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What you've always wanted to know about coaching (but were afraid to ask)

Updated: Jul 6, 2021

Have you ever wanted to know a little more about the coaching community?

When I'm out in public and tell someone that I am a coach, they immediately have a list of questions; they're curious. What's a coach? What do you do? Why did you become one? What's it like to be coached? ...and a slew of questions.

I thought you might be wondering some of the same things so, I'm giving you a little insight into the life of a coach.

Q. What is the field of Coaching?

According to Wikipedia, Coaching is a form of development in which an experienced person, called a coach, supports a learner or client in achieving a specific personal or professional goal by providing training and guidance.

The U.S. estimated market value for personal coaching was $955 million in 2015 and $1.02 billion in 2016. I expect this market’s value to reach $1.34 billion by 2022 — or a 6.7% average yearly growth rate from 2016 to 2022.

Q. What does a coach do?

There are different types of coaches but in a nutshell, we help people identify what their real goal is (what they really want in life), discover what's getting in the way of them having that and finally help them resolve that roadblock so they ultimately get what they want. That roadblock is usually something like missing awareness, missing information, missing skills or a combination of the three. Of course, there's a lot more to it than that and depending on the objective, the path to helping achieve it will change accordingly.

Q. Why would someone become a coach? This is probably as unique as each individual however at the foundation, there is usually a desire to teach something that is known deeply through personal experience and to want to create similar outcomes for another person. I can tell you that MOST coaches do not enter the field for the money. It is usually based on a desire to serve. The coaching industry is a tough one and many (like myself), walk away from rich and rewarding careers and take less money to be more aligned with what they feel is more of a calling rather than a JOB. 

Q. How do you actually coach?

Again, this will vary depending on the type of coaching (relationship, personal empowerment/mindset, business, parenting, etc.) but at its basis, coaching serves two purposes  - 1) is to deepen the learning (teach what is missing in the attainment of the goal) and 2) is further the action (applying the learning into actionable steps that create Ah-ha moments, locks in the information, and creates new skills that drive outcomes). The 'deepening the learning' step is typically carried out in person, by phone/skype/zoom, or in live settings. The 'furthering the action' is carried out either by way of 'homework', 'assignments', 'challenges' or 'exercises'.

Q. Why did you become a coach?

This one I can answer quite well. I embarked on my personal development quest when I was 26. Broken and beaten down, I set out to learn to live with my pain and in the process learned to transcend it. Creating a 180-degree transformation from fearful, withdrawn and closed to an open, fun-loving, caring and honest person was nothing short of a miracle for me. My heart wanted to share what I learned so that others could eliminate their pain and sorrows and become their authentic, God-created self. Figuring out 'how' to do that would take me 15 years to discover. I was a Business Analyst, turned System Analyst turned IT Manager and finally, one day, my Director with whom I had developed a close relationship, suggested that I would make a great coach. She had witnessed my love of people and my deep understanding of human psychology and behavior. I had NO idea that coaching existed, and that it would turn out to be an industry that was as if God had tailor-made for me and my life experiences. Upon completing my coaches training in 2000, I embarked on teaching what I had been learning and implementing for 16+ years and 19 years later, I'm still here.

Q: Who makes a good coach?

I've known a lot of coaches, and just like finding a good doctor, finding a good coach can be tricky. Being a great coach requires a good balance of knowledge, first-hand experience, character and heart. If one of these is missing or off, then the experience will not be as rewarding as possible. There are coaches, and then there are great coaches; the latter is usually a component of the heart and soul that becomes part of the coach/client relationship.

Q: Is coaching like therapy?

Oh my, not even close. Therapy is the process of sharing feelings and emotions for the purpose of releasing them and understanding their roots. Therapy has its place and I have participated in it myself. There comes a time, however,  when you have cried your tears (not all of them, because we can still cry in the coaching process) and you understand how the past has shaped you into the person you've become and now, you need to decide 'what's next', 'who you want to be'. Coaching is about creating the next chapter of your life.

I have had clients tell me their results in as little as 4 months of coaching far surpassed those of years and years of therapy. That is, of course, because they had completed the 'processing' cycle and now needed a new structure to support their next phase, the 'creation' phase. Each phase is equally important. 

Q: Is coaching delivered the same way all the time or are there different methods?

Every coach is different and creates offers that align with how they want to deliver their services. These are typical services offered by most coaches:

1 on 1 coaching - a personalized relationship where the coach works with you individually (in person or remotely by phone, skype or zoom). This is a more intimate, more personalized experience that delivers strong results. $$$$

Group Coaching - a delivery of information and skills in a group setting (typically virtually) with occasional live group calls for answering questions and potential coaching of one member that also benefits the group. $$$

Self-paced study courses - a delivery of information via an automated platform with video, audio, forms, etc. Learning is self-directed and there is no personal interaction with the coach (unless otherwise specified) $$

Monthly Membership - coaching is shared bit-by-bit, in an online setting with typically a Face Book group community for accountability and championing. This is a fun process to be involved in, is very affordable and allows for establishing deep friendships with other members. The coaching part tends to not be as in-depth but rather a 'golden nugget' approach creating insight and momentum over time. $

I'm in the process of creating my group coaching and self-paced courses and even a monthly membership. 

I'd love to hear what interests you the most of the 4 I mentioned above as this will help me focus my energy on what you find most valuable. Just reply to this email and let me know :-)

I hope this helps to answer some questions you may have had about the coaching community but should you have additional questions, feel free to ask. I'm an open book :-)

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