Coaching is all about questions; those I’ll ask you, those you’ll ask yourself. Considering the answers is central to learning and taking action. But before we start into coaching, you get to ask the questions of me…

What is Coaching?

"Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. Professional coaches provide an ongoing partnership designed to help clients produce fulfilling results in their personal and professional lives. Coaches help people improve their performances and enhance the quality of their lives. Coaches are trained to listen, to observe and to customize their approach to individual client needs. They seek to elicit solutions and strategies from the client; they believe the client is naturally creative and resourceful. The coach's job is to provide support to enhance the skills, resources, and creativity that the client already has.” – International Coach Federation

How is Coaching different from therapy?

Coaching does not focus on fixing emotional problems. Coaching focuses on moving forward toward your goals. However, emotion is often present in coaching when you set daunting targets, hit frustrating roadblocks, celebrate overcoming obstacles, learn inspiring things about yourself and accomplish incredible goals.

What’s the difference between Executive Coaching and Life Coaching?

The terms speak more to the clientele than to the craft of coaching. Executive Coaching is generally for corporate leaders and the primary focus is on work-related goals, where as Life Coaching focuses on any area of a client’s life, including work. I do Executive Coaching because that is where I can provide the most value to my clients. I have a background in leadership development, corporate communications and general management, so I understand well the business context in which my clients face challenges and aspire to grow.

How do I know if coaching is right for me (or my employee)?

Please e-mail me and we’ll make an appointment (no charge…) to chat about where you are now, where you want to go and how coaching can be applied to your situation. (Or we might discuss the employee for whom you’re considering assigning a Coach). I’ll share some experiences and give you my take on what a coaching partnership might look like in your case. And then it comes down to using your instincts. You’ll know if it “clicks”. Regardless of the outcome, our meeting will be completely confidential.

Can you give me some examples of the type of issues that clients bring to coaching?

Yes. But just as no two people are alike, no two issues are ever quite the same. Here are some broad examples – out of thousands! – that one might bring to the table:

As a leader in an organization:
  • Improving/changing your reputation in the organization
  • Improving your productivity/performance
  • Carving your own path with confidence and authenticity
  • Transitioning into a role with increased responsibility
As an individual:
  • Exploring a career change
  • Reaching for a promotion
  • Settling into a new role
  • Pursuing work/life balance
  • Confronting a negative workplace situation
  • Defining what retirement will look like
As an entrepreneur:
  • Starting, growing or evolving your business

Who’s your ideal client?

You’re my ideal client if you’re dedicated to doing great work and feeling great about what you do. The bar you hold up for yourself is high.

What is your methodology?

Check out “The Coaching Process” section of my website. It describes the underlying process for a coaching engagement, but just as each client’s issue is different, the plan we create to move you forward will be completely unique. There are no strict templates for the coaching discussions, but our ultimate focus will always be on your goal(s).

What’s a typical coaching session like?

I always start by asking, “What do you want coaching on today?” Even though we may have established a larger goal, on that particular day you might have a more specific focus. For example, an obstacle that popped up, tackling the next mini-goal or re-prioritizing things based on new information. Then we’ll chat. I’ll use my expertise to ask you powerful questions to help you to clarify the issue in the context of the broader picture and establish your next move. I am completely unbiased, non-judgmental and supportive, but I will not let you away with selling yourself short. Like a star athlete’s Coach, I will both challenge you and cheer you on. I’ll hold you accountable to what you commit to doing. Whatever takes place our sessions is completely confidential, and will remain so even after the coaching engagement has ended. I also keep my client list private unless I have explicit permission from a client to use their name. I’m interested in your coaching. How many sessions do I need? I generally ask new clients to sign up for 8 sessions over 3-6 months to give themselves a chance to set goals and see some significant results from coaching. That’s the rule of thumb I use for affecting real change, but depending on what you want to accomplish with the help of a Coach, the timeline could be shorter, longer or open-ended.

What are your rates?

Please e-mail me, briefly describe to me your needs, and I will get back to you within 24 hours regarding my rates for a relevant program.

What if I want to hire you to Coach one of my direct reports/employees?

Coaching is a very popular, effective tool for accelerating an employee’s learning and growth. Employers call me to work with new leaders, valuable people who have plateaued or those who have an issue that might be a hindrance to their success. Most often, I work with professionals identified as “high-potential”, whose managers want to accelerate and support their development.

I can meet with the manager, the employee [the “Coachee”], or both, in setting meaningful goals for the coaching sessions. Please just keep in mind that although you are the paying client, I am ultimately dedicated to the Coachee’s agenda in our sessions, since pushing my own agenda or your agenda would contradict my role as an unbiased Coach. All my sessions are strictly confidential, so employers or managers requiring reports on the session content typically ask the Coachee to fill them in to the extent they are comfortable.

As an employer, should I be concerned that coaching might lead a valued person away from the organization altogether?

A research study by the Career Innovation Group (CIPD, 2005) reports that “the amount of career support received by employees was positively correlated to their stated intention to remain with their current employer.” Coaching is a particularly effective form of career support because it is intensive, objective and completely customized.Beyond that, I’m going to let the Harvard Management Update take this one: “If an experience—through coaching or anything else—reveals an interest that leads an executive away from the firm, everyone stands to gain. The executive finds a better fit and, ideally, a space in the firm becomes available to someone who is motivated by the challenges at hand. It's much the same thinking that companies have gone through regarding leadership-development programs at large. The occasional departure of a manager in whom the firm has invested a great deal is offset many times over by the increased value of those who remain.”

“Career Conversation Literature Review”; Canadian Research Working Group on Evidence Based Practice in Career Development: Butterfield, Lalande and Borgen, University of British Columbia, February 2008.
“Methodology: Do You Need an Executive Coach?"; Harvard Management Update: Vol. 9, No. 12, December 2004.

What are the benefits to hiring a Coach for a new employee or employee in a new role?

Organizations carefully hire, promote and transfer individuals into roles based on a belief that someone ultimately has what it takes to succeed in the new role. But first they have to succeed in making a successful transition into that new role.

There is a concept from Michael Watkins’ well-known book, “The First 90 Days”, called the Breakeven Point. Typically, when an individual takes on a new role in an organization, there is a period of time where they are net consumers of value. Only as they learn and begin to take action, do they start to create value, and the point at which they’ve made up for the value they’ve consumed is called the “Breakeven Point” – on average 6.2 months, according to a survey of CEO’s referenced in the book. Coaching works to accelerate the transition so that the individual can a) transition successfully, and b) transition more quickly. Both of which are critical to the organization’s bottom line. The coaching touches on whatever topics the person in the new role needs to settle in; typical discussions involve:

  • Understanding what attributes from their last role will/won’t work in the new role
  • Creating individualized strategies for learning the ropes
  • Adapting as new things are learned about the team/culture/common practices.

What are your results?

Click here to read some testimonials from people I’ve worked with.