Frequently Asked Questions and Answers About Coaching
What is Coaching?
Coaching by a professional coach refers to the formal or informal teaching and training process where an individual who has a great deal of experience and expertise in a given area offers advice and guidance to an individual, team, or organization as they transition through the continuous pursuit of their highest potential with the determination to attain a personal or professional goal.
Just like a sports coach, a business coach intends to bring out the best that is already inside the individual, team, or organization by focusing on the development of their highest potential. It’s important to note that some of the most successful people in the world have employed personal or business coaches to help them get to where they are today. This includes Bill Gates, Tiger Woods, and a very long list of both world champion CEOs and sports figures, from Olympians to pro sports players.
Quite often the coaching process begins with the discovery of where you are now, what you are capable of, and anything that’s standing in your way. Then comes the vision and painting of the big picture of where you want to be in life, your profession, your market, or your business. Next, a roadmap and strategy for success are devised and written out to guide you, your team, or your organization to where you want to be. Along the way, there are roadblocks, obstacles, and hurdles, all of which your coach will see you through or around.
A coach offers guidance and encouragement, as well as a barometer of progress for each step of the process as it is carried out. Your coach should be your partner, challenging you and helping you work more effectively towards reaching your goals of excellence. Your coach provides feedback and an objective perspective, but you are ultimately responsible for taking the steps to produce the results you want. You have to actively participate in your own progress.
A coach doesn’t just provide an action plan. A coach will also listen and observe, ask necessary questions and be honest in suggestions, personalize a game plan that taps into the individual’s strengths, and provide appropriate strategies that inspire and keep the individual motivated to continue to reach for greater results. It is through this interactive approach that I believe you and your business will be set on a path that allows you to identify and resolve issues quicker, make better decisions, and use more of your skills and resources so that your business can thrive.
More than offering advice, coaching is designed to help you develop a customized and practical vision of your dreams and aspirations based on your specific needs. Coaching further helps to identify the clutter and self-sabotage that undermine you or your business in its endeavors, then empowers, guides, and motivates you to achieve your goals in a realistic but specified time frame.
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What is the difference between coaching and consulting?
Coaching is a more interactive approach where client and coach collaborate in developing and, more importantly, implementing a roadmap and strategy for success . Coaching is a process by which an individual or team receives advice, support, and training from a professional who, utilizing their vast experience and insight, mentors and leads the individual or team through a learning process whereby a larger goal is achieved.
Consulting is a process of bringing expertise into a scenario usually for the purpose of resolving some specific issue or to complete some specific task. A consultant may be retained to provide information, advice, brainstorming power, or training. When hiring a Consultant, you typically are bringing in someone who will offer their knowledge, technical analysis, and advice in developing a plan. Using their expertise, a consultant can architect a complete solution for your project or company which they then hand over to you to put in place.
Unlike consulting where a solution is developed for you, coaching aims to bring out the best that is already within you, enhancing the resources that exist. A coach helps a team or individual focus on the big picture, holding them accountable to not only maintain a pace of consistent improvement towards obtaining a particular goal, but also overall growth in realizing their highest potential, often at a more accelerated and efficient rate.
The difference between coaching and consulting can sometimes best be clarified by two simple statements. In consulting, goals are defined and the burden of the end result work product is on the consultant. In coaching, goals are defined and the burden of the end result work product is on the coachee (client, mentee).
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Is Coaching confidential?
During our coaching sessions, we will be discussing confidential matters related to you and your business or career and possibly mine as well. In general, regardless of the agreement, I intend to honor my client’s confidence to not discuss details of coaching sessions with others, and I hope that you would reciprocate.
The intent is that both parties agree to a foundation of honesty, trust and respect, and that both understand the ultimate well-being of you or your organization is the central focus of the coaching relationship. For these reasons, I leave it to your discretion as to whether we are to have a non-disclosure agreement in place before proceeding with any coaching sessions or even before initial consultation.
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How long must I commit to if I start working with a coach?
It has been proven time and again that for you to change behaviors, habits and beliefs, you must make a commitment of time. Your commitment to the dreams and aspirations you have for yourself or your organization should be reflected in your investment of a realistic allotment of time in which you can seriously work towards those dreams and aspirations. I strongly believe in continuous incremental improvement, and that takes time to do it right.
My coaching agreement is straightforward and nonrestrictive. If you find that coaching is just not working for you, your team, or your organization, then you can stop at any time with no future commitment. All of my Coaching Programs are booked in one-month increments. I do ask for a three to six month commitment, depending on the Coaching Program or Success Path, because I know this is the minimum time in which you will begin to see real long-term results.
