The following will help you get the most out of your coaching investment. It will help you understand what coaching is and what is not; more about the UAMS Executive Coaching program; what is expected from Clients; and what you can expect from coaches. Review this information prior to our first session. Any questions you have will be answered during the initial intake session.
UAMS uses the International Coaching Federation (ICF) definition:
Coaching: Coaching is partnering with Clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.
A core philosophy of coaching is that the “Coachee”, or Client, is innately capable, creative and resourceful.
Different Foci in Executive Coaching include:
Different foci are possible in executive coaching. The most common are listed below but additional topics may be negotiated with your coach.
Session Length and Frequency
Sessions may be scheduled ad hoc (whenever needed) or may follow a six-month timeline (see Figure 2 below), depending on the track or goal for coaching and Client needs. Session length is also individualized, with the typical initial session being 90 minutes and follow-up coaching sessions that typically last 30-60 minutes. Clients are responsible for scheduling appointments as defined in your coaching agreement. Clients may schedule appointments month to month or as a monthly recurring session. Advance scheduling provides more flexibility. The best way to schedule is by contacting email@example.com for the first meeting, and afterward contact your Coach directly.
Coaching is a Joint Commitment
If Clients are engaging one of us as your Coach, you are probably ready to do and be your best. If not, Coaches will ask you to be. Coaches will both come to the calls on time and ready to focus fully during the session. It is important that your Coach hear you clearly, so avoid using speakerphones and avoid cell phones whenever possible. If you can’t hear us clearly, please let us know.
Coaching is Not Mentoring
A coach develops self-awareness within the individual and provides support while also challenging the individual to reach their maximum potential. A coach is not a mentor, a sponsor or a therapist. Mentors have subject matter expertise in areas in which they mentor and provide advice, skills, observation with feedback, and more. Sponsors take the extra step to ensure sponsorees receive opportunities and roles to foster promotion. Therapists focus on pre-existing traumas and use different skill sets for coping and resolution. Coaches are different in that they do not drive the trajectory of coaching and outcomes are Client-driven. Coaches utilize active listening, reflective techniques, insightful questioning, and thought-provoking discussion to instigate self-reflection and awareness that leads to the Client’s personal and professional growth. The coach can be viewed as a change agent for human development.
Clients are responsible for their own results
Coaching is a vehicle for achieving results but Clients are the drivers. Coaches expect you, as the Client, to provide an agenda/goal for each call. This provides a clear focus and direction. Clients can expect the Coaches to weave in your defined goals as we move forward together, keeping us both on track. The Coaches are striving for serious results accomplished with a light heart; however, you can set the tone if you prefer a different environment.
Coaches hear more than what you say
Clients can expect Coaches to tell you exactly what we see, hear and sense is going on. Coaches use deep listening and direct communication to get to the heart of the matter. Coaches may interrupt when we hear something that could be important for us to explore and ask for clarification — it is all part of the process.
Coaches challenge but do not confront
Coaches will be a mirror for you and invite you to consider new ways of thinking and being. Coaches may challenge your beliefs and shed new light on your actions. However, Coaches do not confront or judge your beliefs. Clients decide what to change in their life. Coaches expect Clients to be your best and Clients can expect Coaches to be totally accepting of whatever that is.
Coaches and clients both need to keep it 100% honest
An open and honest coaching relationship requires that Coaches and Clients be honest with each other—that we each say what we need to say. This is about holding a high level of respect for each other, engaging as equals and being honest at all times throughout the coaching conversation. Coaches expect Clients to tell us when we say or do something that doesn’t sit well with you. Coaches want Clients to ask for what they need (particularly important in the early phases of the relationship as Coaches are learning about working with Clients). If coaching isn’t working the way you expected it to — say so and we will work through it or move on.
Ethics and Confidentiality
Coaches are bound to a defined set of ethical standards. One important aspect is maintaining strict confidentiality within the Coach/Client relationship. Confidentiality is fundamental to coaching and creates the safe environment to explore and develop. Confidentiality in coaching means that the Client may share information about the coaching with others, but the coach may not share information about the coaching outside of conversations with the Client. Certain coaching arrangements do require the coach to share limited logistical information with the coaching sponsor or supervisor: dates and number of sessions, number of late cancellations and “no shows.” Coaches will clarify this at the start of your coaching engagement.
Coaches model personal and professional boundaries for our Clients.
Coaches hold our Clients accountable to a high level of integrity and personal commitment. Coaches expect Clients to honor our time and their commitment to themselves by showing up on time for their sessions or calls. In return, Coaches highly respect our Clients’ time and commit to being on time and fully focused during the session. While Coaches try to be flexible and accommodate occasional rescheduling with advanced notice, frequent rescheduling is a problem.
Fieldwork is an important part of the process
Most of your growth will occur in between the coaching sessions. Together we will design two or three goals, actions or shifts to focus on between one call and the next. If you want more (or fewer), just ask. Occasionally Coaches will make a direct request, like “Will you accomplish X by the end of this month?” You may say yes, negotiate, or say no. Remember: coaching is about ACTION!
Clients are welcome to record our coaching conversations for your future reference. Coaches may occasionally request to record a coaching session for certification purposes. You may decline this request at any time. Recorded sessions may be reviewed by the International Coach Federation to maintain high quality standards in the coaching industry. The recordings are treated as highly confidential. You will never be recorded without your knowledge and full permission.
Your coach is a valuable resource — so fully utilize this partnership!
In addition to our coaching relationship, the Executive Coaching program within the Center for Faculty Excellence can share with you a wide variety of tools, assessments, learning materials and personal/professional development programs.
Our best Clients are often referrals from current or previous Clients who have achieved success through their coaching experience. Coaches consider your referrals to be the highest form of personal and professional recognition. If you are getting good results out of our relationship, consider who in your life might also benefit from coaching. Coaches promise to coach each one confidentially.
Let’s get started!
The purpose of our first session is to answer any questions you may have about the process, discuss our joint expectations and fully define the goals you want to achieve during the coaching program. Please come to this call prepared with the two or three goals you choose to focus on.
We look forward to making this journey with you.
To get started or request more information, contact the Center for Faculty Excellence at (501)526-4661 or email firstname.lastname@example.org