FAQ's

Within the partnership, what does the coach do?

The coach

  • Provides objective assessment to nurture the individual/team's awareness of self and others.
  • Listens closely to understand the individual/team's position
  • Acts as a sounding board to explore solutions, plan in thoughtful manner, and make decisions
  • Encourages individuals/teams to stretch themselves according to their personal strengths and goals
  • Prompts shifts in thinking to reveal fresh perspectives
  • Illuminates blind spots to identify new possibilities and see alternative scenarios
  • Maintains professional boundaries in the coaching relationship, including confidentiality,and adheres to the coaching professions code of ethics.


Within the partnership, what does the individual do?

The individual

  • Sets the coaching agenda based on meaningful personal goals
  • Uses coach's assessment to enhance awareness of self and others
  • Clearly pictures personal and/or organizational success
  • Assumes responsibility for decisions and actions
  • Utilizes the coaching process to promote possibility thinking and fresh perspectives
  • Takes action according to personal goals and asporations
  • Employs big picture thinking and problem solving skills
  • Uses tools, concepts, models and principles provided by the coach while taking effective forward actions


How can I measure success of the coaching process?

There are two types of measures: external indicators of performance and internal indicators of success.

Examples of external measures include achievement of coaching goals (established at the start of the coaching relationship) - increased income, obtaining a promotion, performance feedback (from colleagues, managers, reportees, customers) or personal/business performance data. These should be things that the individual already measures and can directly influence.

Examples of internal measures include self-assessments administered initially and periodically during the coaching process, changes in awareness of self and others, shifts in thinking or organization to act more effectively, and shifts in confidence and emotional state.


Is coaching right for me?

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have a fairly clear idea of what you expect to accomplish in coaching?
  • Do you value collaboration, other viewpoints, and new perspectives?
  • Can you devote the time and energy towards making real changes?

If the answer to the above questions is YES, coaching could help you grow and develop.


How do I select the right coach?

Selecting a coach is just the first step. You need to design a coaching partnership in much the same way that you would build a personal/work relationship. Here are few tips

  • Interview multiple coaches to determine if the chemistry feels right. An introductory conversation like this is typically free of charge.
  • Look for similarities and differences in the coach's and your styles of working, and consider how this may support your growth as an individual or team.
  • Discuss your coaching goals within the context of the coach's speciality and preferred style of working.
  • Communicate. Speak with the coach if things are not going well. Remember that coaching is a partnership - be assertive in talking with the coach about any concerns.


How is coaching delivered? What does the process look like?

The steps in the coaching process are typically:

  • Personal interview to assess the client's current opportunities and challenges, define scope of the relationship, identify priorities and set specific desired outcomes.
  • Follow up sessions conducted in person or over telephone
  • Homework - Clients may be asked to complete specific tasks towards the identified outcomes
  • Assessment based on the needs of the client, and to evaluate progress

However coaching is not a linear process. The coach may use a variety of concepts or models drawn from behavioural science, management theory, spirituality, history, arts and literature within a coaching session to help the client increase awareness of self and others, take a fresh perspective, study opportunities and challenges through a new framework, and inspire forward actions.

The coach adopts an appreciative approach, using discovery based inquiry, proactive ways of managing opportunities and challenges, constructive framing of feedback to elicit positive responses from the client and picturing success rather than focussing on problems.


How is coaching distinct from other service professions?

Coaching vs..

Therapy/Counselling - Therapy focuses on resolving difficulties arising in the past that hamper an individual's emotional functioning in the present, helping an individual to improve psychological function and deal with the present in an emotionally healthy way.

Coaching focuses on driving self initiated change to achieve personal/professional growth in the future, by creating actionable strategies to achieve specific personal/professional goals. Coaching relationships put emphasis on action, accountability, and follow through.

Consulting - The general approach in consulting is that of an external person diagnosing problems, prescribing and, sometimes, implementing solutions.

The coaching approach is to help clients generate their own solution, with support from the coach.

Mentoring - A mentor provides guidance based on his/her own experience, involving advising, counselling and coaching.

Coaching does not include advice or counsel, and focuses on individuals/groups setting and reaching their own objectives

Training - Training programs are designed around objectives set by the trainer, while coaching revolves around objects that are set by the individual/team, with guidance from the coach. Coaching is also a less linear process, without a set curriculum, than a training program.

Athletic Development - While an athletic coach guides individuals/teams based on experience, a professional coach determines direction based on their knowledge of the individual. Professional coaches seek to identify opportunity for development based on individual strengths, and not by focussing on behaviours that are being executed poorly or incorrectly.


How long does a coach work with an individual?

The length of a coaching partnership will vary depending on client needs and preferences. Certain types of focussed coaching may require three to six months of working, while others may require a longer period for benefits to show. Factors influencing the length include - types of goals, preferred way of working, frequency of meetings and financial viability.


What are typical reasons that someone might need to work with a coach?

An individual/team may choose to work with a coach for several reasons including

  • When something urgent, or exciting is at stake (a challenge, stretch goal or opportunity)
  • To bridge a gap in knowledge, skills, confidence or resources
  • To find a way to accelerate results
  • To find clarity while making choices
  • Unwanted consequences arising out of work-life imbalances, or professional success
  • Identifying and leveraging core strengths


What does coaching ask of an individual?

In order to succeed, coaching requires certain things from an individual. The most important is intention. In addition, one must

  • Focus on one's self, asking tough questions and being truthful about them
  • Listen and be aware of one's intuition, assumptions, judgements, and tone of voice
  • Pay attention to the behaviours and interactions of others
  • Challenge existing attitudes, beliefs and behaviours and develop new ones that work better
  • Play to one's strengths, while being aware and attempting to overcome limitations
  • Take decisive actions, however uncomfortable, to reach for the extraordinary
  • Show compassion for oneself (and others) in dealing with setbacks while learning new behaviours
  • Be composed if disappointed or if expectations are not met
  • Be optimistic and not take one's self too seriously
  • Be courageous and stretch to reach more, while continually evaluating oneself without fear

 

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