When you decide to engage a coach, it must be crystal clear from the onset that progress will not usually be instantaneous, and just discovering the steps required to change a belief, habit, or action will in itself take time. At the normal rate, a three month commitment only entails 26 coaching sessions. It really is no different than coaching for physical gain or prowess; you don’t show up at the gym and work out for two weeks and get great abs.
A perfect example of the need to commit to a long-term (three to six month) coaching program is the Service Delivery Success Path. Seeing you through the accurate identification of all the problems your service delivery is suffering and making a realistic plan will take several weeks in itself. Then, once we have a roadmap and strategy for success, the retraining of beliefs and habits of all team members will require several more weeks. Following all of this is measurement and adjustment until everything has been completely documented and solidified. Although many of my clients have realized fast changes and great results in a very short time, it would generally be unrealistic to think that, with only a few hours a week of coaching and mentoring, this could be accomplished in a handful of weeks.
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How does a Coaching Session work and is there homework?
A typical coaching session starts with preparation by both the coach and the client. The coach prepares a follow-up of previous session tasks and goals, a presentation of new ideas, and proposed solutions for ongoing issues. The client prepares by noting recent accomplishments as well as any new or prominent issues they are facing, such as distractions, blocks, frustrations, or drags. The client also prepares for discussion on new goals, ideas, and endeavors, or the adjustment thereof.
During the coaching session call, we cover everything we’ve prepared starting with accomplishments and successes and on to developing or refining action plans. Sometimes it’s more important to get right into the prominent issues because they are just that, prominent issues. If prominent issues take up all the attention of you, your team or your organization, then these are the most important things we can focus on first. We try to clarify what you, your team, or your organization wants and what is in the way. We continue to progress through, covering everything prepared, and sometimes the conversation is sidetracked because open dialogue has a tendency to reveal hidden or unacknowledged issues, roadblocks, or even solution possibilities.
As we close the session, I try to ask important questions like: Did we cover everything that needed to be covered? Is there anything we need to change to ensure you, your team, or your organization is getting the benefits and results needed on our calls? In turn, you, your team, or your organization commits to following through on action plans, homework, and reporting back on accomplishments. We end the session with confirming the time for the next call and summarizing our action plans, tasks, goals, and possible deadlines.
The call is followed up with an email that will be a mix of summary and detail on everything we covered in the meeting, including homework and expected follow-up. In between meetings, I can always be reached via email or phone for help, support, motivation, questions, or just about anything that you, your team, or your organization needs help with.
Homework is a very important requirement of all good coaching programs. Depending on the Success Path, there may be reading, research, or simply incremental goal expectations. There may be whole team assignments, including the possibility of field trips to build team skills and cohesion or motivation. Although the amount and type of homework is potentially unimaginable, given the wide range of possible individual or team goals, sometimes it entails nothing more than critical thinking, hard decisions, and decisive action that move you along your defined roadmap.
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What is your personal Coaching style?
Much like a sports coach, I am the coach who will not just tell you what you need to work on, I will take you to the gym and see to it that you put in the work to attain your goals. Like any good coach, I try to ask the insightful questions that get to the heart of understanding where we are, how we got here, where we’re going, and most importantly, what’s the next step. I will help cultivate the many skills and traits an individual or group needs to not only feel the confidence and conviction required to build quality strategies, but also execute them to attain the ultimate goal.
I am human and as such have personality traits that may not appeal to everyone. This is why we have some discussions and open dialogue before jumping into a coaching program. Unlike consulting, coaching requires a higher level of compatibility for there to be the absolute best possible effectiveness. I am a competitive and driven person in my life, sports, and business, and I bring that competitiveness and drive into my coaching as they are the things that create winners and top achievers. And although I take my coaching seriously, I also love to laugh and have fun, so do expect me to laugh at what is truly funny in the world when the time is appropriate.
At no time will I actually mandate what you have to do. It is always your decision on what and when to take action. It has to be your decision and yours alone. I will give my advice and try to ask the right questions while creating open dialogue. After that, you must make these key decisions on your own and without any feeling of judgment from me.
I do expect complete honesty in all our dealings and communications because it’s critical to our mutual trust and our belief in the sincerity of each other’s intent. With this trust comes the ability for you to openly communicate with me if there is ever a time you feel undue pressure or are uncomfortable about the path or methods. Open dialogue is the key to quality communication and total trust, and will lead to the best outcome.
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Do you ever fire a client?
