school of life
Frequently asked questions
Life Coaching: FAQ’s
The International Coaching Federation defines coaching as a partnership with a client. This partnership is a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires the client to maximise their personal and professional potential. Coaches honour the client as the expert on his or her own life and believes that the client is creative, resourceful and whole. Building upward on this foundation, coaches are responsible to:
- Discover, clarify and align with what the client want to achieve
- Encourage self-discovery
- Bring about client-generated solutions and strategies
- Holds the client accountable
This process dramatically improves the clients outlook on life, while improving their leadership skills and revealing their potential.
To decide whether coaching would benefit you, or your company, summarize what you would expect to accomplish with coaching. When an individual or business has an idea of their desired outcome, a coaching partnership would be a useful tool for developing a clear strategy on how to achieve their goals with greater ease.
Since coaching is a partnership, ask yourself whether a collaboration, other opinions and new perspectives will be of value. Ask whether you, or your business is ready to devote time and energy to making real changes. If you answer yes, then coaching will be beneficial to your development.
Professional coaching focuses on setting goals, getting proper results and managing lasting personal change. Often it is easiest to understand what coaching really is, by comparing it to other support professions.
Therapy deals with healing pain, dysfunction and conflict within an individual or within a relationships. The focus is on resolving difficulties arising from the past that may affect the individual’s emotional functioning in the present.
Coaching supports personal and professional growth, self-initiated by the individual’s need for specific actionable outcomes. It is future focused. Although positive emotions may be an outcome, the focus is on forming workable plans to achieve success. Coaching emphasises action, accountability and follow through.
Individuals and organisations commonly uses consulting to obtain expertise in a specific area. Although various approaches exist, the assumption is that the consultant will diagnose problems, prescribe and often implement solutions.
Coaching however assumes that individuals and teams are capable of creating their own solutions. Coaches only assist with a discovery-based approach or framework.
Mentoring is when an expert provides wisdom and guidance based on his or her own experience. It includes advising, counselling or even coaching.
Coaches never gives advice, but rather focuses on individuals and groups setting-up and reaching their own goals.
Training is based on objectives set out by an trainer or instructor. It is a linear learning path that matches a predetermined curriculum. In the coaching process, objectives are clarified by the individual or team being coached. Coaching is less linear and without a pre-set program.
Professional coaching is different from sports coaching. Athletic Coaches is often seen as experts who guides the behaviour of individuals and teams based on their greater experience and knowledge. Professional Coaches may possess these qualities, but it is the experience or knowledge of the individual or team that determines the direction. Professional coaches also focuses on identifying opportunity for development, rather than trying to change poor behaviours.
Individuals and teams alike, regularly choose to work with coaches under the following circumstances:
- When presented with a challenge, a new goal or opportunity
- When knowledge, skill, confidence or resources are lacking
- To fast-track results
- To get clarity in decision making
- When goals can’t be successfully reached
- When one’s personal and professional life becomes unbalanced
- To discover and implement core strengths
Although there may be numerous reasons for the growth experienced in the coaching industry, two core reasons surfaces.
The economic climate is under incredible pressure and companies worldwide are doing everything within their power to operate at maximum potential. Traditional business models and company management simply proves useless. Coaches are masters in the art of discovering true potential, effective goal-setting and stimulating successful results.
Individuals on the other hand struggle to uphold personal and professional balance. Job insecurities creates stress, which influences not only professional outcomes, but also one’s personal life. Coaching empowers the individual to take control of their own life and govern both personal and professional success.
Coaching supports individuals and companies to divert their focus to what really matters in both life and business. When people experience success due to coaching, they tend to talk about it and it immediately increases the need for coaching professionals. Thus, the Life Coaching industry shows tremendous growth.
Coaching typically begins with an interview. This determines the individual or company’s current opportunities and challenges, as well as priorities for action and desired results. Sessions may then be conducted in person, or telephonically. Between sessions, clients may have to complete tasks that supports reaching personally prioritized goals.
Coaches may provide extra resources like checklists, articles and assessments that provokes action. The number of coaching sessions varies according to the clients’ needs and preferences.
The coaching partnership depends on the needs and preferences of the client. In some instances a single sessions would be effective, but often working with a coach over longer periods is beneficial. Some factors that could control the number of sessions needed, includes: The types of goals, the preferred working method, the frequency of meetings and financial means.
- Speak to more than one coach to determine what feels right in terms of chemistry. Coaches are comfortable with being questioned and an introduction of this kind is usually free.
- Look for similarities and differences between yourself and the coach. Ask yourself how these variances in style would support or hinder your growth.
- Discuss your coaching goals with a coach and determine the coach’s speciality.
- Speak to your coach and predetermine how you would handle it when problems arise.
- Provides objective assessment and reflection to provoke self-awareness and awareness of others.
- Listens to fully understand.
- Helps to explore and implement possibilities after thoughtful planning and decision making.
- Stimulate appropriate challenges to match the client's strengths and aspirations.
- Promotes a fresh way of thinking that reveals a different viewpoint.
- Maintains professional boundaries, including confidentiality to adhere to the professions’ code of conduct.
- Creates the agenda for each coaching session based on personal goals they want to meet.
- Uses objective assessment and reflection to become self-aware and aware of others.
- Pictures personal and professional success.
- Takes responsibility for their own actions, resulting in success.
- Uses the coaching process to explore possibilities and fresh perspectives.
- Employs the tools, techniques and principles provided by the coach to use in taking action.
Coaching will challenge individuals and teams to move away from traditional thinking and age-old beliefs:
- Individuals will face though questions and even tougher truths.
- Clients will have to challenge the behaviours and communication skills they themselves and others use.
- They have to leverage personal strengths and overcome limitations.
- They will have to make decisions in confidence, in spite of insecurities.
- They will have to deal with failures.
- They have to do continual self-examination.
Success should be measured both by external indicators, as well as internal indicators. Ideally coaching should change the entire human experience.
External indicators for successful coaching would typically include positive results for all the predetermined coaching goals. It could be increased income, getting a promotion, or buying a new property. These things can be physically measured by the individual or company.
Internal indicators for success in coaching include self-scoring assessments. This should be done initially and then at regular intervals. Changes in the individual’s self-awareness and awareness of others indicates shifts in the emotional state and might inspire confidence.