Frequently Asked Questions

Questions About Coaching

  1. What is Coaching?
  2. What is a Coach?
  3. What is the Difference between Coaching and Consulting? Coaching and Counseling?
  4. What are the advantages of being a certified coach?
  5. What is your approach to Executive Coaching?
  6. What is typically covered during an Executive Coaching program?
  7. Is Privacy Guaranteed?
  8. How long does coaching occur?
  9. Where does the coaching take place?
  10. How are coaching results evaluated?
  11. How much does coaching cost?
  12. How “Coachable” am I?
  13. How does a coaching relationship begin?
  14. What is a coaching agreement?
  15. How do I get the most out of coaching?
  16. How do I get started?

Questions About Accelerence

  1. What assessment certifications do you have?
  2. What ethical guidelines does Accelerence follow?
  3. What are your coaching core competencies?


Questions about Coaching

What is Coaching?

Coaching is a relationship by choice with a highly skilled professional who works with you as a personal partner. As a result of this relationship, you:

• exceed your previous limitations continuously;

• keep open to requests to do more than you would have done on your own;

• set and reach better more worthwhile goals;

• produce results more easily and quickly;

• reinforce and sharpen desired skills so that you are the best you can be.

"People get focused and produce faster and easier because they have a coach."

According to the International Coaching Federation, “coaching is an ongoing relationship between the professional coach and the client, which focuses on the client taking action toward the realization of their vision, goals or desires. Coaching uses a process of inquiry and personal discovery to build the client’s level of awareness and responsibility and provides the client with structure, support and feedback.”

What is a Coach? 

More common to the general population is the concept of an athletic coach -- the likes of Vince Lombardi, the legendary coach of the Green bay Packers. Coaches are dedicated individuals who through a combination of education and work experience help others develop their potential. Coaches are part mentor, part challenger, part strategist, part tactician, part teacher and part sounding board. While developing your skills your coach will support you and at the same time offer you their insight, a place to safely vent your concerns, give information you may not have, identify options and help you sort through problems. You, in turn, stretch your capabilities by gaining greater confidence, you have more clarity about your situation, you recognize more options, you integrate new skills, and ultimately you experience increased job satisfaction and achieve an improved quality of life.

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What is the Difference between Coaching and Consulting? Coaching and Counseling?

The International Coach Federation defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.” In a strict coaching model, the coach functions as a facilitator, helping the client identify and manifest solutions.

In executive coaching, coaching and consulting often blend together, providing a clear, collaborative path of action for the client. In consulting, the coach/consultant functions as “the expert”, often providing the client with “answers” — ideas and suggestions for a new course of action. As an executive coach, Dan frequently functions as a coach and consultant, ultimately seeking to collaborate with the client to facilitate new perspectives and new actions.

Counseling, rather than coaching, is typically best indicated for a client when certain key factors are present, such as addiction or other active pathological behaviors that preclude the client’s ability to effect changes in their life. Exposure to abuse by family members that have left an indelible emotional impact during one’s formative years can result in self-destructive behaviors that inhibit their ability to effect change in their life. In situations like these, we refer clients to an experienced, qualified therapist to seek the help they need to heal.

What are the advantages of being a certified coach?

The public is being educated about the importance of certification as a result of the high level of international media coverage the coaching profession is experiencing. Certification is increasingly becoming a factor when potential clients scrutinize a potential coach’s qualifications. Increasingly, employers who hire coaches require them to be certified.

What is your approach to Executive Coaching?

In order to improve your performance and to accelerate your professional development we go through an effective process with well-defined steps.

  • Contracting. From the onset it is critical that the client and the coach reach a mutual understanding of the coaching process, the expected results, the specific issues, and the time frame of coaching.

  • Comprehensive Assessment. After engaging in an in-depth dialogue of relevant issues focused on performance improvement, the executive coach will ask the client to complete some assessments or questionnaires. These will provide the client with a better appreciation of himself and will aid in more effective coaching.

  • Action Planning. The client drives the development of an action plan called an “individual development plan” (IDP).  The focus is on self-insight, motivation, problem solving, skill acquisition, and leadership development.  Individual commitments are confirmed and the approach that will be used to measure the results of the coaching process is finalized.  Phases 2 and 3 usually take 2 to 4 weeks.

  • Action Learning. The coach guides and reinforces the development of leadership competencies outlined in the Individual Development Plan (IDP).  This phase can be a mixture of face to face, telephone and email sessions.  Weekly coaching meetings last from one to three hours. 

  • Evaluation and Follow-up. An evaluation of the coaching effectiveness is conducted at the completion of the IDP.  This evaluation is based on approach agreed upon in Phase 3.
  • Sustaining Success.  The executive decides if he wants to continue with coaching, learn a focused self-coaching approach, or simply continue with their own self-coaching.

