What is coaching and what can I expect from the coaching sessions?
Coaching is a relationship that is centered around you, the client, and it is directed around your agenda. As your coach, my aim is to deeply listen to you and ask the challenging questions that create a deeper awareness of your God-given identity and calling. Together I'll help you develop a vision for your life that is transformational, which can help to provide the sustaining motivation for you to truly be the person God created you to be and to achieve the things that provide a lasting legacy.
In our coaching sessions I work hard to create a "no-judgment zone". It's an opportunity for you to tell your story where I respectfully listen and challenge you to go deeper. In the process, you'll discover new things about yourself -- your values, passions, and even your fears. With that new found awareness, you can create the right action steps that will lead you forward. Since this is a process, I'll walk with you step-by-step to pray for you, encourage you, and help you stay accountable to your action plan. Lasting life change is a process.
In what practical ways can coaching help me?
Coaches stimulate better skills -- Good coaching helps people anticipate what they could become, overcome self-defeating habits or insecurities, manage relationships, develop new competencies, and build effective ways to keep improving.
Coaches stimulate vision -- Coaches work with people to help them think beyond the present challenges and more clearly envision a new future and plan how to get there.
Coaches help people grow through life transitions -- Whenever you encounter a major life change (e.g. new job, move to a new location or culture, death of a loved one, new career, retirement) we face uncertainty and a need to readjust. Coaches enable people to reassess their life goals, find new career options, change lifestyles and/or find information to assist in getting the right information/training to benefit from the change.
Coaches guide people in their spiritual journey -- Most of us know the basics of what we believe, but would like to spend focused time with somebody who has been on the spiritual road longer to point out barriers to growth and guide on the journey.
Coaches speak the truth in love -- Good coaches know that sometimes the best way to help is by refusing to ignore harmful behavior patterns. Instead, coaches nudge people to deal with attitudes and behaviors that should be faced and challenged.
Adapted from a blog by Gary R. Collins, author of Christian Coaching
Where do the coaching sessions take place?
I live in the Ann Arbor / Ypsilanti, Michigan area and am willing to meet you most anywhere quiet for a coaching session. However, I do find that our most productive place to "meet" is for each of us to be in a private, quiet place and have our session over the phone. This enables us to remove distractions to deeply listen and explore. Therefore, we can be in different states and even different countries to conduct our sessions. My scheduling software within the website accounts for our time zone differences.
Is coaching confidential?
Absolutely! While you have the freedom to share whatever you would like from our sessions, please know that I take confidentiality very seriously. It's critical for building trust in our partnership relationship.
Please note that I will report the existence of our coaching hours to my credentialing agencies as I am continuing to advance my professional credentials as a life coach. Even then, what is said between us is kept confidential.
How does coaching differ from counseling, therapy or mentoring?
Unlike counseling or therapy, coaching is less concerned about overcoming painful influences from the past. Coaches help healthy, motivated people build vision and move toward the future. We focus on building skills and strengths.
Unlike mentoring, our coaching relationship is a partnership between two equals; therefore, I'm not giving you advice. I recognize that you are an extremely capable person and through deep listening and powerful questions I help you sort out your own thoughts so you can design actions that will move you forward.
I am passionate about finding ways to help people become all that God has designed them to be. Along the way, I will point you to various resources to help you grow. You will have opportunities to receive my online courses and articles that I hope will prove helpful.
How long does the coaching relationship last? How quickly can I expect to see some results?
Coaching is a process, and it does take time for us to build a strong relationship to move forward. I encourage my clients to sign up for a four to six month term whereby we meet two to three times per month. In addition to our sessions (which are structured to last an hour), I'm available for you to respond to emails/texts and will also commit to pray for you. Consequently, I bill for my services at the beginning of each month.
While our initial term may be 4 to 6 months, many successful life coach relationships can last for a year or more. You may also coach with me for a few months on a particular area and then take a pause for awhile. As other life issues emerge, we can re-start coaching on that new and emerging issue. The service term is completely up to you. We stop when it's not adding significant value for you.
Coaching is not a quick fix. It's a process to build authentic and sustainable life change. That said, I really expect that you'll see some positive changes within the first couple of months. If you're not at all satisfied with how it's going, you are absolutely free to cancel at any time. I'll even do my best to refer you to other life coaches if that's helpful.
Who are the people you typically work with? Do you only work with Christians?
I work with men and women of all ages. One of the key things they all have in common is that they are healthy, motivated people who have a bold vision for their life and are serious about making the necessary life changes to realize that vision.
I'm excited to work with any and all people irrespective of their faith. As a Christian coach, I do approach life from the fundamental premise that
all people are created by God for amazing purposes. Now if that idea is offensive to you, then I'm probably not the best coach for you.
When you pay me for coaching services, I'm focused on addressing your agenda. Therefore, it's not the place for me to impose my Christian beliefs on you, and I will do everything in my power to respect your faith -- whatever that may be. My interest is to see you succeed, and you are the one who gets to define what "success" means.
I'm not sure I can afford coaching. Is it really worth it?
I've read various studies whereby scholars have worked hard to quantify the return on investment from coaching. As you might guess, these studies report some amazing return on investment figures. Rather than quote the statistics, I prefer to reflect on this through a few key questions.
1) Are you able to achieve the life results you're hoping for by doing what you're presently doing? If the answer is "no" or "not sure", then I'd encourage you to give coaching a try. It's incredibly helpful in getting you "un-stuck" when your personal progress has stalled.
2) Where else can you create a meaningful opportunity to truly invest in yourself? We are often willing to spend considerably more in making our outward appearance better. Coaching is an investment to improve your whole person -- Spirit, soul, mind, and through better motivations, it can also improve your body.
3) If your stuck in a sub-optimal place with respect to your career, relationships or health, what is that costing you now? If you could experience a true breakthrough, what would that be worth? If these costs are high, an investment in coaching could be a really big pay-off for you.
If you've concluded that coaching could be a real benefit but the costs are too high relative to your income, I would still encourage you to schedule a complimentary session with me to discuss some potential options that could be available.