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Frequently Asked Questions

What is coaching?

The International Coaching Federation defines coaching as “partnering in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires a person to maximize their personal and professional potential. The process of coaching often unlocks previously untapped sources of imagination, productivity and leadership.” (

How is coaching different from consulting, mentoring, or therapy?

Coaching is not the same thing as mentoring or therapy. A mentor provides subject matter expertise, wisdom and guidance based on their own experiences. Therapy deals with healing pain, trauma, dysfunction or conflict of some kind, typically with the goal of resolving difficulties that impair an individual’s emotional health and psychological functioning.

In contrast, coaching focuses on facilitating individuals or groups to draw upon their own experiences and capabilities to set and reach their own objectives. The coach is the expert in the coaching process, but you are the expert on your life journey.

To learn more about coaching, watch this short video from ICF:

What is expected from me as a coaching client?

As the ICF explains, to be successful, coaching asks certain things, all of which begin with intention. Additionally, clients should:

  • Focus on one’s self, the tough questions, the hard truths and one’s success.
  • Observe the behaviors and communications of others.
  • Listen to one’s intuition, assumptions, judgments, and to the way one sounds when one speaks.
  • Challenge existing attitudes, beliefs and behaviors and develop new ones that serve one’s goals in a superior way.
  • Leverage personal strengths and overcome limitations to develop a winning style.
  • Take decisive actions, however uncomfortable and in spite of personal insecurities, to reach for the extraordinary.
  • Show compassion for one’s self while learning new behaviors and experiencing setbacks, and to show that compassion for others as they do the same.
  • Commit to not take one’s self so seriously, using humor to lighten and brighten any situation.
  • Maintain composure in the face of disappointment and unmet expectations, avoiding emotional reactivity.
  • Have the courage to reach for more than before while engaging in continual self-examination without fear.

How should I prepare for my coaching sessions?

Before a long-term engagement (6 sessions or more), I will ask you to come to our first meeting having prepared responses to the following questions:

  • Can you describe your personal strengths and abilities?
  • What are some of your significant accomplishments, both professional and personal?
  • What are your main commitments, at present?
  • What projects are you working on, now?
  • What part of your career and business is working well?
  • In what area(s) are you experiencing a challenge?
  • What aspects of your work life would you like to enhance?
  • What barriers or historical patterns might stand in your way?
  • PRIMARY FOCUS: Identify three areas that you want held as your MAIN focus during this coaching relationship. For each focus area provide a simple heading, and underneath, a description of that measurable result.

Before each session, it helps to come prepared with responses to the following questions:

  • Where have I applied my learning/awareness since the last session?
  • What have I achieved (as a result of my action) since our last session?
  • What has opened up for me since our last session?
  • What has been my biggest challenge?
  • What do I want to focus on in this session?

What is your approach to confidentiality? Are you bound by a Code of Conduct?

I abide by the International Coaching Federation Code of Ethics. This Code includes four main sections, including:

  • Responsibility to clients (including maintaining strict confidentiality, clear communication, handling of records, and so on);
  • Responsibility to practice and performance (including adhering to the Code of Ethics, committing to excellence, addressing conflicts of interest, etc);
  • Responsibility to professionalism (including being truthful, setting clear boundaries, etc); and
  • Responsibility to society (including avoiding discrimination, recognizing and honouring the contributions of others in my profession, honesty, and awareness of my impact on society.)

As an ICF Professional, in accordance with the Standards of the ICF Code of Ethics, I acknowledge and agree to fulfill my ethical and legal obligations to my coaching Client(s), Sponsor(s), colleagues and to the public at large.

If I breach any part of the ICF Code of Ethics, I agree that the ICF in its sole discretion may hold me accountable for so doing. I further agree that my accountability to the ICF for any breach may include sanctions, such as mandatory additional coach training or other education or loss of my ICF Membership and/or my ICF Credential.