The entire process typically takes 5 to 12 months.
For a more detailed description of the Accelerence coaching approach, click here.

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What is typically covered during an Executive Coaching program?

There are many areas that may be covered during a coaching program.  These may include the following foundations:

• You and your coach shall create a contract as to what coaching support you want during your season with your coach.

• In return, your coach shall define the support your coach requires from you to support you during that time.

• You and your coach shall meet regularly over the phone (in some cases in person) in "locker room" type discussions to brainstorm, strategize and evaluate results - Clarifying directions, responsibilities and challenges to be met along the way.

• You, your practices and your behavior shall be assessed during the first month or so.  The purpose of these assessments are for you to get to “know yourself” better and maybe even “accept yourself’ better.  These assessments will form the basis of a personal benchmark.  

• You and your coach shall use that benchmark information as a stepping stone to determine: 

  • Where you are now;
  • What directions you want to go;
  • What you want to accomplish; and
  • How motivated you are to bring about change.

• If any training or skill development is required, recommendations will be made by your coach as to the form that best suits you (tapes, lectures, discussions, books, seminars, workshops, groups, videos, etc.)

• Practice and scrimmages will commence when necessary to assure you have the new techniques well-honed before you try them in environments that would cause you problems if not well learned.

• You and your coach will ask the tough questions that are often not asked, for whatever reason.

• You and your coach will work in partnership to focus in on the cause and effect of situations.

• You and your coach will create a winning environment to maximize your coaching experience.

• You and your coach will work as a team to strengthen your foundations with a focus on leveraging your strengths while shoring up some skill shortfalls.
• You and your coach will create customized strategies to attain your desired next level of peak performance.
• You are expected to set goals that are principle-centered, prioritizing your actions accordingly.

• You and your coach shall continuously create a winning structure that includes accountability systems to assure feedback on your performance.

As a result of your work with your coach, you will build reserves of energy, time, money, space, and people in your life you are meant to have.

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Is Privacy Guaranteed?

Unquestionably -- we recognize that this is the main concern of clients -- to trust that what we discuss is absolutely private. It is one of the reasons clients find it appealing to be dealing with someone over the phone. You receive confidential, third party input. There is no personal agenda; it is all about the client's success.

How Long Does Coaching Occur?

The frequency and length of the coaching sessions depends on your needs, goals, financial resources, and time commitment. The average coaching partnership lasts 4 to 9 months, but it can last longer based on the needs and desires of the client.

Where does the Coaching Take Place?

We conduct coaching sessions face-to-face and/or on the telephone. Coaching sessions are conducted at times that are mutually convenient, day or evening, any day of the week. For clients who prefer face-to-face sessions, we will meet at either the client’s office or ours – it’s your choice.

How are Coaching Results Evaluated?

Many experts believe that any evaluation of coaching should begin with Kirkpatrick’s four level evaluation system.  A fifth level of evaluation, Return on Investment (ROI), is a consideration, especially with For-Profit Companies.  

Built into this evaluation process is the assumption that as you move up the evaluation levels, a smaller percentage of coaching programs will be evaluated.  Most experts recommend that no more than 5% of all coaching programs should be formally evaluated for ROI, but a much higher percentage should be evaluated on levels one through four.

How Much Does Coaching Cost?

Most clients discover that the coaching they receive pays for itself and that having a coach actually makes the client more money while opening up time and energy for other pursuits. For Executive Coaching, a client may expect to invest in a range of about $750 to $1500 per month for three or four full hour coaching sessions each month.

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How “Coachable” am I?

Are you really ready to ask this question of yourself? Do you wonder how receptive you might be to coaching? If you’re open and available to tackle these questions, here's a simple questionnaire designed to enlighten and inform you as to where you might be in relationship to receiving those things that could move you ahead in your endeavors. Follow the directions and decide for yourself.  Click here to download the PDF.

How Does a Coaching Relationship Begin?

Sometimes the client will be asked to complete a questionnaire prior to their first coaching session.  Click here to download a PDF of a sample questionnaire.

What is a Coaching Agreement?

Formal coaching relationships are based on written agreements between the coach and the individual being coached. This written agreement delineates the goals and mutual expectations for how the coaching relationship will work. The individual, coach, and supervisor, where applicable, must be in agreement regarding the desired results of the coaching relationship. These are typically called coaching contracts, letters of engagement, and learning contracts.

How do I get the most out of coaching?

  • Focus on what is important to you. 
  • Be punctual and have our assigned tasks complete. 
  • Learn to focus on you. 
  • Be open to learning. 
  • Come prepared to take action.  
  • Learn to observe more - to see things differently. 
  • Integrate what you have been learning. 

For a more detail discussion, chick here to down load “How do I get the most out of coaching?”

How Do I Get Started?

To find out if coaching is right for you, click here or contact us.

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