What is coaching?

Coaching is a decade old technology of personal and professional development based on concepts from sports, business, spirituality, psychology and organizational development.  It's for passionate people who want more from their personal and business lives.  A coach helps you set larger, more rewarding goals, develop a strategy to achieve them, and provide support throughout the process.  The achievement of goals is something that comes more quickly as a result of the coaching partnership.

Why does coaching work?

SYNERGY: Client and coach become a team, focusing on the client's goals and needs and accomplishing more than the client would alone. 

STRUCTURE:  With a coach, the client takes more actions, thinks bigger and gets the job done, thanks to the accountability the coach provides. 

EXPERTISE: The coach knows how to help business people make better decisions, set the best goals, develop new skills for communicating and restructure their professional and personal lives for maximum productivity.

During the process of coaching:

  • The client is willing to grow

  • There is a gap between where they are now and where they want to be. 

  • The client accepts the value of sharing his ideas with someone who understands them and is subjective enough to want a lot for them, yet objective enough not to be biased or self-serving. 

So is coaching like therapy?

NO. The most common misconceptions about coaching is that it is basically therapy in disguise by an unlicensed practitioner. Therapy is a long-term process where the client works with a healthcare professional to diagnose and resolve problematic beliefs, behaviors, relationship issues, feelings and sometimes physical responses.

The idea behind therapy is to focus on past traumas and issues to change self-destructive habits, repair and improve relationships and work through painful feelings. In this sense, therapy focuses on the past and on introspection and analysis. Coaching, on the other hand, sets clients up with a defined process that may be long or short-term, instead of regular sessions. In life coaching, a client works with a coach, who is not a healthcare professional, in order to clarify goals and identify obstacles and problematic behaviors in order to create action plans to achieve desired results.

The process of life coaching takes the client’s current starting point as an acceptable neutral ground and is more action-based from that point onward.  Therapists analyze their client’s past as a tool for understanding present behaviors, whereas life coaches simply identify and describe current problematic behaviors so the client can work to modify them. In other words, therapists focus on “why” certain behavioral patterns occur, and coaches work on “how” to work toward a goal.

Where do you start with a coach?

Most coaches begin with a special client meeting or call to get to know each other or complete and debrief an assessment of some kind.  The coach wants to hear about the client's goals, needs, and problems.  The client wants to get comfortable with the coach.  During this meeting, both parties design a list of goals and a game plan to reach these goals.