Why Coaching Matters: The Top 5 Questions
(1) What is the difference between a consultant, counselor and coach?
- Consultant - Generally, consultants are considered experts with the best answers and advice. They identify the problems, along with providing the solutions and the step-by-step approach. Sometimes, consultants actually do the work for you.
- Counselors/Therapists - With therapy, the philosophy is that something is broken and needs to be fixed. Counselors typically focus on psychological "problems," and solutions are accomplished by working through issues from the "past."
- Coach - Coaching, on the other hand, believes that people are creative, resourceful and whole. Working from the present forward, coaches help clients to identify where they are, where they want to be, and how to get there. Coaches support clients in discovering and creating their own solutions, and collectively bring energy to fuel a client's motivation to accomplish even more.
(2) Why would I need a coach?
CNN.com posted a fabulous article in August 2007 that sums it up best -- Getting 'unstuck': Does your life need a coach? Key highlights on why someone would hire and need a coach include:
- When it is hard to see the big picture
- You feel like you're lacking direction
- Wanting more happiness, peace of mind and passion
- To turn dreams and visions into reality
- Needing to move your life forward
(3) Why does coaching work?
In a nutshell, coaching focuses on the client's personal and professional goals, while providing tools, support and structure to sustain change. These "rewarding" goals -- coupled with a client's desire for growth and change -- produce a strategy to achieve results. Pure and simple, the synergy between the coach and client creates momentum.
As with personal trainers or athletic coaches, a life coach provides accountability and supports the client's discovery but without the competition or win/lose philosophy. Coaches focus on strengthening their clients' skills to live life intentionally.
Simply stated, coaching helps you become more than you were yesterday!
- It's about having someone really listen to you.
- Understand you.
- Help you prioritize.
- Find clarity for what you really want.
- Challenge you to go beyond where you normally stop.
- Hold you accountable.
- Celebrate your victories.
- Motivate you.
- Believe in your potential.
- Be objective in your journey.
- Passionate for your success!
(4) What is involved?
Ultimately, that will depend on the client. Initially, there will be time spent on discovering more about the client -- to find out what happiness and fulfillment means to them. To identify what is draining their energy. To become aware of obstacles that makes life more difficult. Using a strengths based approach, clients will use various tools to help further their strategy and awareness, even uncovering goals or dreams that have been put on the back burner.
Coaches and clients engage in conversations, either face-to-face or by phone. Coaches use powerful questions, listen actively, and offer perspectives and observations that help clients go deeper than they would on their own. And coaches offer clients "homework" to implement a new action or idea to move them forward.
(5) How long will it take?
Commonly, coaches meet with clients weekly. And generally, a two or three month commitment is established. Sometimes, clients opt for a six or twelve month commitment, depending on the initial conversation.
Sessions can range from 30 minutes to an hour. What's fabulous about coaching is that partnerships are customized to meet the client's individual needs and desire to have a more fulfilling life.