What is Coaching?
The International Coach Federation (ICF)—the largest professional association of coaches—defines professional coaching as an "ongoing partnership that helps clients produce fulfilling results in their personal and professional lives." Through the collaborative process of coaching, clients deepen their learning about themselves and the opportunities and issues in their lives, improve their performance, and enhance their quality of life.
Coaching focuses on what the client wants to accomplish. Therefore, the best way to understand coaching is to experience it yourself.
Why would I hire a coach?
People seek the services of a professional coach for many reasons. They may want to improve their career performance, make better business decisions, have higher-quality relationships, be more physically fit and well, explore spiritual and personal fulfillment, set and achieve more ambitious goals, and further their financial independence. These findings are generalizations from thousands of coaching clients. There may be something else that you want. A professional coach can help you clarify what that is, achieve it, and identify barriers to your moving toward it and then move forward.
Organizations use coaching as a way to provide personal and professional development. Studies demonstrate that coaching produces more profound and longer-lasting results than just training and/or consultation interventions alone. Organizations have discovered a key benefit to coaching is dramatically enhanced and sustained change.
What will coaching do for me?
Coaching clients have identified the following benefits directly derived from their coaching experience: increased self-awareness, setting better, realistic goals, achieving a more balanced life, lowered stress, self-discovery, improved self-confidence, a higher quality of life, better communication skills, and improved project completion. Again, because coaching is tailored to your specific issues, your own list of outcomes may include all of these and more.
I manage people in my organization. What would coaching do for my staff?
The answer would be different for each person, but generally coaching helps people change in ways they may have wanted for some time but haven't been able to accomplish on their own. Coaching provides a safe place for people to be honest with themselves and ambitious in their goals. Coaching can be tremendously effective in building teams and improving employee relations/satisfaction.
What's the ROI (Return on Investment) on coaching?
One survey of coaching clients confirmed that 98.5% found their return on coaching to be worth the investment (70% of coaching clients rated it as very valuable, and another 28.5% rated it as valuable). Coaching focuses on your own goals and context, determining the return on your investment is a unique process. Your coach would be able to work with you to create a measure of return that would satisfy the demands of your situation.
Why do successful people need a coach?
Successful people benefit from coaching by reaching their full potential. They may want answers to:
How is business or personal coaching different from consulting, therapy, sports coaching, or talking to a friend?
Consulting: Coaching is a form of consulting. And the coach stays with the client to help implement the new skills, changes and goals to sustain change.
Therapy: Coaching is not therapy. Coaches don't work on "issues" or get into the past or deal much with understanding human behaviour. Coaches help their clients define what they want and help move towards the life they really want. When coaches identify the need for therapy, they refer their clients to trained therapists.
Sports: Coaching includes several principles from sports coaching, like teamwork, going for the goal, being your best. But unlike sports coaching, most professional coaching is not competition or win/lose based. We strengthen the client's skills vs help them beat the other team. It's win/win.
Best friend: A best friend is wonderful to have. However, is your best friend a professional who you can trust to advise you on the most important aspects of your life and/or business? Have a best friend and a coach.
Why is coaching becoming so popular?
Coaching is becoming popular for several reasons:
What does it cost to hire a coach?
The cost of coaching varies. Many coaches working with individuals charge about $200 to $450 per month for one half-hour call per week. Executive coaches charge more and some clients work with a coach for an hour or two a week. Charges work out to about $100 to $150 per hour. Executive and corporate coaching or coaching programs run $1,000 to $10,000 per month or per project. Coaching can be tremendously effective in building teams and improving employee relations/satisfaction.
What happens when I hire a coach?
Many things, but the most important are:
How long must I commit if I start working with a coach?
Coaching is based on a fundamental of relationship. Coaching, especially developmental coaching, is not a "vaccination" — time and effort reaps results. Most coaches ask for a three to six month commitment. Usually coaches agree to stop immediately if coaching is not working for you.
Can I hire a coach just for a short-term, special project?
Yes. Some clients hire a coach to help them accomplish specific goals or projects. Usually, however, the client continues to work with the coach because there are even more interesting things to accomplish.