FAQs: Answer Your Questions on Coaching

FAQs: Answer your questions on coaching.

These FAQs help to clarify what coaching is, is not, and its benefits for professionals.

What is coaching?

The International Coach Federation (ICF) definition of coaching: Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

What is organizational coaching?

Organizational coaching focuses on maximizing the personal and professional potential of the people who work in and run organizations. Organizational dynamics and modern workplace trends can create environments where high potential individuals need support in order to thrive. The creative and empowering nature of the coaching process can help people to flourish at work and life.

Why do people consider coaching?

  • To maximize personal and professional potential.

  • To define their strengths and weaknesses.

  • To optimize individual and team performance.

  • To increase self-esteem and self-confidence.

  • To improve business management strategies.

  • To manage work/life balance.

Source: 2014 ICF Global Consumer Awareness Study (International Coaching Federation and Price Waterhouse Coopers).

Why do organizations use external coaches?

  • To develop leadership presence of high potentials.

  • To remedy executive burn-out.

  • To aid succession planning.

  • To leverage an objective perspective.

  • To encourage confidentiality/trust (which is difficult for internal coaches to achieve.)

Source: 2014 ICF Global Consumer Awareness Study and 2013 ICF Coaching Study (International Coaching Federation and Price Waterhouse Coopers).

What are the benefits of organizational coaching?

  • Increased employee engagement.

  • Reduced attrition (and associated costs.)

  • Improved team working.

  • Development of next generation of leaders.

Source: 2013 ICF Organizational Coaching Study (International Coaching Federation and Price Waterhouse Coopers).

What is the positive impact of coaching on individuals?

Improved Relationships

Improved Communication Skills

Improved Work Performance

Improved Life/Work Balance

Improved Self Confidence

Coaching generates learning and clarity for forward action with a commitment to measurable outcomes.

Somewhat or Very Satisfied with Overall Experience

Would Repeat the Process

Source: 2009 ICF Global Coaching Client Study (International Coaching Federation and Price Waterhouse Coopers).

What is the ROI of organizational coaching?

Organizational Coaching FAQs

For companies that can tie a financial measure to their coaching initiatives, the median company return is 700% indicating that typically a company can expect a return of 7 times the initial investment.

Source: 2009 ICF Global Coaching Client Study (International Coaching Federation and Price Waterhouse Coopers).

What’s the value of working with a certified coach versus a non-credentialed professional?

Research shows that when coaches hold a certification/credential, their clients are more satisfied with the coaching experience.

Coach HAS a certification/credential


Coach does NOT have a certification/credential


Source: 2014 ICF Global Consumer Awareness Study (International Coaching Federation and Price Waterhouse Coopers).

The same is true when coaches hold a membership to a coaching organization.

Coach HAS a membership to a coaching organization


Coach does NOT have a membership to a coaching organization


Source: 2014 ICF Global Consumer Awareness Study (International Coaching Federation and Price Waterhouse Coopers).

What is Positive Psychology?

The International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA) definition:  Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive.  The field is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play.

What is Coaching vs Consulting?

Consulting typically uses a pathology based approach and tries to uncover the root disorder within an organization and/or team.   It is concerned with improving business performance, not necessarily the performance and quality of life of the individual within the organization. Consultants offer carefully crafted recommendations that emerge after a time of studying and analyzing a business problem.   Clients choose to adopt all, some, or none of consultant-created solutions.

Coaching is all about the client as a unique individual, made up of strengths, wants and opportunities.  Coaching, especially positive psychology approaches, uses science based interventions to help clients have the career they want, to grow as leaders, and to live more joyfully while pursuing their goals .  Solutions are co-creations between coach and client, or client creations alone, so clients are likely to use and stick with coaching-based solutions.

Coaching vs Training?

Training helps clients bridge knowledge gaps or improve skills in areas critical to meeting their professional and personal development goals.  A training curriculum is constructed by the trainer prior to meeting with clients.  The same training can be redeployed to different audiences and it offers finite room for co-creation.

Coaching is a unique, in the moment series of exchanges between individuals where the coach empowers the client to see their own goals and wants clearly, and how to achieve them.

What is Coaching vs Therapy?

Coaching is not psychotherapy.  Therapy is pathology focused and seeks to treat disease.  At best, clients are expected to emerge from therapy when a situation or condition has stabilized and the client feels OK.  Coaching focuses on clients who generally feel good, and takes them to from good to extraordinary.

The ICF FAQs states its view on coaching vs. 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 emphasis in a coaching relationship is on action, accountability and follow through.”

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