Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Coaching?

    ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

    Coaching is a one-on-one working relationship — a partnership based on trust, candor, and accountability — that empowers people to make the most of their skills, strengths, and relationships. Coaching improves their bottom-line effectiveness and produces more fruitful careers, personal lives, and families. Just as you might hire a golf pro to coach you to a better game, personal coaches help you address your most pressing needs in both the workplace and your private life.

    Coaching is a process that supports you in making more conscious decisions and taking new action to achieve your personal and professional goals. My role as a coach is to ensure that your effectiveness as an individual is a priority, working at the deepest level to build the skills, knowledge, capacities, systems, and processes needed to deliver results and then to ensure those results will be sustained.

  • What Are Potential Benefits?

    To start, we will work together to find the right mindset and then discover the right mechanisms to achieve your goals. To be truly effective, you need both. This happens in a confidential and supportive feedback-rich environment where you can gain valuable insights and develop positive new behaviors to lead, create, change, or impact change.
    Here is some of what we’ll do together:

    • Increase your self-awareness
    • Focus on goal achievement
    • Develop your leadership potential
    • Transform your communication skills
    • Enhance your ability to influence others
    • Become more productive
    • Take on and achieve higher professional goals
    • Discover values and purpose
    • Leverage alternative perspectives
    • Overcome personal barriers and situational roadblocks
  • Is coaching a form of consulting?

    While there is a consulting element in coaching, executive coaches play a role that is distinctly different from consulting.
    Consultants and coaches both help you build the business you want. Coaches, however, also help you have the life you want.
    The consultant’s specialty is information and insight. Coaches are more concerned with performance, perspective, balance, focus, and inspiration.
    Consulting is largely a cognitive function, serving the head. Coaching is commonly more of a heart function, making sure that you stay aligned with your core values and your deeply-held aspirations.
    Consultants bring you expertise. Coaches mature your own expertise.
    Strategic Leadership Development International provides both consulting and executive coaching services, either separately or in combination, dependent on the client’s needs. There is more on the difference between coaching and consulting elsewhere at this web site.

  • Who can benefit from executive coaching?

    Virtually anyone with a challenging career can benefit from executive coaching. Executives and many others (including a variety of professionals and business managers) looking to advance professionally, foster personal growth, navigate tough transitions, or become a better leader will especially benefit.

  • Who is a candidate for coaching?

    Coaching is about change. So the short answer is, coaching is for people who are ready for change — whether a change in effectiveness, a change in their quality of life, or a change in direction for their organization. Coaching is for men and women who are outcome-oriented and who are ready to accept full responsibility for effecting the outcomes they desire. While we specialize in coaching successful professionals, top-level executives, and entrepreneurs, any manager or executive, whatever the stage of his or her career, can profit from having a personal coach.

  • A word of warning

    Just because your organization needs executive coaching and you’re willing to consider it doesn’t mean it’s going to work. A couple of key things have to happen in order for it to be successful.

    • Your leadership needs to be coachable. If owners and leaders perceive coaching as a hostile act of criticism, they aren’t going to get anything out of it. And neither will the organization. You might as well throw your money out the window.
    • You need to be committed. If you don’t dedicate the time and resources necessary to allow the process to work properly, you’ll end up with a lot of intention and no results. Building a great team requires a significant amount of time, work, and practice. And yes, good coaches cost money. If you’re going in on coaching, you’ve got to go all in.
  • What should I look for when selecting a coach? | What’s a Good Fit? | How do I determine which coach is right for me?

    Arguably the most important criteria in the coaching relationship, people often ask, how do I know if it’s a good fit? Great question!

    Perhaps the most important quality in your potential coach is that he or she is someone you feel absolutely comfortable with. Someone with whom you have “good chemistry.” Remember, you are going to be in many a candid and confidential conversation with your coach or mentor. You need someone with whom you are instantly and constantly at ease.

    On the other hand, there are people with whom you might have “good chemistry” who are not equipped to be good coaches. You also need someone who understands the subtleties of human and organizational behavior. Someone who does not hesitate to “hold your feet to the fire” when you need to stay on track. Someone who is not afraid to be honest and frank with you, even when you resist such candor. And you especially need someone who asks insightful, provocative questions. Your coach should be stretching you in almost every session. While it’s important to be at ease with a coach, you don’t want a coach who makes you comfortable. The purpose for having a coach is to grow, and you never grow while being made comfortable.

    You should also review the coach’s working model. Different coaches have different processes, so look for one that you think will best suit you. That model should resonate with you.

  • What coaching it's NOT

    Mentoring is when a senior colleague, seen as more knowledgeable and worldly wise gives advice and provides a role model. Mentoring involves wide-ranging discussions that may not be limited to the work context. A mentor is a sponsor with great professional experience in their client’s field of work. Both mentoring and coaching are concerned mainly with achievements in the present and the future.


