From the moment a client decides to take a life coaching or an executive coaching session, he already has some expectations about the session and about the coach.
In my experience I have had to learn how to answer to some questions that are important to develop trust and connection in a life coaching or executive coaching session with my clients. These experiences may help other coaches to see that they are not alone in these awkward moments that we can use to give us the chance to learn from our clients, their questions and their challenges. But before I continue with this topic, I want to say that every coach may have his/her own answers that fits them better. The following answers just work better for me. There are neither right nor wrong answers. There are only honest Inputs with value that bring trust and connection, in order to let the coaching session happen. Here they are:
1.- What is Coaching?
Answer: Coaching is a conversation between a client and a coach about an important theme or situation that the client wants to solve, a change the client wants to make, or a goal to achieve. In this conversation the coach listen and ask questions to identify skills, personal strengths, success strategies and other helpful tools of the client that he/she might not be aware of.
2.- So, are you an expert and do you give any advice?
Answer: The client is the real expert in his/her life and I do not give any advice. The coach and the client will work together to find out the solution and success strategies that have worked good for the client before. These strategies are with in. They will work with practical methods to find clarity, to focus on what the client wants to achieve and they will set together all the resources they have found out to develop an inner attitude that supports the client all the way long to his goal.
3.- Are you a psychiatrist, a psychologist? What is the difference between them and a coach?
Answer: Neither a psychiatrist nor a psychologist. I am a certified coach in different areas.
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in mental health and can prescribe medications to help a treatment. They work with patients. Therapy can take years.
A psychologist is not able to write prescriptions, but helps people with emotional and psychological difficulties. The psychologist may work with patients and clients. Therapy can take years.
A life coach and an executive coach work mostly with sane people who might be having trouble in a personal situation or simply want to make a big change in their lives or in their career. So they need a solution that fits and work for them. The solution lies with the client, not with the coach. The coach helps the client to rediscover his resources in order to solve a problem or reach a goal. Therapy takes from one to three sessions, sometimes longer, but it never lasts years.
4.- How many sessions do you work with a client?
Answer: In life coaching a therapy may lasts from 1 up to 3 sessions. In executive coaching I have worked with clients from 1 up to 3 sessions, or up to 16 sessions when a client is job-hunting. We work together until the client finds one or more job opportunities.
5.- How much does a coaching session cost with you?
Answer: The first session is free and after that it cost 80 CHF per hour.
6.- Where have you learned coaching?
Answer: In the las six years I have been learning coaching in USA, Switzerland and in Germany with different coaching schools and I have had the opportunity to compare different coaching methods. There are some methods more effective than others and that is the case of the Integrated Solution Focused Psychology -ISOP- or the Integrierte Lösungsorientierte Psychologie -ILP- from Dr. Dietmar Friedmann. He founded the ILP Schule in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. I have been learning every year a new method from Dr. Friedman. His methods involve Coaching and Psychotherapy and they work in term of a short therapy. SUCCESSCHOICES offers the basic and the professional level of life coaching training in English in Zug, Switzerland.
Maria Griselda Mueller
is a professional life and executive coach specialized in expats life and cross-cultural support. She is originally from Venezuela, has lived in more than ten countries around the world and has a Master certification in psychological coaching.