How does coaching work?

Each coaching engagement moves through four basic phases. 

1.       Discovery.  The potential client and coach meet to discuss goals and decide if they are a good fit.  Topics include:  What the client hopes to gain from the coaching process; What the coaching relationship is and isn’t; The coach’s style and how it might or might not resonate with the client; Rules of engagement and protocol; The coach’s credentials relative to the client’s needs; Timing and logistics of the coaching process; Measurements of success; Agreement to move forward

2.       Create the plan.  A process tailored to needs and goals of client can include:  Collect relevant data – interviews with stakeholders, assessments, etc.; Develop step-by-step plan to support change; Identify obstacles in the way of reaching goals; Pinpoint habits that enforce former reactions and solutions; Define behaviors that will support change / goals

3.       Execute the plan.  The hard work includes:  Experiential learning – practicing and refining; Clarifying what success looks like; Measuring results against client’s goals; Revisiting and revising the contract as refinements are needed; Periodic check-ins with stakeholders

4.       Conclusion.  Review and assess progress.  Identify next steps, if any:  Evaluate overall effectiveness – were goals met; Measure ROI, impact to client, boss, coworkers, and organization; Begin developing long-range plan for success; Design follow up processes

How do you know if you're ready for coaching?

People who are ready to enter into a coaching partnership, generally, can answer these questions:

What I hope to gain from coaching

What are my most pressing issues

Why I want to address these issues now

How much time and hard work I’m willing to invest in the process

How I will pay for coaching

For a coaching engagement to be successful, you, the client, must recognize the need to change, commit to making changes, and assume responsibility for moving forward. You must be open to feedback, willing to internalize the feedback and direct it toward desired changes, and be willing to be held accountable.

How do you choose your executive coach?

The relationship between client and coach can be intense and personal, so it is important to choose a coach who is competent, has relevant experience, and whose input you will trust and respect.  Interview a number of candidates and ask questions such as:

What are their qualifications to coach?  Do they have specialized training and certifications?  Do they have relevant professional or industry experience?  Can they relate personally to you, the issues you want to work on, and the goals you want to achieve?

What is their coaching philosophy and approach to personal change?

Do they use a specific coaching model?  Do they use assessments or other tools?  Ask them to describe each. 

Do they offer a first time complementary session?  What is their policy regarding missed/cancelled sessions?  How do they charge for their services? 

Then there is the chemistry – the all important ‘fit’ that is hard to quantify but essential for success.  How does the conversation feel to you, is the coach fully present?  Does the coach seem engaged in the conversation? Is the style of the coach one that you find comfortable?  Do you sense a connection?

Before starting, ask your coach to provide a written agreement that documents the scope, objectives, rules of engagement, timing and fees, and anything else that’s important to you and the manner in which the coaching engagement shall be conducted.

Here's how you get started

Contact me directly to schedule an initial session to discuss your needs and goals.  We'll discuss our professional relationship and begin to develop a charter for how we will work together.  Once we are both comfortable that it is the right fit, together we can map out timing, frequency, and other details.