Coaching FAQ – Frequently asked questions about coaching
What is coaching? (the definition is based on the one from the International Coach Federation)
Coaching is partnering with clients through a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their potential. Coaching is usually focused on one specific area (business, career, relationships), or a deeper level i.e. relationships: focus on understanding emotion in others and ourselves, business: focus on understanding and upgrading subconscious self-limiting beliefs to reach goals quicker and with less stress.
The life areas are interconnected, so if one area is touched, the others are touched too. If one area improves, the other areas could improve too. A coach is a life specialist, an expert on helping some (or all) areas of business and/or personal life. The coaching toolkit provides self-reflecting and other tools to uncover subconscious beliefs and patterns to move the client ahead. We all have these behavioral patterns, mostly learned in the age 1-7, regardless if we recognize (or accept) or not.
A coach doesn’t have to be an expert in a specific field to move the client ahead, as the coach works with underlying principles, and most often the issue is not that we don’t know what to do to reach our goals. The issue often is that we don’t know how to make those steps or we might not believe that we can do them and hold ourselves from taking action (self-limiting beliefs, fears).
What is the advantage of coaching? Do you need a coach?
Nobody needs a coach, however, almost everyone would benefit from working with one.
You could achieve most goals by yourself, simply it would take more time. In my own experience, it would take months that I could achieve with a coach in weeks. The client feedback to explain this the best is when I receive this message after an initial doubt about coaching:
“I didn’t think this (what I achieved) was possible before”.Dr. Kiran Zimmermann
The coaching relationship and toolset provide high focus and that enables you to move ahead rapidly. This creates momentum, structure: the keyword is consistency. Obstacles will come in your way. A coach is there to support and inspire to clean up the roadblocks effortlessly, in a short time.
Case study: Living a healthier lifestyle
A client of mine: “I would love to live a healthier lifestyle, eat healthier and exercise more. I couldn’t do it very consistently until now.”
A client like this knows what he/she needs to do: pay more attention to the diet and exercise more. That doesn’t mean that the client could achieve the goal (Nobody needs a coach, however, almost everyone would benefit from working with one). The client might visit a nutritionist and would get a diet plan. This would either motivate him/her to follow the plan or not. If we look at how many people have diet plans and fail to follow, it’s easy to see why it might be beneficial to have a coach.
Let’s explore what defines our success of reaching our goals
This is the surface level: I have a goal, now I have a plan and I’m either able or not able to follow.
The level below the surface: I think I want to live healthier, as I think it’s my idea. I might feel guilt and shame about my body. If we work with a coach, we might uncover that actually, I would like to live healthier because my partner / my doctor/society forces me to do it. If the motivation is external, reaching the goal is questionable.
Once we recognize this and the client internalizes the goal to live healthier: simply to feel better, have more energy, to reach her goals, she would be able to follow my plan a lot easier. As of now, she has a vision of herself having a great amount of energy and in great health. She could recognize that she might have a pattern of distracting herself with food and eating when she is not hungry, or that she is not chewing food very well (digestion then gets difficult as a result) as she is watching TV while eating as a distraction from other issues or emotions.
If she is aware of these patterns, she can change them, one step at a time. In this case, a life coach could uncover these subconscious patterns in a short time, without being the expert of nutrition, as the problem doesn’t lie in “I don’t know what to change”, it lies in “I don’t know how to have a clear vision, be consistent with that change and overcome resistance”.
How does (life) coaching differ from consulting? Therapy? A best friend?
Today the term coaching is used for many different types of services. There seems to be confusion. Consulting is often information, and expertise-based. For example, I hired someone to help me out with business administration, and this is to help me out with a specific problem (setting up the company and accounting). Some would call this coaching, however, it’s not.
Coaching is not therapy. Coaches don’t work on traumas. If we uncover unresolved issues or traumas we would refer you to work with a therapist. Therapy is usually a lot longer relationship and digs deeper. I and some of my clients work both with coaches and therapists at the same time. They could work very well together as they complement each other. Coaching is focused on the present to reach the goals in the future in a focused way. Most coaching clients are healthy, successful people, a bit stuck, or simply want to make that big step and need a little support temporarily.
A best friend
Discussing goals and getting feedback from friends is great and crucial for our healthy minds and life. It simply can’t provide the same self-reflection, tools, and outside (objective) perspective. A best friend/family member is often emotionally involved in the situation and might have an opinion that doesn’t serve the client (it holds him/her back, rather than moving them ahead) or might not share their honest opinion. As one of my clients mentioned: “Talking with you always gives a new perspective, a positive atmosphere, and this doesn’t happen if I discuss these things with my friends.”.
How is the coaching process?
Initial exploration call
Exploring what’s your situation and what would you like to focus on at the moment
We define the scope of the coaching relationship and the focus area: I recommend starting with 10 sessions, as the most important “aha moments” usually happen after 4-5 sessions, and strengthening and building up the new, improved habits happen shortly after.
10 coaching sessions, one-hour video calls (could be extended if needed) each week.
First call: Discussion and some tools: exploring the current situation more and defining a direction towards specific goals
During the coaching sessions
- Discuss your actual situation
- Move ahead in the focus area
- I’m sharing tools from my 50+ toolbox that are relevant and could bring the client most ahead
- The client decides if she/he would like to use the tools or not
- After the 10 sessions, we discuss the situation, reflect on the relationship and define the next steps.
How to find a coach for yourself? Is it important to hire a certified coach?
Finding a coach is not the easiest as many advertise themselves as coaches offering a various quality of service.
In my opinion, the best way to find a coach is to explore their focus areas. If the coach offers a relevant service, be sure to check their education and testimonials. I’m often surprised to see testimonials that feel completely fake.
Finding a coach is all about resonating with them, so go with your gut feeling and see if you can find a deep connection with the coach. If yes, most certainly the coaching relationship will be successful and you’ll move ahead to your goals consistently. I’ve heard of dozens of friends, clients who said coaching is worth every penny. Until now I’ve heard it once that someone was quite disappointed and felt cheated as they didn’t receive the service that they were looking for.
While a coach without a certification might serve you just as well, one with certification will work with a proven toolset that will bring you to your goals the most efficient way. As always, the experience of the coach is crucial.
What are the benefits of coaching?
Avoid and overcome common mistakes
Eliminate self-limiting beliefs and overcome the fear of failure (or other fears)
Achieve goals quicker, with less stress
You’ll see opportunities where others see closed doors
How much does life coaching usually cost?
Most coaches on the Swiss market work with an hourly rate of 200-1000 CHF, depending on their education, experience, and offering. Some offer group coaching sessions that generally are priced between 2500 CHF and 10000 CHF.
Do you have additional questions?
Please contact me and I’ll answer them.