Frequently Asked Questions

yellow

What are some typical reasons someone might work with a coach?
What happens when you hire a coach?
How can I determine if coaching is right for me?
How is coaching distinct from other service professions?
How long must I commit if I start working with a coach? Can I hire a coach for a short-term, special project?
What does it cost to hire a coach?
How do I find and select a coach?

yellow

What are some typical reasons someone might work with a coach?

In general, people hire a coach because 1) they want to be more effective, 2) they want to hone their skills, develop their talents and maximize/optimize their personal and business success, and 3) they want support and guidance in the process. An individual or team might choose to work with a coach for many reasons, including but not limited to the following:

  • Something urgent, compelling or exciting is at stake (a challenge, stretch goal or opportunity)
  • A gap exists in knowledge, skills, confidence or resources
  • A desire to accelerate results
  • A lack of clarity with choices to be made
  • Success has started to become problematic
  • Work and life are out of balance, creating unwanted consequences
  • Core strengths need to be identified, along with how best to leverage them

yellow

Back to Top of Page

What happens when you hire a coach?

Many things, but the most important are:

  • You become more clear and committed
  • You take more effective and focused actions toward your goals immediately
  • You stop putting up with what is dragging you down
  • You create momentum so it’s easier to get results
  • You set clearer, more effective and fun goals

yellow

Back to Top of Page

How can you determine if coaching is right for you?

To determine whether you or your company could benefit from coaching, start by summarizing what you would expect to accomplish in coaching. When an individual or business has a clear idea of the desired outcome, a coaching partnership can be a useful tool for developing a strategy for how to achieve that outcome with greater ease.

Because coaching is a partnership, ask yourself whether collaboration, other viewpoints, and new perspectives are valued. Also, consider whether you or your business is ready to devote the time and the energy (and financial resources) to making real changes. If the answer is yes, then coaching may be a beneficial way to grow and develop.

yellow

Back to Top of Page

How is coaching distinct from other service professions?

Professional coaching focuses on setting goals, creating outcomes and managing personal change. Sometimes it’s helpful to understand coaching by distinguishing it from other personal or organizational support professions.

  • Therapy: Therapy deals with healing pain, dysfunction and conflict within an individual or in relationships. The focus is often on resolving difficulties arising from the past that hamper an individual’s emotional functioning in the present, improving overall psychological functioning, and dealing with the present in more emotionally healthy ways. Coaching, on the other hand, supports personal and professional growth based on self-initiated change in pursuit of specific actionable outcomes. These outcomes are linked to personal or professional success. Coaching is future focused. While positive feelings/emotions may be a natural outcome of coaching, the primary focus is on creating actionable strategies for achieving specific goals in one’s work or personal life. The emphases in a coaching relationship are on action, accountability, and follow through.
  • Consulting: Individuals and organizations retain consultants for their expertise. While consulting approaches vary widely, the assumption is that the consultant will diagnose problems and prescribe and, sometimes, implement solutions. With coaching, the assumption is that individuals or teams are capable of generating their own solutions, with the coach supplying supportive, discovery-based approaches and frameworks.
  • Mentoring: Mentors are experts who provides wisdom and guidance based on their own experience. Mentoring may include advising, counseling and coaching. The coaching process does not include advising or counseling, and focuses instead on individuals or groups setting and reaching their objectives.
  • Training: Training programs are based on objectives identified by the trainer or instructor. Though objectives are clarified in the coaching process, they are set by the individual or team being coached, with guidance provided by the coach. Training also assumes a linear learning path that coincides with an established curriculum. Coaching is less linear without a set curriculum.
  • Athletic Development: Though sports metaphors are often used, professional coaching is different from sports coaching. Athletic coaches are often seen as experts who guides and directs the behavior of individuals or teams based on their greater experience and knowledge. Professional coaches possess these qualities, but their experience and knowledge of the individual or team determines the direction. Additionally, professional coaching, unlike athletic development, does not focus on behaviors that are being executed poorly or incorrectly. Instead, the focus is on identifying opportunity for development based on individual strengths and capabilities.

yellow

Back to Top of Page

How long must I commit if I start working with a coach? Can I hire a coach for a short-term, special project?

The length of a coaching partnership varies depending on the needs and preferences of the individual or team. For certain types of focused coaching, three to six months of working may work. For other types of coaching, people may find it beneficial to work with a coach for a longer period. Factors that may impact the length of time include: types of goals, ways individuals or teams prefer to work, frequency of coaching meetings and financial resources available to support coaching.

Some clients hire a coach to help them accomplish specific goals or projects. Usually, however, the client keeps working with the coach after the goal or project is achieved to continue the momentum and success.

yellow

Back to Top of Page

What does it cost to hire a coach?

Working with a coach requires both a personal commitment of time and energy as well as a financial commitment. Fees charged vary by specialty, by the level of experience of the coach, and the intensity and duration of the coaching agreement.

When you are choosing a coach, it may be tempting to view coaching as an expense or a luxury, which might cause you to choose your coach based on what the coach charges. A more productive approach would be to view coaching as an INVESTMENT you are making in yourself, in the same way you might invest in your formal education by pursuing a college degree, or in your physical health by investing in a personal trainer or health club membership. Choose the coach who feels like he or she is the best fit for you personally, and the coach who feels like the best INVESTMENT of your time, energy, AND money.

yellow

Back to Top of Page

How do I find and select a coach?

You could ask a friend or professional colleague if they know a good coach. They may be able to give you a personal referral. You can also use the ICF-NJ Find A Coach Feature (click here) to search by coaching specialty or keyword to find a coach who is located here in New Jersey.

The International Coach Federation’s Coach Referral Service (click here) is also an excellent resource, and can provide you with the ability to search by an extensive list of search criteria, making the ICF’s 4,000+ membership available to you in just minutes.

When looking to hire a coach, know your objectives or the goals you want to accomplish so that you can find a coach who can best support you in achieving them.

Here are a few tips:

  • Interview more than one coach to determine “what feels right” in terms of the chemistry. Ask questions about their experience, skills, specialties and how they work with clients. Coaches are accustomed to being interviewed, and an introductory conversation is usually free of charge.
  • Look for stylistic similarities and differences between the coach and you and how they might support your growth as an individual or the growth of your team.
  • Discuss your goals for coaching within the context of the coach’s specialty or the coach’s preferred way of working with an individual or team.
  • Talk about what to do if you feel things are not going well; discuss up front how you will handle questions or problems.
  • Coaching is a partnership, so be assertive about discussing your concerns with the coach.

yellow

Back to Top of Page