Myths Busted, Questions Answered
These are some of the most popular coaching related questions I received. Get in touch if you cannot find your answer! Credit goes to ICF website where applicable.
What is an ICF Credentialed Professional Coach?
In short, a professional coach acts like a mirror to clients, who provides an open non-judgmental thinking space and effective tools to enable her clients to navigate their challenges, uncover and resolve issues which hold them back from the kind of change that is required to achieve their own version of satisfactory work and personal life. Coaching process is much like riding a tandem bicycle or a dance duet of the minds. Such positive outcomes have momentum which will continue to impact the client throughout life long after the coaching ends.
International Coach Federation (ICF) is the biggest coaching organization worldwide, dedicated to setting the highest professional standards for coaching. ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today’s uncertain and complex environment. Coaches honour the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole. Standing on this foundation, the coach’s responsibility is to:
Discover, clarify, and align with what the client wants to achieve
Encourage client self-discovery
Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies
Hold the client responsible and accountable
This process helps clients dramatically improve their outlook on work and life, while improving their leadership skills and unlocking their potential.
Since it is possible for anyone who had only a few hours of coach training to call himself/herself a coach, working with a credentialed certified coach will help distinguish the quality of service clients receive. Any credentials awarded by the ICF to a professional coach means that she has met stringent education and experience requirements, is bound to their strict Code of Ethics and have demonstrated mastery of the coaching competencies.
How does coaching differ from consulting, therapy, mentoring, training, sports coaching?
Professional Coaching: Focuses on and supports personal and professional growth based on self-initiated change in pursuit of specific actionable outcomes. Coaching is future focused and outcomes are linked to personal or professional success. 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. It assumes a less linear approach, there is no set curriculum and the process is highly customised to coachee's needs. Unlike athletic coaching, professional coaching 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.
Consulting: Individuals or organizations retain consultants for their expertise. While consulting approaches vary widely, the assumption is the consultant will diagnose problems and prescribe and, sometimes, implement solutions.
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.
Mentoring: A mentor is an expert who provides wisdom and guidance based on his or her own experience. Mentoring may include advising, counselling and coaching.
Training: Training programs are based on objectives set out by the trainer or instructor. Training also assumes a linear learning path that coincides with an established curriculum.
Sports Coaching: Though sports metaphors are often used, professional coaching is different from sports coaching. The athletic coach is often seen as an expert who guides and directs the behaviour of individuals or teams based on his or her greater experience and knowledge.
Does coaching really work? Are there statistics on its Return-On-Investment?
Absolutely yes! The ICF Global Coaching Client Study shows most clients reported improved work performance, better business management, more efficient time management, increased team effectiveness, and more growth and opportunities. The same study found that coaching clients noted greater self-confidence, enhanced relationships, more effective communications skills, better work-life balance and improvement in wellness. The median suggests that a client who achieved financial benefit from coaching can typically expect a ROI of more than three times the amount spent.
The same report shows the vast majority of companies (86 percent) indicated that they at least made their investment back. In fact, almost one-fifth (19 percent) saw a ROI of 50 times their investment, while another 28 percent saw a ROI of 10 to 49 times their investment. Nearly all companies or individuals who hired a coach are satisfied. A stunning 99 percent of people who were polled said they were somewhat or very satisfied with the overall coaching experience. For more details, look for ICF Research Portal regarding return-on-investment research.
What may be the indications that I could benefit from coaching?
Here are some of the reasons why an you or your team may choose to work with a coach:
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 / perceived failure has started to become problematic
Work and life are out of balance, creating unwanted consequences
A need to identify core strengths, along with how best to leverage them
A desire for a space to reflect, talk through issues or brainstorm new ideas in an open and non-judgemental environment
How many sessions will I need?
The length of my coaching partnership varies depending on your team or your own needs and preferences. It is my pleasure to help client move forward as soon as possible therefore I do not tend to keep clients long term.
Typically, most clients obtained suitable tools, continue achieving or reached their satisfying goals having worked with me on 1-2 of coaching programs. Some choose to continue on when other topics arise. Factors that may impact the length of time include: the types of goals, the ways individuals or teams prefer to work, the frequency of coaching meetings and financial resources available to the clients.
What do you ask of me when we start our coaching partnership?
To maximize success, please fill in the intake form prior to the complimentary introductory conversation. When we start coaching, I will ask you certain things that will be uncomfortable or hard to answer, all of which begin with intention to reach your desired outcome. Additionally, you should:
Focus on one’s self, the tough questions, the hard truths and one’s success.
Observe the behaviours and communications of others.
Listen to one’s intuition, assumptions, judgements, and to the way one sounds when one speaks.
Challenge existing attitudes, beliefs and behaviours and develop new ones that serve one’s goals in a superior way.
Leverage personal strengths and overcome limitations to develop a winning style.
Take decisive actions, however uncomfortable and in spite of personal insecurities, to reach for the extraordinary.
Show compassion for your “self” while learning new behaviours and experiencing setbacks, and to show that compassion for others as they do the same.
Commit to not take yourself so seriously, using humour to lighten and brighten any situation.
Maintain composure in the face of disappointment and unmet expectations, avoiding emotional reactivity.
Have the courage to reach for more than before while engaging in continual self examination without fear.
Can we talk before the first coaching session to see if we are a good fit?
Definitely! With all clients I offer an initial complimentary introductory conversation to find out more about you and determine our chemistry and fit. I want to make sure my speciality will support your growth in a way most suitable to you. If you are purchasing coaching programs for friends and family, I will also talk to the intended coachee to ensure this is right for them.
Book your complimentary introductory session HERE!
Do you offer specials on any of your services?
I occasionally offer specials on current services or promotional discounts on new products, these are always offer on a first come first serve basis to my Newsletter Subscribers!
How do I pay and what are your terms?
Full payment for any of my coaching programs is due prior to the first session of coaching. PayPal is preferred for international clients and bank transfer is preferred for local Hong Kong individuals and organizations.
Do you provide group coaching or E-course?
I'm happy to have a discussion about highly customised group coaching for your organisation. Currently I'm working on an online group coaching program and I have plans for future E-courses. Get In Touch for updates!
What happens if I dislike professional coaching after my first session?
No worries, if you paid for the Unpeel & Unpack Program or above, and you are not completely satisfied after the first session and wish to discontinue coaching, I will offer a 100% refund minus this session. For the 60 days Program, I will offer a 50% refund minus the first session. No refund available for 1 time session as the sale for this session is final at the time of payment.
What medium do you use for coaching?
Primarily I use an online conferencing platform called Zoom for all coaching (video is optional and sometimes a disadvantage due to visual distraction). Details on how to get on the call will be sent when the coaching time is set.
I am also open to traditional phone calling and other online apps given that the internet connection is stable to minimize disruption. I will provide details for the coachee to call me. For in-personal and group coaching, I will arrange with the coachee a location, in which case a small transportation fee may be added to the total payment.