Unfortunately, I have in the past had to release a client due to extreme circumstances. I preach and practice open communication and dialogue, so there will always be clear and present signs of any issue that could cause the termination of our agreement or contract well in advance. I will never simply drop a client without following a remediation process with specific steps designed to identify and remedy the issue or correct the problem.
Some reasons that could warrant a remediation include: Any illegal activity; Payment processing failures; Being repeatedly unprepared for sessions; Missing or showing up late for appointments without calling; Failure to act on your own decisions.
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Are your services available anywhere in the world?
I will work with any English-speaking individual or company anywhere in the world as long as we can effectively bridge any communication gap that may exist.
The most common coaching sessions are online video conferences or meetings using Skype, Lync, or similar solutions. Phone coaching sessions are the second most common and are usually reserved for one-on-one sessions with individuals, team leads, and managers. I favor video conferences over phone sessions, even with large groups, because technology today lends itself well to the video conference. Video conferences also give everyone a greater feeling of openness and participation.
I have no official business work hours because I am global. If you have retained me for coaching, I will accommodate coaching sessions that are within your normal business hours on any given weekday.
I always like to visit with my clients in person at least once each quarter when possible, and insist on at least one visit annually. For my local clients, this is never a problem, but for remote clients, it entails the cost of my transportation, accommodations, and expenses. Please see the Coaching Programs page for details on travel expenditures.
How do I know if I’m ready for Coaching? Take this Quiz!
Not everyone is ready or willing to be coached. Sometimes you are just not in the right place in life or your career. If you’re considering a team or organization program, they may not be ready either. And when it comes to coaching an entire team or organization, it may prove even more difficult to get everyone ready. Coaching is for those who know there are great things that can be achieved with only a little hard work and dedication. If you are ready to take action and are willing to be open and receptive to what new positive changes will come your way, and you see the value in having a professional work with you towards obtaining your desired objectives, then you may be ready for coaching.
Take the Coachability Assessment below for you as an individual or for your team or organization. Remember that if you are taking this assessment for your team or organization, you are stating that everyone on the team is in harmony with your answers. If they are not, you could suffer unnecessary struggle or even sabotage of your coaching Success Path.
Print the following assessment and circle the number next to each statement that reflects how true the statement is for you or your team/organization right now.
Scoring: 1 = Completely Inaccurate, 3 = Neutral 5 = Completely accurate.
1 2 3 4 5 — I can be relied upon to be on time for all coaching sessions.
1 2 3 4 5 — This is the right time in my life and/or career for me to accept coaching.
1 2 3 4 5 — I reliably keep my word without struggling or sabotaging.
1 2 3 4 5 — I’ll give the coach the benefit of the doubt and try out new coaching concepts
or different ways of doing things.
1 2 3 4 5 — I will speak plainly and truthfully with my coach.
1 2 3 4 5 — If I feel that I’m not getting what I need or expect from my coach, I will be able
to share this as soon as I sense it and ask for what I want.
1 2 3 4 5 — I am willing to eliminate or modify the self-defeating behaviors that limit my
1 2 3 4 5 — I have adequate funds to pay for coaching and won’t regret or suffer the fee.
I see coaching as a worthwhile investment in my life.
1 2 3 4 5 — I am willing to do the necessary mental work and action steps between sessions
in order to maximize my coaching experience.
__________ Total Score
10-20 Not ready for coaching right now. A more solid commitment is required.
21-30 Coachable but with some specific guidelines. Some clear guidelines will need to be set
up and adhered to so that you will get the most from each coaching session. A specific
Success Path will be set up to address areas that might hold you back.
31-40 Coachable. Let’s get started building a roadmap and strategy for success!
41-50 Highly coachable. Demand that your coach set aggressive goals and expect
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What does it cost to hire a Coach?
Hiring a coach involves a monthly Coaching Fee which can range from as little as $500 to several thousand dollars, depending on the Coaching Program. I have Coaching Programs designed for students, athletes, individuals, teams, and entire organizations.
Getting started is as easy as giving me a call to discuss your needs so I can help you select the Coaching Program and Success Path that are right for you or your company.
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If you’re ready to get to the next level…
reserve your spot in Manuel’s coaching program
by requesting your free Strategy Session today!
To find out which of Manuel’s Coaching Programs is right for you please visit the Coaching Programs page.
You can read more about the many Success Paths, including how Manuel can help you put together a tailored roadmap and strategy for success, on the Success Paths page.
To read testimonials from some of Manuel’s clients detailing how he has helped them, please visit the Testimonials page.