspective, a sounding board from which to bounce ideas before launching them to the team or board, someone who can be frank and honest, and unafraid to tell even "the Emperor" that there just might be an issue with his newest suit of clothes, an advocate to challenge and test new thoughts as well as cheer and support from the sidelines.
Just how much difference can coaching make?
Is it really worthwhile?
It is said that the top performing 10 percent of employees are worth twice as much to their organization than the average co-worker. Demonstrating that you are twice as valuable to your employer is an achievable and worthwhile goal that some individuals pursue. What a bonus to have on your side when you go to ask the boss for a promotion or a raise! Other personal goals may not translate as readily into monetary gain, but the value you place on them is what matters to you.
Perhaps because the span of their influence is broad, it has been shown that the return on investment (ROI) for executive coaching can be higher than five to one! So there can be a decided, even measurable economic benefit to the executive coach client that far exceeds that of personal coaching.