WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LIFE COACHING
This document is designed to help you understand the nature of life coaching and how to get the most from our partnership together.
What is Coaching?
Coaching is quickly becoming one of the leading tools and strategies that successful people are using in order to enhance their lives further and allow them to lead extraordinary lives.
The coaching relationship is a partnership – an equal relationship — allowing you room to move yet being accountable so that you can be the kind of person that you would like to be, to achieve the kind of life and work that you would like to have and to achieve the goals that you would like to meet.
What is My Responsibility?
- To clarify and encourage you to set the goals that you really want
- To ask you to do more than you have probably done on your own
- To help you to focus better in order to produce results more quickly
- To provide you with the tools, support and structure to accomplish more
How is Coaching Different from Counselling or Consulting?
Coaching is not counselling or therapy which tends to focus on the past and look at issues historically nor is it consulting which generally involves coming up with expert opinions and answers. However, coaching does use techniques derived from clinical psychology.
Life Coaching though is more action-oriented and solution-oriented and focuses primarily on both the present and future. The “answers” that you are looking for come about through the work done in our joint coaching partnership.
How I Coach Clients?
As your coach, I will ask questions, encourage, advise, challenge, make requests and listen for your “essence” so that you are consistent with who you are in terms of your goals, your values and your vision. My focus will be upon you and what you want and how you can best get it.
However, the coaching relationship is designed by both of us and may be refined by each of us in the giving and receiving of feedback. Although I am committed to the process, it still remains your personal responsibility to take action (or not take action) as you desire.
1. I Expect Your Best
The best results are achieved when you are ready to both do and be the best that you can be. It is about stepping up to the challenge and giving it your best shot. If there is a sense in which you may not be giving it your best, it is my job to bring that to you your awareness so we can work out what you really want to do.
2. I Make Specific Requests
As the need arises, I will make direct requests such as, “Could you see yourself accomplishing X within the next two weeks”? You could meet the request (“Yes, I can do that”), provide an alternative option (“I can’t do X, but I can do Y”) or perhaps you might decline altogether (which rarely happens). Whichever way you respond though, I will support your action.
3. I Give Advice
On occasion, if I have a real sense of a particular direction, and you are open to it, I will make specific suggestions on how to handle a problem or an issue or make the most of an opportunity. If I’m not always certain about my suggestion, I will always certainly say so. Regardless, you will need to use your own discretion and judgment.
4. I Am Open
If for example, I hear a hesitancy in your voice or notice an inconsistency, I will generally ask you about it. Often, it is these particular moments that permit the opportunity to resolve something. Irrespective, I will not confront you. It is only my job to highlight the issue and allow you to do with it what you will.
5. I Set Homework
Typically, I ask you to work out perhaps two or three goals or actions to focus upon between our sessions together. If I am pushing you too hard, then it is important for you to say so. If you want to be pushed harder, it is also important for you to say so.
How to Get the Most from Coaching
It is important that you benefit significantly from our coaching sessions as well as from the time in between. Outlined below are some of the things that you can do in order to maximize the value of your coaching experience.
1. Focus on What You Really Want
Coaching works best when you have clear goals that are based on what you really want to achieve. Firstly, it is important for you to consider deeply what you want your work and your life to look like. Secondly, it is important to identify the gaps between the way things are now and how you would like them to be. It is true that many people struggle with this, but the coaching relationship can help you work this through if necessary.
2. Understand that You Will Develop
Working with an empathic and professional coach is a definite way to grow and develop. Most clients take on a coach to work on specific goals and much of their time and energy is directed towards this. However, the coaching relationship also may allow you to discover something more about yourself. This is just a natural consequence of the coaching process and you do not need to concentrate on it, but just recognize that it is likely to occur. Accelerated personal and professional growth is the hallmark of coaching.
3. Increase Your Willingness to Step Up
Part of my responsibility is to ask a good deal of you. This is not meant to exhaust you or extend you beyond your bounds, but simply to ask more of you than perhaps maybe you have asked of yourself recently. It is important that you be willing to experiment with fresh approaches and try new beliefs. I will encourage you to be honest with yourself, raise your personal standards and set higher goals. However, you are the best judge of what is right for you. Nevertheless, the more you are willing to grow and develop, the greater will be the benefits from coaching.
4. Come Prepared to Each Coaching Session
To get the most value out of each coaching session, is important that you prepare an agenda for each session. To that end, the “Coaching Preparation Form” may be of assistance to you (this is also available as a download). Preparing your agenda does not have to be time-consuming, but experience shows that if you spend 10-15 minutes preparing, it has a significant impact on our session together. If we talk by phone for our session, you could fax or e-mail me an agenda beforehand.
5. Complete Your Homework
After each session, you will decide on the actions or goals you want to focus upon. I expect you to keep the commitments you make and will work with you to make sure that you are setting worthwhile, realistic and achievable goals. If you know that you have a busy week or two ahead, your homework might be as simple as thinking about a new perspective. If you have more time, you might decide to handle a bigger task. Irrespective, I will hold you accountable and encourage you to do your best.
Policies & Procedures
1. Complete the Client Coaching Form (Individual or Corporate)
Fill out this form and send it to me via fax ((503) 391-7422) or regular mail (818 NW 17th St, Suite #5, Portland OR 97209) at least a week before our first coaching session.
I may also ask you to complete some assessments prior to our coaching together, but I will discuss this with you beforehand.
2. Complete the Coaching Contract
At our first session, I will go through the contract with you to make sure that you are very clear about the fees payable, issues of confidentiality and how we terminate our coaching partnership if necessary.
3. How We Meet
We will meet either by telephone (503) 272-8059 or face-to-face for about 35-50 minutes as your schedule allows. The first session however, is generally between 100-120 minutes as we get to know each other and begin to focus on your goals and direction. If you live and work nearby, then face-to-face sessions are best conducted in my office so that you are away from the distraction of what might be occurring in your own office and can concentrate on your own issues without interruption. Occasionally however, and depending on your work circumstances, it could also be appropriate to meet with your line manager, say, once a quarter to clarify how your organisation might be viewing your progress and development if coaching is part of your professional development program. This could occur via a conference call or again, if you worked nearby, we could arrange to meet personally with your line manager.
4. Cancellations & Appointment Changes
Scheduled coaching sessions ought to be a priority. On the rare occasion when you need to reschedule, please let me know at least 48 hours in advance. Except in the case of an emergency, you will be personally charged for last- minute cancellations or missed sessions.
5. Value Added Service
If between sessions, you cannot wait to share something or you need advice or have a challenge or just want to check something, please feel free to call. Although my day is generally caught up with my regular sessions, I would like to provide this extra level of service. Of course, there is no charge for this additional time, but I simply request that you might keep those extra calls to a maximum of around 5 to 10 minutes.
To learn more about life coaching contact me and make an appointment to begin an equal partnership.