Do you ever wonder how coaching works? If you’re new to coaching, it may seem mystic, elusive and fake. But, if you ask someone who’s enjoyed the results of a great coaching relationship, they’ll often say that coaching is one of the most efficient routes to self-discovery and skills enhancement.
But it’s often shrouded in mystery for those who’ve never participated in a live, 1-1 coaching session. Coaching has been around for a long time. It is different than therapy in a number of ways and in my experience very effective if you’re struggling to reach your goals. So, if you’ve ever wondered how coaching works for others, here’s your answer.
How To Define Coaching
The International Coaching Federation (ICF), defines coaching as:
Partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today’s uncertain and complex environment. Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole.
This definition provides a foundation on which coaches can build their practice to help clients improve their skills and unlock their potential.
Coaching Is Collaborating
At the risk of sounding sexist – I’ll state that: Women are natural collaborators… And, because we’re collaborators, one of the hardest things to overcome as a mom entrepreneur is the feeling of isolation!
You are so busy dedicating your time and life to everyone else, that when it comes down to working on your business, you want to focus, be productive and get things done… You also want to generate some decent income within the time you work. Let’s face it, you are not going to pick up a side job at the local discount store.
You want to own your time, life and flexibility. You need to hold the reigns and make the decisions so you can make your life work! And, to avoid costly marketing blunders that most new entrepreneurs make, it is essential to align yourself with a mentor who can share expertise, lessons learned, and show you the shortcuts to getting profitable SOON with the time you’re willing to devote to your business.
Let’s face it – this mompreneur thing is tough – it’s NOT for wimps.
How coaching works, is that it creates an environment of trust between client and coach that promotes deep listening.
How Coaching Works: Incremental Improvement
If you are an entrepreneur who is painfully aware of a gap between where you are now and where you want to be, I invite you to close your eyes, take three deep breaths and feel a sense of calm…. just for a moment.
You’ve got this – and I can help. If you are you tired of doing the same things over with lackluster results AND if you are willing to engage in a trusted partner who will spend time strategizing, planning, systematizing, and holding the space for you to make your way forward, you are ready to work with me as a mentor coach.
There is extreme value in working collaboratively with a small business coach who specializes in supporting mom entrepreneurs. A coach provides a supportive, action-oriented, step-by-step, engaged (on fire) environment that allows you to make the (sometimes subtle and drastic) changes you need to start making real money or move your business in a different direction.
What Coaching Is Not
Coaching Works, But It Is Not Therapy
Those new to coaching sometimes compare it to talk therapy (Psychotherapy). While coaching is most often seated in deep conversation (talk), it differs from therapy.
Psychotherapists are trained in a multitude of brain-based disorders such as bipolar, addiction, depression, trauma to name a few. Also, the therapist model tends to focus on ‘looking back’ into the past to uncover clues and sources of current behaviors, gaps, and obstacles. The goal of therapy is to help someone with any number of disorders move closer to what is referred to as ‘neurotypical’, or more normal. This is the most important distinction between therapy and coaching.
Certified Coaches are trained at ‘holding the space to look forward and take action’. Therefore your perspective shifts not on what happened to get you where you are, as that tends to look for blame. Coaching focuses on where you are now and where you want to go.
Coaching Works, But It Is Not Consulting
Another important distinction is to identify Consulting as a separate strategy for people to work through challenges and meet their goals. Consultants are most often paid for their expertise. Although some consultants refer to themselves as coaches, there is a distinction in the type of work they do and the environment that is created when working with them. Some professionals bridge between these foundations, and as such make those distinctions during problem-solving client sessions.
Coaching Works Because It Is Coaching
Let’s compare the therapy model to a coaching model. Coaching presumes the client meets you from a place of overall mental health and functionality. While many Coaches chose a specific niche such as ADHD for instance, all certified coaches are trained at deeply listening to ‘hold the space’ of curiosity, empathy, and trust. We begin with the understanding that people are ‘naturally resourceful, creative and whole,’ and as such help, clients to look forward toward what they want. An environment of open curiosity and trust engages clients to get focused, build on their strengths, and creatively solve their own problems. In this way, coaching differs from therapy. The coach assumes that the client ‘knows’ what they need to know already and just needs assistance uncovering the best way forward.
Ways Coaching Differs From Therapy
I often am asked about how coaching compares to therapy. In many ways, they are similar, yet they are different. Both professions center on ongoing, confidential, one-to-one relationships between the client and practitioner. Clients come to therapy or coaching wanting change, and both professions support significant changes that occur over time. However overlapping characteristics between therapy-counseling and coaching can foster disagreements. Here are the main differences between coaching and therapy.
