Frequently Asked Questions
Coaching vs. Consulting
The end result of coaching and consulting engagements may be the same – but you start from a different place. Coaching focuses on the individual, while consulting focuses on specific tasks or projects.
We believe that you start from a perspective where there is nothing “wrong” with the individual. It’s not about correcting or remediating; its’ about helping them get to the next level, whatever that level may be. The coach works with the client to establish where they are now, and what they need to do to keep moving towards their objectives. It’s very goal oriented. Sometimes assessments are needed to obtain a deeper understanding of what the underlying blockages are as well as, to establish how to set realistic goals according to someones “true self”.
The coach’s most powerful tool is questions. By asking thoughtful, targeted questions, they allow the client to explore – and to grow.
In the consulting world, you’re bringing your skills and knowledge to the table. The starting point is different: it’s, “We need to do something about this situation.” In consulting, there is a need to accomplish a specific task or objective. Examples of these may be: finish a major project, implement a change, integrate teams from merging companies, etc.
While consultants do ask questions, it’s not specifically to enable the client to explore. Rather it is so they can provide better answers. Their most powerful tool is their knowledge of the content and their technical skills. Again, it’s centered on the task, not the individual.
Executive coaching is the development of an organizational leader through an ongoing relationship between an executive coach and the client. It focuses on the client developing their vision, goals, and desires. Coaching uses a process of dialogue and questioning to build the client’s level of awareness and responsibility. This working relationship provides the client with purpose, structure, and feedback.
Common themes in executive coaching are developing key executive and managerial skills, enhancing teambuilding, leadership qualities, identifying and optimizing the use of key strengths, and building the competencies of emotional intelligence.
Consultative Coaching is a blend of Coaching and Consulting. In the fast paced business world we live in, clients do not have time to spend years in search of “the answers”. Utilizing a combination of asking the right questions so the client can participate in the discovery process and helping the client reach the answer by providing guided discussion, the process of reaching goals comes at a much faster pace. A skilled Coach who is also well versed in Business Consulting has a distinct advantage in helping clients reach goals quicker than merely by asking questions of self-discovery as pure coaching entails.
Once the client has engaged the executive coach, coaching sessions will commence. Sessions range from 60 to 90 minutes in length and can occur weekly, every two weeks or monthly anywhere from 3 months to two years. A typical engagement is between 6 months to a year and sessions can vary depending on the client’s goals, needs, and vision.
Sessions can be comprised of assessments, evaluations, observations, and interviews. These can take place in person or by phone. For more detailed information on the coaching process, please contact us.
Companies hire coaches to advance the leadership capabilities of their executives. Specifically coaches are used to enhance career development, retain high-potential employees, correct performance issues and support leadership transitions.
Coaching and therapy are viewed to be very similar, but in actuality have distinct differences. Therapy usually focuses on past traumatic experiences to understand the current situation. While coaching focuses on the present and is future-oriented by creating goals and action plans.
There are four main aspects you should look for when choosing a coach.
Experience – it is important for a coach to have many years of hands-on experience working with individuals ranging from small organizations to large corporations spread across many fields.
Education – the coach needs to be educated preferably a master’s degree or higher.
ICF Affiliation – a coach needs to have training and credentials that prove they are qualified to be a coach. ICF is the largest governing body for coaches worldwide and coaches who adhere to their guidelines tend to have higher success rates with their clients.
Connection – it is important to find a coach that you can connect with and trust. Someone who will support you in achieving your goals while maintaining a professional working relationship built on confidentiality and trust.
We recommend asking the following questions:
- What is your coaching experience – number of individuals coached, years of experience, types of coaching situations, etc.?
- What is your coach specific training – Enrolled in an ICF approved training program, other coach specific training, etc.?
- What is your coaching specialty or areas in which you most often work?
- What types of businesses do you work with most often? And, at what levels executive, upper management, middle management, etc.?
- What is your philosophy about coaching?
- What are some of your coaching success stories?
- Are you a member of ICF?
Coaching success is determined through the goals that are developed and associated with the engagement. In addition, the coach, the client and their leader have several meetings throughout the coaching engagement on progress. During the last meeting, feedback is shared by the client to their leader on overall progress and next steps.
In addition to executive coaching, Alethia offers a variety of services: which include leadership development, team building, mentoring, training, 360 evaluations, assessment feedback, consulting in several areas, program development and public speaking engagements to small, medium and large groups.