What is coaching, and how does it differ from mentoring and consulting?
Career coaching consists of an informed series of customized questions, each of which is based on deep listening by the coach. The coach listens not only for what is said, but how it is said. The coach then partners with the client to help him/her gain a better understanding of what is holding them back. The goal is for clients to reach their own conclusions and unlock their potential.Mentoring is the transfer of knowledge from a more experienced person to a less experienced person. Consulting focuses on offering solutions.
What is the typical number of sessions needed to gain any benefit from coaching?
While there are no hard and fast rules, and it depends on the nature of the issue and how “coachable” the client is, sessions are often set up in groups of 3, 6, or 12. It also depends upon how frequently the sessions are held. The key is to customize the coaching based on individual needs.
How often should we meet?
It’s best to not let too much time pass between sessions so there is a sense of continuity. Weekly sessions are often the most valuable.
Can you accommodate my schedule so I don't have to come to your office to meet?
We are flexible as to the place we meet. If we are required to come to your home or office, we will charge travel time in excess of 15 minutes and expenses such as parking.
Do sessions need to be in person?
We strongly recommend that the first session be held in person. Thereafter, we can discuss setting up sessions on the phone, via Skype, etc. if that’s preferable.
How do you handle confidentiality?
As members of the International Coaching Federation (ICF), we strictly adhere to its confidentiality requirements. Even if we were not members of the ICF, we would maintain complete confidentiality in our coaching.
My employer is paying for the coaching sessions. I know you maintain confidentiality, but don't you have to provide them with some information? What do you tell them?
We will tell your employer how often and for how long we’ve met for invoicing purposes. We will also provide them with a general comment concerning whether or not we feel we are making progress and you are benefitting from the sessions. The purpose behind that comment is to enable them to determine if they should continue funding the coaching.
What if something comes up and I have to miss a session?
We all lead busy lives, and sometimes there are unforeseen circumstances. But our time is our most valuable commodity. So, we’ve reached what we believe to be a fair compromise: If we receive at least 24 hours’ notice of your need to cancel a session, there is no charge. If we receive less than 24 hours’ notice, we will not charge you for the first such occurrence. Thereafter, we will charge you for the full amount of the session missed.
I know that coaching requires clients to help set the agenda and find the answers themselves based on the coach's input. But what will you do if you think I am doing something that is really wrong for my career or in my job search?
We’re glad you asked! We will continue the process by asking a series of follow-up, meaningful questions, the goal for which is to help you avoid the very mistakes you reference. The ongoing learning is much more valuable if you achieve it on our own as opposed to being told the answer by a consultant or mentor.
What payment options do you offer?
We typically require payment upfront, but we are flexible and can work within a client’s reasonable constraints.
Do you offer group coaching sessions?
We do offer group coaching sessions if we deem the dynamics to be appropriate. We will meet with members of an executive team or work group first to determine if we believe there is a reasonable chance of success working with the group. Sometimes it makes sense for different individuals in the group to have separate coaches. We can facilitate this approach as well.
What additional resources can you provide?
We often suggest articles, podcasts, books, and related tips that we believe are relevant to our clients. Our blog posts also provide helpful insights.