Here are some common questions from people considering Life Coaching:
1. What is an integral coach?
As we know in athletics, a coach is a highly-trained and experienced professional, a committed partner, and unconditional supporter to help build an athlete’s skills and competence, achieve goals and sustain long-term excellent performance. Together, we focus on where you are today, where you want to be tomorrow. “Integral coaching” is holistic in its approach. As an integral coach, I consider you as a whole person: physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, relationally and professionally. I help you see, believe in, and hold the vision for your successful future. I develop a coaching plan for you and then partner with you to support your growth in all of these areas, as you organically begin to live a richer and more fulfilling life, and contribute more of your unique gifts and talents to the world.
2. How do I know if I need you as my integral coach?
You may want to enlist my support if:
– You are not effective in consistently getting your needs met
– You feel bogged down by a project
– You feel overwhelmed by a part of your life that isn’t working the way you’d like
– You feel frustrated by your life’s lack of authenticity, clarity, fulfillment, or happiness
– Your relationships are unsatisfying and not improving
– You feel stuck in old behavioral or recurring negative patterns in your life
– You are not contributing to life from your innate talents, strengths, and gifts
– You are prompted by a small voice within, or a force seemingly outside yourself, to move in a general direction and aren’t sure how to take the next step
3. What can I expect to gain from a coaching partnership with you?
You can expect to gain:
– Self-awareness: You will receive a complete evaluation of your present situation as well as your potential to achieve your goals, along with my perspective on the underlying causes of your inability to live the life of your dreams.
– A road map to your success: I design a personalized, written, coaching program for you, tailored uniquely to your specific needs, that targets the outcomes you desire and what you’ll need to do to reach them: the competencies and skills you’ll need to strengthen or develop; or the beliefs that you may need to let go of, and/or replace with beliefs that better serve your life now.
– New abilities and skills: Through your coaching program’s self-observations, exercises and practices, you’ll begin to see exactly where you are, how you got here, what is important to do next, and the most powerful way for you to take the next step – that is in alignment with your true self.
– Long-term performance excellence: You will organically begin to develop in many domains of your life, simultaneously. As you do so, you will build skills, experience and confidence to advance yourself and consistently meet your evolving goals.
– A network of support: You will build a small team of trusted and committed individuals in your personal and/or professional life, who can offer you specific and consistent support throughout your coaching program.
– A sense of mastery: You will achieve an internal sense of satisfaction as you feel yourself achieving your goals, trusting that you know how you did it, and that you can continue to do it on your own.
– Self-acceptance: As you acknowledge the accomplishment of your stated goals, you naturally build appreciation for your whole self, including your limitations, which automatically infuses your life with more grace.
– A coaching partner: I commit to being dedicated to your growth, fully-present and unconditionally supportive of you – no matter where you are, or how you show up in your life right now.
4. What are you and I each responsible for?
As your coach, I am responsible for:
• Creating an effective coaching program tailored to you, your interpretation of the world, and your specific goals
• Offering you new ways of seeing yourself and/or your situation; an objective perspective, and distinctions to offer more possibility and space to create a more fulfilled life experience.
• Supporting you with presence, empathy, attention, deep listening, probing questions, and powerful assessment tools to inspire self-awareness and skill-building into your life.
• Providing access to a broad array of personal and professional resources to supplement the coaching program.
• Helping you create and remain focused on your goals, and to offer insights about why it has been (or hasn’t been) possible for you to stay with yourself to meet them.
• Supporting you to go beyond where you normally stop, by asking you to see a situation in a new way, or to try something new, or to consider shifting your normal way of being.
• Maintaining comprehensive coaching programs and client notes.
• Offering you unconditional positive regard, support, encouragement, presence, respect, and compassion.
As the coaching client, you are responsible for:
• Participating in assessing your present position, and setting your goals.
• Honestly identifying and communicating how you prefer to be coached.
• Scheduling and meeting our coaching sessions.
• Committing to your program assignments.
• Honoring the coaching partnership by:
a. Maintaining your commitment to it
b. Being honest and direct if/when some aspect of it is not meeting your needs
c. Timely payment of coaching fees
5. What are your qualifications as an integral coach?
I have been coaching others all of my life (even before there was the profession called “coach.”) I first recognized this skill at age 14, when I spent many hours coaching my junior high school peers on their parental, relationship, or academic issues. Over my lifetime, I have coached in a variety of forms, for a variety of people, including students, sports teams, business units, non-profit organizations, companies, my own children, and even my younger sisters! Integral coaching is my calling, the profession that enables me to engage my fascination with human potential.
I am a Professional Certified Coach (PCC), a distinguished professional designation awarded by the International Coach Federation (ICF) (www.coachfederation.com), of which I am a member. The ICF is the worldwide trade organization for professional coaches that maintains a rigorous level of coaching standards, ethics, and code of conduct. I am also a certified Integral (holistic)
Coach through New Ventures West, headquartered in San Francisco, California (www.newventureswest.com).
6. How do I know if you are the best integral coach for me?
Only you can determine if I’m the best integral coach for you. I offer a complimentary 30-minute coaching session to help us determine whether we are the right fit for each other. I also suggest that you contact some of my clients for their perspectives as well. In the meantime, here are some questions to consider:
• Do you feel emotionally safe with me, as though you can confide in me and tell me the whole truth about your current situation, “failures,” and goals?
• Do you trust me to hold our work in confidence, and to support you unconditionally?
