Frequently Asked Questions
Since you're visiting this page, you're likely curious about coaching and how it might help support you? But, not all of your questions can be answered with this FAQ page.
Some of your burning questions—such as, is she a good fit for me?—are best answered in a conversation.
Once you've read enough to know that you want to take the next step, then drop me a note and let's set up a time to talk.
What is coaching?
The International Coaching Federation defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. The process of coaching often unlocks previously untapped sources of imagination, productivity and leadership.”
In my mind, coaching also provides a rare opportunity to be really seen, heard and understood by a professional who is skilled at listening intently, asking powerful questions and withholding judgement.
What is leadership coaching and how is it different from life coaching?
There are similarities and differences between leadership coaching and life coaching.
Both leadership coaching and life coaching:
help individuals move forward towards goals and objectives.
help clients overcome obstacles getting in the way or blocking them from achieving their goals.
help clients gain insights and deepen their understanding about who they are now and who they want to be in their personal and / or professional roles.
Leadership coaching and life coaching differ in terms of focus or emphasis. Life coaches tend to focus on an individual and their personal life.
focuses on the professional challenges, opportunities and aspirations of the client, taking into consideration the organizational context in which they work.
integrates work and life issues of clients.
may address both leadership skills and personal development.
How do I know whether I should work with a leadership coach rather than a counsellor or therapist?
Both counselling and coaching may be considered “helping professions”, but there are major differences between them, as explained in this article by Positive Psychology.
The International Coaching Federations explains that, “Coaching focuses on visioning, success, the present and moving toward the future. Therapy emphasizes psychopathology, emotions and the past to understand the present, and it works more with developing skills for managing emotions or past issues than does coaching.”
It is part of a coach’s professional practice, in particular those coaches accredited by the International Coaching Federation, to know when to refer a client to another professional, such as a counsellor.
If I already have a mentor, do I really need a coach too?
There are differences between mentoring and coaching. A mentor is an expert who transfers wisdom and shares expertise. Having more experience, mentors may also close a knowledge gap.
Coaching, on the other hand, offers something different and unique. A coach views the client as 100% capable—the client is the expert on them and has the answers within. By asking powerful questions that enable growth, the coach supports the client in setting goals, creating outcomes and achieving personal change that is long-lasting and sustainable.
The relationship with a mentor may be informal and long term, lasting for several years. While a relationship with a coach may last for some time, a client will typically work with a coach for a specified period, such as six months or a year.
Some leaders who have a longstanding relationship with a mentor also choose to work with a coach periodically.
How do I know if a coach is qualified?
Coaching is not a regulated profession. This means that anyone can call themselves a coach. The good news is that the International Coaching Federation provides a database of its credentialled coaches.
The Credentialled Coach Finder will help you learn more about the credentials of the coach you are thinking about working with.
How do I know which coach is right for me?
To get the most out of your coaching experience, it’s important to feel that the coach you’ve chosen is a really good fit for you. Some coaches offer a 15- to 45-minute discovery call to get acquainted. This gives you a chance to ask questions and learn if you’re a good fit for each other. Other coaches offer a complimentary coaching conversation that may last between 45 minutes and two hours.
I am happy to give you an opportunity to experience coaching with me in a 45-minute complimentary coaching conversation. After one such conversation, an individual said to me, “Wow! That was a conversation unlike any I’ve ever had. I feel more empowered and confident.”