    Counseling is working with a client who feels uncomfortable or dissatisfied with their life. They are seeking guidance and advice. A counselor works remedially on a client’s problem.


    Therapy is working with the client who seeks relief from psychological or physical symptoms. The client wants emotional healing and relief from mental pain. Therapy deals with the client’s mental health. Coaching deals with the client’s mental growth. The client’s motive for entering therapy or counseling is usually to get away from pain or discomfort, rather than moving toward desired goals. Coaching is not remedial, it is generative. Both therapy and counseling are more likely to involve understanding and working with past experience than coaching.


    Training is the process of getting knowledge skills or abilities by study, experience or teaching. The trainer by definition is the expert, and the training course is likely to be targeted on specific skills for immediate results. Training is also likely to be one to many rather than one to one.


    A consultant provides expertise and solves business problems, or develops a business as a whole. A consultant deals with the overall organization or specific parts of it and not individuals within it. Consultants only indirectly affect individuals.


    Teaching passes knowledge from teacher to student. The teacher knows something the student does not. The opposite is true in coaching. The client is the expert and the client has the answers, not the coach.

  • What does coaching look like? What might take place in a typical productive session?

    Coaching follows a variety of patterns. Some coaching is face-to-face. Other coaching is by phone, video conference, or email. Many coaching relationships are a balance of both. Whatever the format, successful coaching calls for extended conversation (typically for 30 to 60 minutes), usually at least twice a month and often weekly.

    Our sessions are comprised of interviews, behavioral style assessments, 360-degree evaluations with key stakeholders, coaching sessions, and (in some cases) on-site observations. During your coaching sessions, you will work on developing action plans and sustainability plans. For more detailed information on the coaching process, please contact us.

    Should you want more intensive coaching, two and three hour sessions can be arranged. We can also provide half-day or full-day ” shadowings” in which we are with you as an observer in all your interactions. This allows us to make job-specific recommendations on ways to improve your communication, management, and work habits.

  • How long does a coaching relationship last?

    There is no set answer to that question, since coaching is tailor-made to each person’s needs. Many people retain a coach for a short duration (perhaps 6 to twelve months) to work on a specific, limited challenge. Most of our coaching engagements are six to twelve months long. Some clients, however, partner for years, perhaps to work through a variety of issues or to complete a protracted initiative.

    Whether the scope of issues is limited or extensive, the goal of coaching is to move forward expeditiously. A good coach will prod you constantly to optimize your performance. That’s one reason coaching is so effective. And once people experience that effectiveness, they often make an extended commitment to coaching.

  • Is executive coaching usually paid for by the company or the individual?

    It varies. Some individuals will pay for themselves, while some companies will pay for their employees. You can talk to your company to find out if they offer assistance for Leadership and/or Professional Coaching.

  • How much does coaching cost?

    Fees for coaching are variable based on a variety of factors, including:

    • The frequency of your coaching.
    • The length of your coaching sessions.
    • Whether sessions are in person or by phone.
    • Whether the coaching is part of a larger consulting contract
    • Whether we are coaching several people during a single visit to a location.

    Many coaches charge an hourly fee, and we will do so as well if corporate policy or other considerations dictate it. Our preference, however, is to set a negotiated flat fee for the term of the coaching engagement. This way you know the total cost of your coaching up front, before we begin. For this fee you are entitled to our services as often as necessary to achieve your coaching goals, including phone and email contacts between sessions.

    • Most of our engagements are paid for by the client’s company. Where the client is personally paying for our services, we offer a discounted rate.
    • We also provide discounts to companies who contract with us to provide coaching for two or more people. In addition, we offer a discounted fee schedule to non-profits.
  • How are coaching fees paid?

    Fees can be paid either by the individual or by his or her company. Your payment entitles you to contact us between sessions (by email) for help with specific issues. There is no extra charge for this service.

    When a flat fee is charged for coaching, we typically ask for 30% of the fee as an initial retainer.

  • Is there any evidence that coaching works?

    A study of coaching in Fortune 1000 companies asked 100 executives to assess the impact of the coaching that they had received. Here are some of their responses, along with the percentage reporting specific benefits:

    Improved Working Relationships
    • with direct reports (78%)
    • with immediate supervisors (71%)
    • with peers (63%)
    • with clients (37%)
    Benefits to the Company
    • More effective teamwork (67%)
    • Improved productivity (53%)
    • Reduced conflict (52%)
    • Quality enhancement (48%)
    • Reduced customer complaints (34%)

    Other studies have found that the return on investment in coaching can often be as high as five or six to one. Needless to say, these are remarkable findings and explain why executive coaching has grown so markedly in the past decade.