How does coaching work?
You'll talk to your coach on a regular basis, usually two or three times monthly, discussing your dreams, your plans, your challenges and successes. Your coach may ask you to take a behavioral assessment as a tool to determine your communication and behavior style and preferences. Together you will develop a strategy for reaching your goals. Without judging you, your coach supports you, holds you accountable to your plan, and encourages you to reach your goals.
Does an executive or entrepreneur need a coach?
They say it's lonely at the top! And that may be true if you don't have someone who provides a safe and confidential ear for you to discuss your concerns, your ideas and your truth. Bosses, peers, direct reports, friends and family members may not be objective in their view of what's best for you, because they have a vested interest in the outcome. A coach is an objective, trusted partner who can offer an unbiased and non-judgmental perspective.
Is it a bad sign if my boss wants me to work with a coach?
Quite the opposite! You can consider yourself a valued employee if your boss recommends coaching and wants to invest in your professional development. Just as you and the company would benefit by investing in additional training to enhance your professional skills and knowledge, coaching is a learning process that will result in a win for all.
Will my coach share what I say or do with my boss or others?
Just as attorneys and physicians cannot share information about their clients or patients, a professional coach must uphold the coach/client confidentiality agreement. That means, even if your boss or company pays for your coaching sessions, the information that you share with your coach will not be shared unless you give explicit consent to do so. Before coaching begins, you and your coach and your boss or HR manager will outline the objectives and timeline of your coaching arrangement. This agreement will specify what type of high-level updates will be provided, but only with your consent.
Who is the client when the company pays for coaching?
Even though a company may pay for coaching for an employee, the employee is always the client. In this context, it is essential that all parties agree on the intent and purpose of coaching before coaching begins. That is why we require an initial meeting with the stakeholders to define expectations and clarify responsibilities. Together the boss, the employee and the coach decide on the focus, the timeline and the desired outcome of the coaching process. During the coaching period, with your knowledge and consent, your coach will generally inform your boss of your progress without providing confidential information.
How long does it take to see results from coaching?
That depends a lot on the person being coached and what results are desired. But most professional coaches help their clients see the benefits to making small changes early in the coaching process. The goal of coaching is to focus on opportunities, "try on" new behaviors, accept challenges, stretch out of a comfort zone and take action to move forward. With your coach as your thought partner, sounding board, and cheerleader, you will see results much faster than if you were to go it alone.
What happens next?
After the coaching period ends, there are several options to consider. The goal of most coaches is to "graduate" their clients when they've achieved the desired results, or when the client has opted to continue working toward their goals alone. It's always okay to take a break from coaching and to return to coaching when new challenges arise.

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