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What is Coaching?

Coaching is a deliberate and ongoing process that identifies where you are, where you want to be, and what journey will get you there.  Coaching is an open and honest relationship with a trained professional who can help you identify your personal and professional goals and develop a strategy to reach them.
Life often gets in the way and sets up barriers between you and your desired future.  Sometimes life slows you down for a few days or weeks, but it can often last for years.  A professional coach can help you identify those obstacles and help you navigate them quicker than you can do yourself.

How is coaching different than counseling, consulting, or mentoring?

Great question - each of these have their own purpose.  The question is, which has the best chance of giving you the tools needed to successfully navigate your current and future roadblocks.
Let’s say your goal is to drive to a library.
Coaching: First I help you decide what library has what you need and what's the best route to get there. Then I ride in the car with you, helping you find alternative routes as new roadblocks get in your way.
Counseling: We talk about your past experiences driving to a library and work through the issues that arose from that – issues that are still affecting your ability to drive there now.
Consulting: I decide which library is best for you, map the route, and give you step by step directions on how to get there.
Mentoring: I share with you what library I went to and how I got there. 

How is this different from my best friend?

While we all need friends, family, and other very supportive people in our life, those that know us best may not always know the best way to help you accomplish your goals. They want the best for us, no doubt, but also have opinions and interests in the way things work out. A healthy friendship also has give-and-take. The focus eventually shifts to their vacation plans, his mother-in-law, or her big project at work. It has to, and it should. Unlike a friendship, a coaching relationship is unilateral – it’s a one-way street exclusively focused on you and your goals. I am super friendly and develop great relationships with my clients. We can have a lot of fun coaching. But, I am not their friend. That is why most coaches will refer their close friends and family members to a colleague. Trust me, I would be a terrible coach for my spouse.

What are the benefits of coaching?

  • Focuses your attention on what is really important to you and how best to get you there. Identifies your strengths and weaknesses to help you tackle your professional and personal barriers.

  • Brings to the surface any obstacles in the way of your own goals that may be hard to identify or see a way around without an outside perspective.

  • Recognizes unexpected, even unwanted change as an opportunity to create a future not yet imagined. 

  • Helps you improve your business, professional, or personal relationships.

  • Coaching allows you to work with a trusted professional who can guide you to the single most important path - the one that works for you.


What are people coached on?

Time management, stress reduction, relationship building, expanding influence, networking, simplifying processes, identifying when to move forward, or any of a thousand other professional or personal barriers. Coaching isn’t about me telling you what to do, it is about me helping YOU figure out what the next step should be. You have the solution within you, coaching is there to help you find and implement it.


Who can be coached?

Coaching can be effective for anyone who is looking for change. Coaching is an intentional and purposeful relationship between you and a trained professional to identify your personal or professional barriers, identify your values and where you want to be.  More importantly, Coaching allows one to establish personalized steps that will allow you to confidently start moving toward your goals.


 What can I expect from Coaching?

Individuals who engage in effective coaching with a trained practitioner report greater confidence. Through the coaching process, you take concrete steps toward critical goals, explore new ways of thinking and being, and develop new levels of self-awareness and self-appreciation. You will connect your dreams to real-world opportunities, explore new ideas, and try out new behaviors to create personal or professional happiness. Resistance to change and those internal gremlins that stand in your way will be recognized, acknowledged, and progressively diminished to make way for action, progress, and achievements that were once out of reach. 

Why doesn't a coach just tell me what to do?

Frankly, that approach probably won’t work. The beauty of coaching is that it is a conversation that is specifically tailored to your exact situation, your strengths, your comfort levels, and your willingness to create the change that you need.  Let’s say you want to lose weight. A trainer and nutritionist can give you a specific list of steps that has worked for most of their clients. The problem is that you aren’t most of their clients, and you are in a situation that is unique to you. What you need is an approach that fits your specific needs, skills, and goals.
A highly effective coaching relationship is a great way to help you tailor solutions to fit you.


What qualifies a coach to give me advice, shouldn't people be able to solve their own problems?

Ideally, yes, but everyone gets stuck in their own muck and very few can actually step outside themselves long enough to move beyond it.  We each need to be able to see where the goals are and where the obstacles are. A coach is a trusted professional who is there to look at your situation from the outside and help you get back on your way.


How do I know if coaching is the right approach for me? 

Coaching can be right for anyone, even coaches!  The biggest factor for clients is the willingness to do the hard work. YOU will define what success looks like, you will commit to the actions you want to take, and you will do it. Some people get coaching to help with a short term goal, having a couple sessions and then move on with their life. Others may need multiple coaching sessions when tackling bigger problems or goals.  Much of it depends on where you or your business are at any one time. Later down the road you may find that you want coaching again for new goals.


How do I know if my issue is "coachable"?

Working with a professional coach is the right choice in a lot of situations, both big and small.  A coach can help you achieve goals, develop life-long habits, and create a clearer vision of the future of your choosing. 


Keep in mind that coaching is not psychotherapy. There are licensed professionals whose experience and education equip them to diagnose and treat mental illness as well as healing emotional wounds. If you are faced with the ongoing management of a chronic situation, outside of your own influence to change, or are in survival mode - coping, grieving, hurting - I encourage you to seek out counseling. When it is discovered through coaching that someone needs the professional skills of a licensed therapist, a Coach will offer resources about colleagues better suited to the issues at hand. Some people take a break from coaching to pursue therapy. Others do both at the same time. This all depends on where you are and what your needs may be. No matter what, a coach will always act in your best interest.


How do I know if I am ready for coaching?

If you can answer "Yes" to these questions, you are ready for coaching:

  • Are you seeking personal or professional change that moves you to where you want to be?

  • Are you committed to making that change happen rather than continuing with the status-quo?

  • Can you be honest with your coach - even when it gets uncomfortable?

  • Can you commit to regular coaching sessions and come prepared to have an open discussion with your coach?


I could use the support of a coach to help me manage my time better, but shouldn't I wait until things aren't so busy?

Time management is something many people struggle with.  But let's face it, even if you manage to free up time, something else is going to come and fill that hole. Why not start working on the solution when you’re faced with the problem instead of hoping that the stars will align and time will suddenly make itself available? 


I am not comfortable sharing private information. Is coaching confidential?

Yes.  What is shared with your coach is confidential. Even the fact that you are being coached is confidential. In fact, in a public situation, a coach will not acknowledge that they know you unless you acknowledge them first. As a coach, it is my job to offer you a completely safe and courageous space. The only reasons I would share anything from our conversations are if I’m required by a court order or if you are at risk of being a danger to yourself. In both situations, if at all possible, I will let you know beforehand.


How do I choose the right coach for me?

Being in an open, honest, and comfortable coaching relationship is critical when working with a coach.  I recommend that you reach out for a free introductory session with me so we can get to know each other, explore your barriers, and draft some preliminary goals.  If that no-obligation meeting gives you the confidence that we can continue working together then we will move forward.  If not, that’s OK and I will happily refer you to one of the other amazing coaches I’m connected to.That indescribable “CLICK” matters in coaching. 


If I want to be coached, what do I do?

Call, email, or message me.  I’m happy to answer your questions. The first exploratory session is a chance for us to get to know each other and is always complimentary. Reach out to me, and we can find out what will work best for you.

Phone: 608-290-8064

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