FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Definition - So What is Coaching?
The ICF (International Coach Federation) defines coaching as "partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential”.1
The ICF goes on to explain that professional coaching is “an interactive process that helps individuals and organizations improve their performances and achieve extraordinary results. Professional coaches work with clients in all areas, including business, career, finances, health and relationships. As a result of professional coaching, clients set better goals, take more action, make better decisions, and more fully use their natural strengths”.
What May I Expect?
Coaching is a process and results can often take time. Patience and persistence with the coaching process is needed to experience extraordinary results over time. The results that you will see will be based solely on the decisions you make and the actions you take. Your coach can help support clients with clarity of direction, accountability, forwarding action, and challenge and empower you. Coaching can provide the catalyst for action, but it is up to you, the client to make the decision to move forward and in which direction.
A Professional Coach helps you, the client, identify what you want personally and/or professionally while encouraging you to achieve what you have determined to be your goals. Coaches inquire, encourage, educate, challenge, make requests and listen so that you are aligned with your goals, values and vision. Coaching is about you taking positive action to develop a powerful foundation on which to simplify and manage your life.
The effectiveness of coaching is influenced by the level of your participation, including attendance at planned coaching sessions and follow through on commitments made together with the coach. Thus, all actions and outcomes are created by you, the client, with the support of the coach. You as the client are fully responsible for all choices and outcomes.
What Coaching is NOT
Coaching is action-oriented and focuses primarily on the present and the future. It is not therapy or consulting or in any way to be construed as, or a replacement for therapy, mental health counseling, psychotherapy, legal counsel, or medical or other advice.
Any assessments provided by your coach are for informational purposes only and are not psychological, personality or diagnostic testing which would be administered by a licensed psychologist or other mental health professional.
In a professional coaching relationship, you the client are considered the expert on what is best for you. As such, the client is solely responsible for decisions and outcomes arising out of the coaching process.
Certification - What Does That Mean?
There are many practicing coaches who may or may not be certified professional coaches. Certification means that a coach has undergone a set program of coach specific training, has documented coaching hours, supervision and experience, and has met the qualifications of the certification body.
The International Coach Federation has emerged globally in the industry as the leading authority and accreditation organization. “Founded in 1995, the ICF is the leading global organization dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high standards, providing independent certification, and building a worldwide network of credentialed coaches.” 3
You may learn more about the coaching profession and which coach training programs have been accredited by the ICF by visiting their web site www.coachfederation.org. Here you may also learn more about the role of the professional coach and what you may expect from the coaching process.
While professional coaches may be credentialed, as of the time of this writing there is no universal governmental regulation of this field in the United States. There are various credentialing bodies that hold members to training and experience requirements as well as testing and adherence to professional ethics and standards. The International Coach Federation is one of these credentialing bodies.
How is Coaching Delivered?
Our coaching services are provided by telephone or SKYPE or FACETIME (tele-coaching) with times mutually agreed upon. Private coaching or training programs may be delivered on site or at one of our local offices.
Information exchanged in the coaching sessions is held in strict confidence as allowed by law. Clients are informed that there are conditions under which confidentiality may not be maintained (e.g., illegal activity, pursuant to valid court order or subpoena; imminent or likely risk of danger to self or to others; etc). Where the coach reasonably believes any one of the above or similar circumstances is applicable, responsible authorities may be informed.
How much will it cost?
Professional coaching is an investment in your personal and professional growth. We offer programs and services that vary in pricing based on length and extent of involvement and client commitment. Coaching fees are also influenced by the individual coach's level of training, experience and credentials. Our coaches are professionally trained and certified, hold advanced graduate degrees and regularly participate in ongoing professional development.
What Guarantees Are There That I Will Get What I Want From the Coaching?
None. Coaching is a choice to engage in the process described above and not a guarantee of any specific outcome whatsoever. Since you are solely responsible for your choices which you make during and after the coaching process, you are solely responsible for your outcomes. That being said, if at any time you do not feel that coaching is meeting or exceeding your expectations, we invite you to share why with your coach so that the two of you together can create an appropriate resolution supportive of your goals. If at any time you wish to discontinue coaching you may do so at any time by informing your coach in writing that you would like to discontinue.
The Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching (IPEC)
There are many programs available for coaching certification, some with ICF approval and some without. IPEC is a fully accredited coach training program (ACTP) accredited through the ICF. The program from which Cynthia Spradlin graduated included 380 plus coach training hours, both on site (in person) and distance learning, live coaching supervision, active coaching hours logged, mentor coach evaluation as well as oral and written examinations.