Group A. What is coaching all about?
Group A. What is coaching all about?

What is coaching?

Coaching is a new profession. Coaches:

"My clients get focused and producing faster because they have a coach."

How is coaching different from consulting? Therapy? Sports coaching? A best friend?

Consulting. Consulting. Coaching is rather like consulting. However, the coach stays with the client to help implement the new skills, changes and goals, to make sure that they really happen.

Therapy. Coaching is not therapy. Coaches don't work on "issues" or get into the past or deal much with understanding human behavior. That knowledge may come as clients move forward toward personal and professional goals that will give them the life they really want, but it should not be the focus of a coaching relationship.

Coaching includes several principles from sports coaching, like teamwork, going for the goal, being your best. Unlike sports coaching, most professional coaching is not competition or win/lose based. Coaches focus on strengthening their clients' skills, not on helping them beat the other team. Coaches look for win/win solutions.

Best friend. A best friend is wonderful to have. But is your best friend a professional who you will trust to work with you on the most important aspects of your life and/or business? Have both - a best friend and a coach.

What is the basic philosophy of coaching?
Simply put, it is that we humans are great, that we're all discovering what we really want, and that we can get what we want faster and more easily by having a coach who's been there and who can help us.

Who hires a coach and why?

People hire a coach because

It's as simple as that. Coaches help a client get all three, quickly.

What happens when you hire a coach?

Many things, but the most important are:

Does the coach work on personal goals or business/professional goals?

Both, actually. With the line between personal and business life blurring, as it is in the 90s, the coach is the only professional trained to work with all aspects of you.

Where does the coach focus with an average client?

Coaches focus where their clients need them the most.

Part of their discussions often include:

By including these with what each client wants, coaches help their clients have fewer problems and focus on what will make them the most successful. Clients really enjoy this approach.

Why does coaching work?

Coaching works for several reasons:

Why is coaching becoming so popular?

Coaching has become so popular (we estimate that there are 30,000 coaches worldwide) because there is consumer demand for it. There are many reasons for this. First, as more people become self-employed or start their own businesses, they want a coach's structure, support and wisdom to help them be successful. Second, people are becoming more creative, selfish (in a good sense) and excited about life. People want to do more, be more and get more, and a coach is seen as a partner in this process. Third, time has become even more valuable and people donít want to wait for anything. A coach can usually help a coachee get what they want faster.

Please, give me some context about coaching...

A personal coach does just what an athletic coach or music teacher does, only in a fuller and bigger way. A coach challenges you and takes the time to find out what winning in life means to you. A coach is your partner in living the life you know you can accomplish, personally and professionally. A coach is someone to hold you accountable for your life, to make sure you really do live up to your potential.

No matter where you are in life, there is always a desire for more. More success, more money, closer relationships, a deeper feeling of meaning in life, etc. It is the nature of people to want to attain more, become more, be more, and we all struggle with how to get what we're looking for.

Most people believe that "hard work and doing it on your own" are the keys to finding the life, success, money, or happiness that they seek. They believe that a price must be paid to attain what they want, and often that price is poor health, not having enough time to enjoy life, strained family relationships or lessened productivity. The saddest part is that, even though this effort may result in more of something, it is often not the something you had in mind, and you end up back where you started, or worse, further from your real intentions.

Athletes and performers know about this trap. They know they need someone else, a trained someone else to help them set goals, discover real needs, and work effectively toward ultimate goals of excellence. So, they are willing to hire a coach or a teacher. No serious athlete or musician would expect to progress very far without one.

What about people who are already doing really well in their lives. Why would they need a coach?

They might not need a coach. But it is helpful to find out: Are they doing what they most enjoy? Are they tolerating anything? Is life easy? Are they going to be financially independent within the next 15 years? Do they have what they most want? We've discovered that, often, people need to expect more out of their lives. A coach can help in this process.

Can a dependency be created between coach and client?

Not really. The coach is a collaborative partner and works with individuals who want to reach goals, not help resolve emotional issues. The coach is helping the coachee to create a better future - more success, less stress and a more regarding life. If a coachee is really needy or emotionally dependent, he or she should see a counselor, not a coach.

Can coaching hurt someone?

No. Remember, coaches aren't doing psychological work. They're not trying to control the client's thinking. They're not cattle prods; they're partners.

Can I hire a coach just for a short-term, special project?

Yes. Some clients hire a coach to help them accomplish specific goals or projects. Usually, however, the client keeps working with the coach after that because there are even more interesting things to accomplish.

How long must I commit if I start working with a coach?

Most coaches ask for a three to six month commitment but usually let you stop immediately if coaching is not working for you right now. Very, very few coaches ask for a written agreement or contract. For the corporate client, however, a signed agreement is simply good business.

What does it cost to hire a coach?

Most coaches working with individuals charge about $300 to $500 per month for one half-hour call per week. Executive coaches charge more and some clients work with a coach for an hour or two a week. It all works about to about $100 to $150 per hour. Obviously, corporate coaching or programs is more, often running $1,000 to $10,000 per month.

Return to Master FAQ Index
Go on to Group B FAQs: About the beginnings of the Coaching Profession

Go on to Group C FAQs: About Being a Coach
Go on to Group D FAQs: About the Training Programs
Go on to Group E FAQs: More Questions About Becoming a Coach