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Coaching | Moonshadow

Coaching

a strategic partnership to meet your individual goals

Every person on earth receives “coaching” at one time or another, whether it occurs in the pursuit of sports, in learning a trade or skill, or in the course of learning life skills in a family setting. The basis of a coaching relationship is using the perspective of another person and their knowledge of learning and development to improve one’s performance. Moonshadow  provides coaching for workplace skills. Coaching in the modern sense has developed into a sophisticated, practical service that produces results in a relatively short time. Our coaches use a variety of tools (DiSC, MBTI, Your Best Year Yet) to help you formulate a set of goals that you value and desire. Then over the next few months, your coach helps you track your progress, helps you identify stumbling blocks and obstacles and helps you develop strategies for addressing them. Take a look at our “What is Coaching” info below for a quick introduction to the process and then call us at (828) 354-4034 for a free 30 minute consultation to see if coaching can make the difference in your performance in work or life.

What is Coaching??

Coaching is a dynamic partnership between the coach and the client or “coach-ee”, in which the client has certain goals or intentions he or she is actively working towards. The client retains (hires) the coach to provide a structured, focused and supportive environment in which the client can work toward those goals. It is considered a partnership because both parties contribute and collaborate; however, the only agenda in the coaching relationship is the CLIENT’s agenda — the coach is there to hold the client’s vision and should not attempt to direct or influence the agenda or direction in which the client wants to go. In a coaching relationship, the coach helps and encourages the client to:
* Identify and solve problems
* Design a plan of action and strategy
* Reach goals
* Make decisions
* Stay focused
* Stay “in action”
* Overcome barriers
* Move beyond obstacles to success

More about Coaching
Why does coaching work?

Coaching works because it brings out your best. Coaching addresses you as a whole person, not just one area of your life. A coach believes you have the answers within you, and has the skills to help you bring them out (painlessly!). Coaching creates a special synergy, based on mutual trust and respect, between client and coach – because of this, you as the client are more likely to do the work necessary for you to achieve your goals. When you find your own solutions, you are far more likely to act upon them and make REAL progress.

Isn’t coaching really just another form of therapy? Shouldn’t you be a licensed therapist to coach someone?

NO. There is often confusion on this subject. While it is true that there are both therapists AND consultants who also include coaching as part of the professional services they provide, and while there may even be some skill-sets that overlap, coaching is NOT intended to provide the same type of support or services as therapy or consulting would.

Coaching is NEVER designed to be used as a substitute for the introspective work someone might need, or choose, to do with a qualified therapist or counselor, and it is most definitely NOT an appropriate process for treating mental illness, addiction or depression. A coach who has been trained by an accredited Coach Training Program has been trained to recognize when a client is not making progress in the coaching and would probably benefit more from therapeutic work. Unless a coach has been trained and licensed as a therapist, that coach should not be encouraging clients to pursue coaching when therapy would be the healthier option for that person.

The therapeutic process is designed to help someone reflect, analyze, discuss, and come to understand past events and how those events are affecting the person now. Coaching, by contrast, acknowledges the importance of a client having this understanding of the past, but requires that the client be fully ready to focus on closing the gap between where they are now, and where they want to be in the future. Coaching does work with the client is stuck in the past and is not ready to move forward.

Clues that a client may require therapy, counseling, or a 12-step program instead of, or in addition to, coaching, are:

* the client has an addiction which is getting in the way of the client taking action;
* the client seems to want to talk about their problems (endlessly), but is extremely resistant to taking action to correct or overcome their problems;
* the client is really “stuck” in the past, wanting to focus perpetually on WHY something happened, rather than choosing to look at what they can learn from the past and how they can take action NOW to move beyond the past, creating a more powerful future for themselves.

Learn more about how the International Coach Federation defines the difference between coaching and therapy.

Is coaching also a form of consulting?

Sometimes coaching can be combined with consulting, but there are distinct differences as well.

* A consultant is typically brought into an organization to assess, analyze, and evaluate a business problem, and then to provide recommendations for improvement. They are usually brought in as an “expert” in a business, technology, or industry and is hired for their specific knowledge in those areas of expertise. Often, the consultant is also hired to carry out or implement the recommendations, and the consultant is then accountable to the organization for producing the end result and solving the problem.

