What is coaching?

Coaching is a partnership that provides a safe, confidential environment for exploration so you can get clear on what you want and how to get there.  The coach brings the curiosity – and a cool coaching toolbox – and you bring the wisdom.  That’s right; you have the best answers for you!  The coach will help you discover them.

It’s sort of like having a personal trainer for your life: you set clear goals and are able to achieve them faster together than you would on your own.  It’s not just the accountability a coach provides, but having a non-judgmental partner whose focus is to support your learning and success.

What is a coach?

A coach is a partner who helps you create the life you desire through setting goals, gaining clarity and awareness, taking action and moving past obstacles.  I am a Certified Professional Coach, having completed a program that has been accredited by the International Coach Federation.  My program was Leadership That Work’s “Coaching For Transformation.”  In order to graduate from the program, I completed 220+ hours of training, assessments, and coaching of my own clients and getting coached.  I chose my program because it took a view of the whole person (i.e., mind, body and spirit) while training us to coach clients around personal and professional issues.

Beware!  There are no legal, licensing requirements for someone to say they are a coach.  Do your homework and ask your coach where they trained, what sort of program it was, and what their experience and philosophy is.  Don’t be afraid to talk to more than one coach if you don’t click with the first one you talk to.  Coaching is a commitment and investment; it’s worth asking questions up front to ensure you get the most out of it.

How does coaching work?

Coaching normally takes place on the phone or via Skype for scheduled sessions two to four times a month.  Sessions usually last 60 minutes.  At the very beginning of the coaching relationship, there’s a special Discovery Session to co-create the relationship, get clarity around the client’s goals, and identify what’s most important to the client.  After that, regular sessions explore topics and challenges as well as identify actions that move the client towards their goals.  Clients often stay with a coach for six to twelve months, although every person’s experience is different.  To understand what your coaching experience would be like, the best thing is to have a conversation with the coach, who will tailor the relationship to your needs.  If you’re interested in coaching with Jen, email Jen@jenfrankcoaching to schedule a free consultation.

Who are Jen’s clients?

My clients range in ages from 20s to 60s.  They are a mix of professions, genders and races.  They live in cities throughout the United States and abroad.  Some are interested in personal growth, some want assistance transitioning to a new stage in life, others are taking the next step in their careers, and others want to create more work/life balance.  All have a number of goals for their professional and personal lives that we work toward in each session.  To hear a little from my clients themselves, please see the Praise page.

Is coaching actually just therapy?

Coaching is different from therapy in that therapy is designed to heal past traumas while coaching takes a more positive approach and focuses on the present and future.  Coaching may be used in conjunction with therapy, but the training and tools often differ.  In addition, coaching is a partnership between client and coach, rather than the hierarchical/power relationship found in therapy.

How is coaching different from consulting?

Consultants are experts in their field who offer advice and make recommendations.  Coaches do not give advice.  Instead, they use the tools and techniques they are trained in to help the client uncover their own wisdom, always trusting that the client has the best solutions for themselves.

How is coaching different from talking to trusted family and friends?

While you love and value the opinions of your family and friends, they are unlikely to be objective about you.  They probably have an agenda for you.  Even if that agenda is to wish you happiness, it’s quite possible that they have their plan for your happiness all worked out!  A coach believes that you have the best answers for you and uses tools and techniques to help you get at your inner wisdom.  A coach respects that no one can know you better than you know yourself.  Coaches are also taught to self-manage and be curious; they don’t offer advice or opinions, but trust in your resourcefulness.

Why can’t I just read a book and coach myself?

There are a lot of great books out there, with exercises included, that you can get a great deal from.  Martha Beck’s “Finding Your Own North Star” and “Steering By Starlight” are two of them.  Unfortunately, when most people attempt to make important changes in their lives by themselves, they get stuck.  It may be because fears have come up or because they can’t shift out of an old viewpoint.  A coach can help you move past these obstacles, in a way that is difficult to do alone.

Do you have questions that aren’t answered on this website?  Email Jen@jenfrankcoaching.com to schedule a free consultation call and get all your coaching questions answered.