What is coaching?
Coaching is a co-created alliance and working partnership between you and your coach. You are the expert in your own life; the coach is the expert on the process of coaching, ensuring that the coaching partnership reflects your goals and moves you toward them, with all options and possibilities considered along the way. Some people use the analogy of driving a car: you are the driver, and you decide where you want to go. The coach is the “co-pilot” who makes sure that you keep your eyes open for all the possible routes (including ones you may not have thought of), and who acts as a sounding board as you explore your options and choose your route. The coach then keeps you moving and on track, keeping your awareness not just on your ultimate goal, but on opportunities and obstacles that are part of the journey.
One thing that coaching is not is therapy. Coaching differs from therapy in that it focuses on creating the future rather than healing the past. Coaching assumes that the client has a strong foundation and is whole, competent, capable, resourceful, and ready to move forward in creating positive change toward their goals.
What would our work together look like?
In coaching, we work together as you identify the area or areas of your life in which you want to create a change and the goals you want to achieve. We get creative and explore all the options and opportunities, keeping open to “outside the box” ideas, new perspectives, and many different pathways toward your goal. You then create action steps that feel right to you, and we follow that progress together, adjusting along the way based on successes, challenges, and new awareness. It’s amazing how much effect the simple process of “checking in” on a regular basis will create; this is one of the most powerful aspects of coaching, and a major factor in why coaching really works.
All along the way, we continue to explore new ideas, perspectives and opportunities; we focus on the strengths and resources you bring to the table as well as those you want to develop further; and we look at obstacles and barriers that may get in the way of your progress toward your goal, including assumptions you might be making, or self-limiting beliefs. And we acknowledge and celebrate each success!
What is the Welcome Packet?
When you sign on to create your best new pathway through coaching, I will send you a Welcome Packet which includes our Coaching Agreement, a Client Information form, some exercises to get you started on identifying and setting your goals, and a copy of the International Coach Foundation (ICF) Code of Ethics, which informs my practice and the work we do together. You may also choose to do a PeopleMap™ Personality Type assessment, which gives you a 17-page PeopleMap™ report on your strengths, your “Achilles heels,” your preferred communication styles, and other details that can be enlightening and helpful in both your personal and professional life. (There is a separate fee for the PeopleMap™ assessment.)
What is the Coaching Prep Form?
For all meetings following our initial meeting, I will ask you to fill out a Coaching Prep Form 12-24 hours in advance, and return it to me by email before our session. This form enables you to note and reflect on your wins for the week, your progress on your action steps from the week before, any obstacles you may have encountered along the way, and what you would like to focus on in the upcoming call. I recommend keeping a file of all your Coaching Prep Forms together; it can be a powerful and effective way to acknowledge your progress, observe patterns, and keep you on track toward your goal.
How does a coaching call work?
Our initial meeting is a one hour Initial Goals Assessment, during which we will go over the Coaching Agreement, establish our coaching schedule, review your goals, and get started on your new pathway toward them.
Following the initial meeting, individual coaching calls are 45 minutes and take place over the phone or via video conference; group coaching meetings are one hour, via video conference. I will provide a call-in number or video conference link. I can also arrange to meet in person with clients who live in the Northern New Jersey area.
During our calls, we will have a brief check-in on “wins” for the week and your progress toward the prior session’s action steps. You will then set the agenda for the call – what do you want to focus on, and what do you want to get out of this call? We will then spend the majority of the call focusing on options, opportunities, creative ideas, brainstorming, and all sorts of ways you could move your goal forward. We’ll address blocks that have been getting in your way and brainstorm around those, so you can come up with creative solutions to explore. To wrap up, you’ll decide which specific pathways you want to explore and what action steps you will take in the coming week(s) toward your goal.
I see you have a Career Coaching specialization. Are you a resume writer?
The short answer to that is “No” – although if you are coming to coaching as part of a career transition or re-entry into the workforce, you may be creating or revising a resume, cover letters, an elevator speech, etc. as part of this process.
My primary and most important job as your coach is to work with you to find the answers to the following questions (and more), out of which your new professional path will develop:
What are your strengths?
When are you most engaged or “in the flow?”
What problems do you solve?
In what kinds of work environments do you thrive?
How can you best connect with your extended networks to help you?
What are your priorities and next steps?
Once you are clear on what you want to do, and how and where you want to do it, I can brainstorm with you on your resume and other materials, and connect you to additional resources that can help you.