What is the difference between coaching and counselling?
1) Counselling generally aims to solve problems by understanding what happened in the past. Coaching is almost exclusively future-focused.
2) To counsel means to give advice. Coaches do not give advice – instead they use various techniques to facilitate the process of an individual finding the best path for themselves.
So is coaching like mentoring or training?
No, training tells individuals what to do in certain circumstances. Mentoring often has some elements of coaching but differs in that the mentor also offers guidance based on their experience. If you get told what to do or how to solve a problem then it is not coaching.
Is coaching appropriate for me?
If you want a change of some sort – whether it is changing or creating a habit or behavior, improving your work-life balance, changing your career, improving your relationships, being more creative at work etc. – AND you are ready to take steps to achieve it, then you will benefit from having a coach.
If you are looking for somewhere to simply vent about your past or your circumstances then you will likely waste your money on a coach.
How do I select a Life Coach?
The following are some points to bear in mind when selecting a coach:
1) A coach need not be an expert in a particular field. E.g. if you’re a doctor, it is not necessary to find a coach that is a medical guru. Strong general knowledge in a coach is however essential in building rapport and maintaining credibility.
2) Speak informally with your prospective coach first and see if you feel comfortable with them. For coaching to be effective it is important to feel that your coach is capable of completely listening to you, without judgment. Most coaches offer discounted or free preliminary sessions – use these to help you make your decision.
3) Try out a few coaches before you decide who you’d enjoy working with. Coaching is about helping you achieve your potential and exploring what works best for you is part of that process. When you find someone that works well for you, stick with them.
4) If you don’t know where to start looking, ICF (the International Coach Federation) is a global body that offers accreditation based on a combination of training and practical coaching experience. Coaches that attended ICF accredited courses or are ICF certified have at least proven that they are serious about coaching as these involve some investment in terms of both time and money.
How long will I need to work with a coach?
It depends on where you are, where you want to go, and how quickly you want to get there. Some clients are able to achieve their goals in as little as one to three months. Most often, clients stay with a coach anywhere from six to eighteen months. After clients realize their first goals, they often identify other areas they want to work on. The coaching relationship continues as long as there is benefit to the client.
It is important to remember that many coaching techniques and processes can be learnt and practiced on your own. As counter-intuitive as it may sound, a good coach’s goal should be to reduce your dependency on them as soon as possible – that shows you’re becoming more resourceful and that you’re learning to more effectively deal with new situations as they arise.
How does coaching work?
Coaching is a process. It can and does evolve differently over time with each person. For a high-level description of the steps in a typical session, please refer to the The Coaching Process page.
How do you coach?
Coaching is a meditative practice for me. I use our sessions as an opportunity to quieten my mind completely so that I can calmly listen to exactly what you are and are not saying. I listen with clarity and without passing judgment on what you say.
An essential part of the coaching process is asking relevant and often challenging questions. My experience allows me to do so in a way that will keep you curious about yourself and that will inspire you to stretch your thinking. The point of each session is to make you more resourceful to find your own path going forward. The focus is entirely on what you want – I do not give you advice.
How much does coaching cost and how can I pay?
Professionally trained, certified coaches charge fees in line with other highly trained professionals. Fees vary from coach to coach, and are based on a variety of factors including whether it’s in-person or over the telephone. I charge on a package basis. Our fee arrangement is worked out once we’ve had a complimentary strategy session and I have a better understanding of your current situation and goals. Payment can be made by either check, wire transfer, paypal or credit card.
Dreams are free, for everything else there’s MasterCard.
Where are your clients based?
I currently have clients in Africa, North America, South America and the Caribbean. Most remote sessions are conducted over skype, or the telephone and for those who choice face to face. If there is a special need, I am also able to travel worldwide for coaching projects.
I’m interested or need more information – how do I get in touch?
The Coaching Process
Aim of Coaching
Coaching is a solution-focused process that for any given challenge helps you clarify what you want and determine the steps you need to take so you can get it. Very often, even when we know what we want we find ourselves unable to sustain our motivation. Coaching helps keep your eye on why what it is you’re doing is important so that you can maintain your focus until you achieve what you set out to do.
My style of coaching is based on some fundamental principles. The most important of these is that you know best what is best for yourself. This knowledge however is often not in your conscious mind but through appropriate techniques you can access it.
I play the role of a completely non-judgmental facilitator helping you find your best solution. The process involves you answering some very deliberate and powerful questions. Through these questions, I will help you challenge both your own thinking and your perceived limitations. I will also teach you some simple techniques to access your intuition and deeper knowledge of yourself.
During each session, we will identify an area you would like to focus on. Once we’ve established that, I will facilitate you through the following process by asking appropriate questions and allowing you sufficient space to answer them. You have full control of the process and you can rely on me to challenge you to uncover and explore additional possibilities.
Below is a brief description of what happens at each stage:
- Clarifying what you want
– Appreciating constraints and things outside your control
– Understanding why it is important to you
- Defining the steps you need to take to get it
– Create an action plan that is realistic and practical
– The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step – what is that step?
- Building and maintaining the commitment to getting what you want
– Developing a vision and helping you appreciate its importance
– Linking the various steps you need to take to that vision
– Creating an experience of what it would be like to complete that journey
- Measuring your progress
– Identifying and overcoming hurdles
– Defining the milestones to help you check you’re on track
- Celebrating your success
Finally, acknowledging your success with each step you take toward where you want to be.
You may already have a particular issue in mind you’d like to address or know of a number of areas in your life that you could be happier with. Whether it is coping with your fears or achieving a goal, establish what you need to do to get you where you want to be. Even if you’re just generally feeling stuck and not sure where to start, take the first step of getting in touch now to help yourself get back on track.