Does coaching really work?

Being open and committed to your personal and professional development is key to how well coaching can work for you.

Coaching operates at a different level than traditional learning formats. It's not about the accumulation of knowledge. A coaching process is understanding yourself better at a deeper level, how you use all of you -- cognitive, emotional, spiritual and somatic aspects of you -- to not just DO or behave, but instead BE in the world.  

Most life and executive coaches deeply appreciate and respect you and know that you have all of the capacity to transform. They help you to sense it, too.

Successful coaching outcomes usually require:

  • From the coach: skill in coaching, openness, non-judgmental way of being, a genuine interest in your goals and an ability to bring out your honesty

  • From the client: curiosity about oneself, commitment to explore perspectives and practice new ways of being

  • From the coach and client: commitment and respect in a coaching relationship, where new insights and perspectives can unfold with care, safety and confidentiality.

is coaching like therapy? what's the difference?

Coaching is not the same as therapy. Coaching and therapy may feel similar in their techniques sometimes. Coaches often refer clients to therapists when it may appear that a major mental illness might need to be diagnosed and treated.

Coaches generally work with what is presenting now with a focus for moving into the future. They are interested in what is emerging and evolving for a client and help a client deepen and discover ways to put these insights into action in their lives. This is done with a deep appreciation for a client's background, history, key experiences, self-identity, soma (body) and relationships. Coaches help clients answer, "What's happening now?  What's next?"

Psychotherapists generally work to help clients explore and understand the genesis of their thought and behavior patterns. Healing and understanding underpin many psychotherapy programs.  

What's integral coaching?

I am a professionally certified Integral Coach. We call our work integral because we include everything about the client and the client’s world in our coaching. This includes what the client is aware of along with her potential—what could be brought about through focused, skillful methods. I work with a client to bring forth a view that includes how the client represents herself and also investigates her social world, habits, relationship with her body, the quality of self-care, the amount of attention and energy available to take on change, and much more. The method attends to the individuality of the person as well as the social context in which he is always embedded. 

Learn more about Integral Coaching through New Ventures West.

Read more FAQs from the International Coach Federation.