In therapy, people are often referred to as patients or cases. Therapy tends to focus on mental health and often focuses on diagnosing an identifiable issue (depression, anxiety, OCD, or other condition) that interferes with one’s daily functions. As such many insurance policies provide some coverage for seeing a therapist.
Therapy tends to look to the past to resolve current feelings, explores the roots of behavior, past pains, or unconscious issues. Therapists help their clients heal from trauma or negative experience. People often seek therapy to cope or come to terms with something that happened in the past. They’re often seeking tools to handle emotional issues that stem from past trauma. Counselors offer directions, guiding the conversation. Therapy may involve medication, adjunct therapies, and coordinate additional services.
What Makes Coaching Different
Coaches assume a holistic view of clients, seeing each person as naturally creative, resourceful, and whole. Coaching meets clients in the present, assuming clients are well-equipped with the skills and talents needed to reach their goals. A coach helps you look at what’s in the way now, starting from where one is.
Coaching assumes clients are accountable, responsible, and empowered. To be effective, clients need to remain open to shifting perspectives. Life coaches help clients notice current behavior and thought patterns and ask questions to help their clients change those patterns in order to move forward. Clients receive ongoing support as they do the inner work necessary to create life transformation.
Coaching and Empowerment
Coaching empowers people to find their own answers and solutions to their problems. Coaches give non-directional feedback, often in the form of asking questions. Coaching does not fall under the mental health umbrella. As a result, most coaches can not accept insurance.
Instead, coaching is an option, not a prescription. And although some employers pay for coaching as a potential ‘reasonable accommodation’ (specifically for ADHD and other brain-based conditions),
Coaching is a powerful method to support you in making the changes you want to make in your life. If you want to work on present issues and get the support to break through your limiting beliefs, then coaching may be right for you!
On the other hand, to resolve trauma, therapy is a better fit for you at this time. You can find a qualified, licensed therapist here.
How Coaching Works
You’re the driver in a coaching relationship. The ‘curiosity sandbox’ helps you engage in the thoughtful, problem-solving that suspends fear and anxiety. When you engage your smart mind through coaching, clarity is easier. And when you are clear you take action.
However, not everyone is a good fit. Coaching works as long as you are ready. Reviewing the following conditions can help you determine if you’re ready.
Now is an ideal time for coaching if you are:
- Willing and able to take action to change your current circumstances
- Unsure of a plan of action and what priorities should come first but open to options
- Overwhelmed with possibilities but stunted with inactivity and indecision
- Confused about what you need to accomplish and what is important
- Stuck and need to get in action and want to have someone to help you work through all of your ideas and plans
Coaching is NOT recommended if you are:
- Unwilling and unable to take action to change your current circumstances
- Stuck in being right and being the expert at everything
- Resistant to the opinions and guidance of others
- More invested in staying victimized at where you are now than taking deliberate actions to change your situation
- Too financially strapped to see coaching as an investment in yourself and your business results
- Unwilling to accept responsibility for yourself and the actions you take.
Business Coaching Benefits
There are many benefits to business coaching. When you work one on one with a coach, each session begins with a client-generated topic. This structure helps you stay focused and find incremental solutions in each session. Because clients are responsible for their topic, coaching stays focused on your goals. Client and coach work together to ‘co-create their relationship’. So each of us prepares for the session equally, which is often why coaching is so powerful and can generate immediate results.
Structured Vs. Live Coaching
Coaching works differently for different people. So, clients prefer different types of coaching methods. Some people benefit greatly from the power of a group, while others may feel that groups do not offer the type of attention they desire to meet their own goals.
I offer structured programs, webinars, live classes, and self-study and open format live coaching for my continuity clients. Open format coaching works well if you are working through life changes or personal transformation. You set the agenda per meeting, and create your own goals and homework. Programs (group or individual) work well if you are targeting specific business goals, designing programs, or implementing projects. Though open format live coaching is exactly that – live for each session, my ideal clients typically follow a structured path.
The Value of Niche Coaching
Many coaches distinguish their services by client type. Niche coaching is a way to distinguish ideal clients. A niche is a specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service. The clients below describe my typical ideal clients:
This client is in the growth stage of business which is typically years 2-7 for most mompreneurs. If you’re not a mom, the time it takes your business to get to growth is often shorter.