* In contrast, while a coach may brainstorm ideas and solutions with their clients, the coach typically does not do the work of analyzing the client’s individual or organizational problem and rarely provides recommendations for solutions. And a coach will not implement solutions and is not accountable for producing results. The coach does not need to be an expert in someone’s business or industry. The value a coach brings to the table is that the coach is trained in how to bring out the client’s best. The coach operates under the assumption that the client is already empowered with the knowledge, skills and wisdom they need, and that they usually have the answers within them. It’s the coach’s job to bring that out of the client, through the art of insightful questioning, the ability to challenge a client’s assumptions and to shift perspectives, and creating an environment where the client feels safe exploring options and possibilities without judgement.

Can a coach also be a consultant? Yes, they can — but if they offer both services, they need to make it clear to their clients when they are consulting, and when they are COACHING. In the process, there are times when a coach is wearing the “consultant” hat, providing specific knowledge and information to clients to help them move forward more rapidly with their projects. But there are times when wearing the”coach” hat, using inquiry to draw out the client’s intentions and ideas for their goals, helping them to gain clarify and focus, and develop a strategic plan that they, the client, will carry out to a large degree.

Learn more about how the International Coach Federation defines the difference between coaching and consulting.

Why would someone decide to work with a coach?

There are many reasons, and coaches typically specialize in working with clients in certain specific areas based on the coach’s experience and interests. In general, someone will hire a coach to guide and support them in achieving specific personal or professional goals. If you think of how an elite athlete, such as an Olympic diver or professional tennis player, uses a coach to improve how he’s playing his sport or game, the athlete knows that the coach can help them:

* learn how to quickly move beyond personal limitations, eliminating self-sabotage;
* define what’s truly important to the athlete and begin to close the gap between where he is and where he wants to be;
* stay motivated and focused on the goal, with the coach “holding the vision” for the athlete;
* being part cheerleader, part facilitator, part teacher, part friend, the coach provides unconditional support and ALWAYS believes in his athlete’s ability to be completely successful at whatever he attempts.

If golf legend Tiger Woods, tennis pro Pete Sampras, and Olympic gold-medal skater Sarah Hughes deserve a coach to help them bring out their greatness — why don’t YOU?

How long does someone typically work with a Coach? Would I be locked into a contract?

Although it varies from coach to coach and client to client, most people typically work with a coach for between 4 and 12 months on average. Some clients retain a coach indefinitely, How long you choose to retain a coach will depend primarily on your reasons for hiring one. If you have a time-specific goal, once you achieve it, you may choose to end the coaching relationship. If you prefer to hire a coach as part of a longer-term and ongoing strategy for achieving professional or personal success, then you and your coach would work on a variety of goals and projects over time, and the relationship can continue indefinitely.

Most coaches who work privately with clients (where the client is paying the coaching fees personally), do not require that the client sign a binding contract. However, with corporate clients, it is a normal part of doing business to have a written contract committing the client and coach to a specific length of time.

Job Performance Coaching

Businesses and programs today are having to develop internal resources as organizations are “flattened” in an effort to be more efficient. When people are asked to take on new duties or to assume supervisory functions, it often requires new skills. Bringing our coaching system to your organization guarantees that “rising stars” as well as “veterans” are supported and helped to take on new duties with a concrete plan that provides “supportive accountability” as they move forward.

Although some managers and supervisors can recognize the need for coaching for one of their direct reports, devoting the time necessary for that person’s development is often not feasible. The choice has been to let the person learn things the hard way (aka – the expensive way) or watch them fail. Now, with external coaching services available, you can bring in just the right amount of assistance for the situation. This helps control costs and avoids waisting good talent due to lack of time by leadership.
Some of the situations that successfully employ coaching services are:
  • A new employee is hired who has good skills but has not worked at this level of leadership before
  • A person has been recently promoted from front line ranks to management or superviory duties
  • An employee is struggling due to factors not fully understood by the supervisor
  • A long time employee has had a performance drop due to “burn out” or feels unmotivated
  • A top leadership person has no one to act as an unbiased “sounding board” or objective listener for examining decision making