Announcing On Purpose, a new coaching group for women facing mid-career and life transitions.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between Executive Coaching and Consulting?
Coaching is simply assisting another person in getting to a desired result—with a focus on helping a client to develop her/his capacity to address current and future challenges. Executive coaches partner with organizational leaders to help them manage their organizations—and their personal lives—in a more effective and sustainable way. Although many executive coaches have management and/or organizational experience, they are not usually meant to be a technical expert in the client’s particular business. Sometimes a coach motivates a client to implement what she/he already know. Sometimes a coach pushes a client to try a new exercise. Sometimes a coach will expand a client's awareness about what is possible. The bottom line for most organizations is to hire a coach who will use all of these methods to produce improvements in skills, attitudes, satisfaction and proficiency.
Consulting is generally done by individuals who have industry or technical expertise and come in to analyze operations and or strategy, produce a report or set of recommendations and then exit before the implementation phase. Consultants are generally hired for their content expertise and ability to solve problems. They tend to focus on helping an organization solve a problem rather than on developing the capacity of clients to solve their own problems.
What is the difference between Coaching and Therapy?
Counselors or therapists are licensed and trained to help people dealing with a range of mental and emotional issues, issues that are often based on past family experiences or internalized reactions to these experiences. Therapists generally focus on helping clients understand and deal with their past experiences and feelings and; some forms of therapy also focus on producing future-oriented results or healing. Directed by the therapist, the work unfolds during the the therapy session itself.
Coaching typically focuses on individuals interested in shifting current patterns and developing new perspectives, tools and habits for the future. Coaches are generally not licensed or trained to work with individuals with significant emotional issues. Coaches generally work with emotionally stable people who may be dealing with stressful situations and want to live their lives more fully and/or pursue their vocations on a deeper level. Coaching programs are co-developed by the coach and client and the process includes both the coaching sessions and the time between sessions when clients are exploring new perspectives and habits.
Who is a good candidate for coaching?
Coaching, whether for personal or professional reasons, works best if a potential client is self aware and is motivated to invest time and energy in exploration, reflection and new ways of being. In addition, executive coaching clients are typically high-potential leaders who have organizational and managerial support for the coaching engagement.
What is the Coaching Approach?
I draw on the latest discoveries in organizational development, neuroscience and psychology as well age-old philosophical and spiritual traditions. Whether I am working with individuals or organizational leaders, I develop a program that includes measurable results, regular check-ins and opportunities for mid-course correction if needed.
In my executive coaching, I bring decades of reality-tested management experience to the work. I have had to make the tough calls that many organizational leaders do as they balance competing business, budget and staffing demands. I combine this experience with a wide range of coaching strategies aimed at helping leaders develop their skills, their teams and deal with conflict, time and stress management issues. Together we assess work-related goals and look at what defines success for the individual, for the organization. What are the leader’s strengths and challenges as a manager? What does the team need to succeed? We assess all aspects of work and life that often get ignored—from exercise habits to food choices. I also utilize a range of tools—including 360 evaluations, as well as Hogan behavioral and values assessments— to provide crucial objective insights and development strategies. Together, we will figure out a plan that makes sense—for the leader and the organization.
For individuals, I develop a comprehensive and customized development plan that is geared towards supporting individuals to live their lives with more of a sense of purpose and passion. These plans usually include time for reflection, time for trying out new activities and perspectives, time for making adjustments that support long-term satisfaction and sustainability. The goal is to support individuals develop short-term positive shifts and long-term capacity to make adjustments on their own. Individual development plans also include a wide range of customized resources, including articles, videos, books, and other sources of inspiration.
How long are coaching engagements?
Typically, coaching partnerships last six to nine months. This amount of time allows for the necessary assessment and development plan creation, exploration of new habits, tactics and perspectives. This time span is typically what is needed for clients to integrate new approaches into their lives as well as develop the capacity to continue to grow and course-correct after the coaching sessions are complete.
Articles and Links
“Personal Best: Top athletes and singers have coaches. Should you?”
Master surgeon/writer Atul Gawande on how even experts can benefit from coaching.
"The Power of Vulnerability"
This TED talk by Brene Brown on the power of vulnerability and the common characteristics of whole-hearted people had me laughing and crying.
“What can Coaches Do for You?”
A Harvard Business Review compendium of articles on the benefits and practicalities of executive and organizational coaching.
"The Human Era @ Work"
The Energy Project and Harvard Business Review collaboration assessing the factors that most influence how people feel at work, how they perform as a result and how this can all be improved.
“The Power of Time Off”
A Ted Talk about why it is important to build in sabbaticals and other kinds of time off during one’s life.
The Great Work Of Your Life
A thoughtful and very accessible guide to living a life of meaning.
If you have additional questions,