If you’re a BUSY mompreneur you’re doing most of the things in your business and you may be bordering on burnout. Coaching will help you streamline, systematize, and hire reliable expert support staff so you can delegate the non-essential tasks. The Mompreneur’s Sanity System provides the structure to get your time back and lead you through your next step.
If you’re in the growth stage of business (mompreneur or not), we focus on the steps that get you out of the log-jam of doing it all and put you back in charge.
This client is in the LATE start-up stage of business which is anywhere in the first five years for most mompreneurs. If you’re not a mom, the time it takes your business to get to growth is often shorter.
If you’re at the late start-up phase you have already launched your business, may have a preliminary website and have already begun delivering your services or products. You need to focus on selling more, and work on optimizing your time. We’ll follow the Start-Up Success System™, developed to kick-start your efforts and give you the answers you need to get in action. Realize that our system is not necessarily LINEAR.
If you’re in the start-up stage of business, we’ll focus on the most important tasks and BIG steps you need to take NOW to get your business up, running and profitable, sustainable, and serving your lifestyle goals.
This client is in a transition stage in life or business. This phase can be anywhere in the cycle of change from contemplation, pre-business (pre-change) to the early launch, to coping with launch stages. Transitions can make you foggy and unclear. When you’re unclear it’s hard to stay motivated and set goals.
If you are looking to transition soon, or if you’re thinking of a career change, or launching a new business after you retire, you need to identify short and long-term goals on your own terms. We’ll follow the Relaunch Blueprint™, developed to update your skills, renew your interests, and harness your talents. A roadmap helps you navigate any transitions. Defining your ‘ideal day’ builds your networking plan so you can get started easier.
If you’re in a transition stage we’ll focus on clearing the fog, nailing your purpose, identifying your ideal situation, and synergizing your next steps in your career or business.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic condition that affects millions of people. ADHD encompasses a combination of persistent problems, characterized by difficulty sustaining attention, hyperactivity (brain or body), and impulsive behavior.
If you have (or think you have) ADD or ADHD and are also managing a small business… you need a trained ADHD coach. Coaching helps you understand your condition, focus, stay on task and meet your goals consistently.
There are many successful entrepreneurs who live with ADD/ADHD! Working with an ADHD coach can help you make long-lasting positive changes in your life. Coaching creates a safe space for planning, engagement, and completing tasks. Working with an ADHD/ADD Coach provides consistency, support, and accountability. Your results will improve, you’ll focus on what matters, get more business, and develop customized, efficient systems on your own terms.
If you’re recently diagnosed with ADHD, coaching works!
With a certified ADHD coach, you’ll learn to heighten your focus, clear the fog, set goals, and make incremental progress. Additionally, connecting weekly builds consistency, develops skills and helps anchor healthy habits. Coaching helps you develop practices to support ongoing success. Therefore, coaching with a certified ADHD coach saves time, helps you avoid costly mistakes and builds success in increments.
Coaching Works If You Are Coachable
To say coaching works, but only if you are coachable is a bit circular in nature, but true. Some people are more coachable than others. Coaching works much better for people who are engaged in the process, some are not. If you struggle with a fixed mindset it may be difficult for you to see options, opportunities, and possibilities. Take the Coachability Quiz to see how coachable you are! And, when interviewing coaches ask great questions to get your money’s worth.
Why Coach With Me?
First of all, coaching will make a profound difference in your life. I am a Certified Organizer Coach (COC) with certificates in many corporate coaching systems such as DDI, ODI, Behavioral Technology, TRACOM, Inside-Out Coaching, and Time Systems Inc. These experiences have exposed me to many different coaching approaches, and they all provide a rich resource base that informs my coaching.
I believe anything is possible as long as you work from a base of self-knowledge that focuses on your strengths. It’s one of the reasons that fueled me to develop the Productivity Personality Profile online assessment – Time & Space Style Inventory. I believe there are inner qualities, strengths, and passions inside each of us that can provide an amazing life experience. However, it’s common to veer off track and focus on the wrong things. I know I did, and I see it in others. I pursued coaching certification to build on my strengths and ensure I had what I needed to deliver the results my clients needed.
Take Your Next Steps
One of the most profound business coaching benefits is your ability to make better, faster decisions because your focus is clear. You’ll also experience enhanced motivation because you’ll take action toward the goals you really want to attain. Enhanced accountability via regular (1x, 2x, or 3x/month) coaching check-ins help you advance quickly through changes you want to see in your life. As a result, you span inactive times more quickly.
If you’re ready to discuss how coaching can change your results, book a Call with me. We’ll connect and see if I can help you move forward!