• Do you value and respect my ability to see your situation clearly and to have the skill to help you transform it?
• Do you feel listened to and understood, without judgment?
• Do you feel supported as a whole, creative, and resourceful human being?
• Do I possess the experience, skills, and qualifications you are looking for?
• Do I share your coaching philosophy?
7. What are the qualities you look for in new clients?
I look for these qualities when I accept new coaching clients:
• Are you ready and willing to work with a coach, in a mutual partnership, towards your own fulfillment and success?
• Is there a gap between your present situation and where you want to be?
• Are you fully responsible for your own life and the decisions you make?
• Do you impeccable with your word to yourself and others?
• Are you willing and able to do the work suggested and/or required?
• Are you willing to take responsibility for and give up self-sabotaging behaviors that limit your success?
• Are you willing to try new concepts even if you’re not sure they will work?
• Are you able to engage in and sustain a relationship?
• Is it possible for you to create a network of people to support the changes you wish to make?
• Is coaching the appropriate modality for making your changes, compared to psychotherapy or medical treatment, for example?
8. How do you “walk the talk” of integral coaching in your own life?
• PROFESSIONALLY : I am a Professional Certified Coach and a Certified Integral Coach both of which require annual course work and accreditation to maintain certification.
• EMOTIONALLY : I am a member of a women’s group dedicated to practicing compassionate communication both with myself and with others. This ongoing commitment supports my ability to express honestly and authentically with my clients as well.
• INTELLECTUALLY: I love to learn, especially through travel, and have a wide array of interests from global cultures, to integrative medicine to art, music, writing and animals.
• SPIRITUALLY: I am an ordained lay minister, with a deep and abiding faith in a higher power, asking that my life itself become a devotion to God.
• PHYSICALLY: I engage in a variety of physical exercise (such as yoga, walking, swimming and weight training) at least five days per week.
• RELATIONALLY: My husband and I have been married for more than 25 years. I enjoy deeply satisfying relationships with my children and grand children, my mother and sisters, plus a wide network of friends.
9. How is an integral coaching different from psychotherapy?
Therapy generally focuses on family-of-origin issues, and can help individuals understand the origins of dysfunction in their life. Negative behaviors, relationships, addictions and/or belief systems are often identified and analyzed to enhance an individual’s mental and emotional health. Integral coaching does not generally dwell on family-of-origin issues. Instead, integral coaching focuses on your entire being, where you are today, what you are willing to do to get where you want to be tomorrow. If appropriate, therapy may be suggested as part of your support network within the coaching program. If so, I will work with you to find a qualified professional to assist you in this area.
10. How is integral coaching different from mentoring?
Mentoring engages the assistance of a recognized expert in a certain field to impart technical information specific to that field. For example, a business mentor, is a successful and influential person who will offer his/her advice, knowledge, information, experience, and contacts to you as a protg or student, in order to further your career or expand your business.
Integral coaching, on the other hand, is an equal partnership between a coach and a client. Although you are the recognized expert in your life, I am an expert in designing coaching programs, taking into consideration your whole being and offering resources to support you in achieving your goals. Together we manage the plan for your desired outcomes. As your coach, I agree to hold the vision for your future, even when you are inclined to doubt yourself.
11.How long does the average coaching relationship last?
Integral coaching programs are specific to each client’s needs and range from a minimum of three months to a maximum of 18 months in duration. It’s quite common to engage in and complete a specific coaching program and then to establish another coaching program at a later date when another goal emerges. Organizational coaching is also available for individual employees or teams, either simultaneously or sequentially, on work-related programs.
12.How will we communicate?
During your program, we will “formally” communicate in person or by phone every week. We may also communicate via e-mail between sessions to exchange pertinent information or to offer additional support or to celebrate a success. I also offer a newsletter on related coaching and self-empowerment topics.
13. How and what would coaching offer an organization or company?
Within a business setting, I observe and coach executives, managers, and employees in individual or group settings on a variety of areas to enhance individual performance, job satisfaction, and overall organizational success such as
– How to remain authentic, balanced, and personally successful and within the business environment
– How the customers members or shareholders view the organization and its products/services
– How the culture of the organization promotes or undermines its vision, and how the vision is communicated and understood by all levels of the organization
– How the leaders of the organization affect the company’s performance
– How success is measured and celebrated
– How employees are rewarded (or punished) for their performance
– How to identify and improve processes, and/or procedures in order to maximize the organization’s success
– How to make permanent cultural changes and increase trust in order to maximize the organization’s success
– How to improve job performance and job satisfaction
14. Do you offer group coaching?
Yes, I offer group coaching programs on topics ranging from essential life competencies, to those related to the physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, professional, and relational domains of human life. These groups are either offered in person, if clients are local, or as a group coaching call, if clients are dispersed across the United States.
15.What happens if either of us is not satisfied with our coaching partnership?
Our integral coaching relationship is a partnership built upon mutual trust, mutual respect, and mutual freedom of expression. It’s important for me to know how you are best coached. Initially, it’s perfectly normal not to know all the ways you are best coached. If either of us stops seeing the progress and/or results we’d each like to see, or stops valuing our relationship, it’s time for an honest dialogue to communicate our feelings and needs. If, after our best efforts to improve our relationship, either of us still feels unsatisfied, I will gladly give you a referral to another coach and refund the balance of that month’s coaching fee. My goal is to model mutuality in all relationships.