Frequently Asked Questions
People are often surprised when I mentioned that coaches don’t give advice.
We might have a different perspective or understanding of Coaching. I’ve collected the most common questions, and answers to avoid misunderstandings.
I’m using the definition of the International Coach Federation to define what is Coaching.
01 What is coaching?
Coaching is partnering with you through a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires you to maximize your potential. Coaching is usually focused on one specific area (business, career, relationships), or a deeper level i.e.
- focusing on understanding emotion in others and ourselves
- focusing 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 of 1-7, regardless of whether 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).
02 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 realized I was able to do a lot more than I was able to imagine 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.”
She knew what she needs to do: pay more attention to the diet and exercise more.
That doesn’t mean that she could achieve the goal alone. Oftentimes we don’t clarify the why question. The why is one of the most important aspects of any of our goals/aspirations.
We might set a goal of losing weight, however, if the reason is that our partner wants us to lose weight, or if it’s a new year’s resolution, that simply might not be a strong enough why.
So we fall back to do what we’ve done before. That’s how our mind functions.
She 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 in 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 extremely difficult and most often fails. If your motivation is internal, there’s nothing to stand in your way.
Once we recognize this and if you internalize the goal to live healthier: simply to feel better, have more energy, to reach your goals, you 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 healthy mindset coach could uncover these subconscious patterns in a short time, without being an expert of nutrition.
The problem doesn’t lie in “I don’t know what to change.
“I don’t know how to make that change consistently and overcome resistance”.
03 How does (life) coaching differ from consulting? Therapy? A best friend?
Today the term coaching is used for many different types of services, often wrongly. There seems to be confusion. Many professionals who advertise themselves as coaches, don’t use coaching tools. This is alright, as long as each party understands this and gets value out of the relationship.
Consulting is often information, and expertise-based. For example, I hired someone to help me out with business administration, to me out with a specific problem (setting up the company and accounting and doing it according to regulations). This is knowledge sharing. Some would call this coaching, however, it is 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. Some of my clients and I personally work both with coaches and therapists at the same time. They could work extremely 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.”.
04 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 10-12 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.
The usual setup
12 coaching sessions, 60-90 minute video calls, once a 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 you most ahead
- You decide if you use the tools or not
- After the 10-12 sessions, we discuss the situation, reflect on the relationship and define the next steps.
05 How to find a coach for yourself?
Finding a coach can be difficult as many individuals and companies offer coaching services.
I’ve personally worked with two coaches and many consultants. 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 (most probably they are – and it’s not just my opinion, I’ve asked others).
Finding a coach is all about resonating with them, 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. I truly believe that every cent that you invest in yourself will come back with interest! That’s my experience after spending a huge amount of swiss francs in investing myself.
Until now I’ve heard only one person feeling quite disappointed and felt cheated as they didn’t receive the service that they were looking for. One person out of hundreds.
06 Is it important to work with a certified coach?
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.
I recommend working with a certified coach.
A coach without certification might not use the same tools as someone who is certified, and most probably here lie the misunderstanding between different coaches and services.
As always, the experience of the coach is crucial, and if you feel the connection with the coach.
07 Why is coaching so popular? Benefits?
- It’s popular simply because it works, it’s efficient, and brings results quickly
- You cloud live with less stress in your life
- You could simply have more energy
- You could avoid common mistakes
- You could easier recognize and eliminate self-limiting beliefs
- You could overcome the fear of failure or other daily thoughts
- You’ll see opportunities where others see closed doors
08 How much does life coaching usually cost?
Hourly rate applies usually for 1-1 coaching sessions 60-90 minutes each.
Most coaches on the Swiss market work with an hourly rate of 200-1000 CHF, depending on their education, experience, and offering. 80%+ of them are certified according to a study done on the Swiss Coaching Market in recent years.
Some coaches offer group coaching sessions that generally are priced between 500 CHF and 5000 CHF, sometimes more.