Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Process of Coaching? How Does it Work?
Coaching involves regularly scheduled, private sessions to set goals, manage progress, and tackle the challenges that come your way. You (the client) always control the agenda, and we can shift direction or refocus our attention at any time.
What is Included?
A retainer-based coaching relationship includes regular, one-on-one coaching sessions, either in person or over the phone. Between those sessions, I am available by phone, text, or e-mail for short questions or quick conversations as needed.
I offer an optional personality assessment, covering behaviors and motivators, based on the DISC model. If you have other assessments, such as StrengthsFinder or Myers-Briggs, I am well-versed in those tools as well and can help you interpret the results. I will also provide content (articles, books, podcasts, etc.) that is relevant to our conversations and the goals you are working toward.
Is Coaching Only for People Who are Struggling?
Absolutely not! Every high performer has a coach – even the very best people in their field. Elite athletes have a team of coaches. Great singers have a voice coach. The leaders of some of the world’s largest companies have executive coaches. No one performs at a high level without coaching.
Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, has said that “everyone needs a coach”. I have personally benefitted from working with several great coaches throughout my career as an entrepreneur, and I primarily work with high performers who want to continually improve, rather than those who are struggling or need remediation.
Is Coaching Confidential?
I will consider everything we discuss to be confidential, and will never share it with anyone unless you give me explicit permission. I do not even share the names / identities of my clients unless I have their permission first.
You (the client) are not required to maintain confidentiality – you may share anything you wish about our coaching work. That is up to you.
Does A Coach Need to Have Experience in My Job / Field / Industry?
Not necessarily, but it can be helpful. Coaching is a skill that is different from your particular job or industry, so you want to work with a coach who is, first and foremost, skilled and experienced in coaching. Whether they have experience in your particular field is secondary to their ability to coach well. Where the experience helps is with understanding the language of your particular work, having empathy for your situation, and in creative problem solving.
A common misconception about coaching is that the coach must be more skilled or experienced than the person being coached at what they do. This is absolutely not necessary, and in most cases, is impractical. Most football coaches do not throw as well as the quarterback they coach. Most voice coaches cannot sing as well as their best students.
Coaching, as a skill, is separate and distinct from performing the work being coached.
What’s the Commitment Required?
My coaching engagements are month-to-month, with no long-term commitment required. I ask that you start with the intention to work together at least 6 to 12 months, so that we can measure real progress together, but you are free to quit at any time, for any reason.
If you do not feel you are getting value from the relationship, or if your circumstances change so that a coaching engagement is no longer helpful, please simply let me know, and we’ll discontinue the work with no hard feelings.
I already have a Board of Directors / Business Partner / Strong Team. How is a Coach Different?
Most entrepreneurs and business leaders have advisors and other smart people around them, whether it be their board of directors, business partners, or their leadership teams.
There is great value, though, in working with a coach who is completely independent and neutral, with no “stake” in your business or personal agenda to pursue. It gives you the freedom to be honest about your struggles and concerns, and even to process challenges that involve those key stakeholders and their various agendas / expectations.
Some of my clients have come to me as referrals from their board members, investors, or other advisors, who understand the value of quality executive / leadership coaching, and want the very best for their leaders.
These are some of the most common questions I am asked about executive / leadership coaching. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, or would like more detail on any of these questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.