Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Coaching?

There are many different coaching philosophies and styles. Most coaches work with clients, one-on-one, to explore dreams, needs, motivations, desires, skills and/or thought processes. The coaching relationship assists clients in making real, lasting change and achieving goals. [ ]

What Is Your Approach To Coaching?

I work with clients who are social justice activists or nonprofit professionals to identify strategies for action in achieving identified goals. I specialize in cultural- and assets-based coaching meaning that cultural strengths and differences, institutionalized “isms”, power and privilege, etc., come into the coaching discussions. I prioritize clients’ values, culture and history so clients may gain new insights into their strengths and talents and as well as limiting beliefs that may be positively or negatively affecting their success . Together the client and I design a coaching partnership where s/he can discuss any concern, challenge or issue, large or small, from her/his professional or personal life. [ ]

What Are Some Coaching Tools and Techniques?

Here is a non-comprehensive list of some of my tools and techniques:

  • Developing a confidential, trusting relationship to create an opportunity for reflection, revelation and transformation
  • Observing, listening, curiosity and intuition to deeply understand your situation and from which to ask questions
  • Questioning using thought-provoking techniques to creatively encourage you to identify goals, beliefs, values, solutions and actions
  • Encouraging action methods and goal-setting for assessing progress in relation to your specific goals
  • Increasing your awareness regarding behaviors and actions in order to be at more  choice and intentionality with your actions
  • Exploring your aspirations (needs, values, motivations, desires, skills, beliefs, thought processes and/or behavior patterns)
  • Encouraging a commitment to action and learning leading to lasting growth and change
  • Respecting, yet sometimes challenging your views, ideas, values and aspirations for exploration and to be at choice
  • Evaluating and adapting the coaching process regularly
  • Sharing “hard truths”, including observations no one else may be in a position to provide
  • Challenging/supporting you to take thoughtful skill-building and life enhancing risks
  • Structuring accountability measures to ensure that action steps are achieved

What Training Have You Had As A Coach?

I am a graduate of the Coaches Training Institute including CTI’s core coaching courses and coaching certification program. I also passed CTI’s coaching certification exam. CTI is accredited by the International Coaches Federation and licensed by the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education. CTI’s programs provided me with a structured methodology and various tools, strengthening my natural skills, instincts and passion for coaching people.

Since 2004 I have coached over 300 clients, primarily social activists and nonprofit community leaders. I have also partnered to provide team coaching to leadership teams.

I am also on the faculty of Leadership That Works and their accredited coach training program, Coaching For Transformation. As a faculty member I have learned and then taught the methodologies of CFT to coach training participants.

I have been recruited, interviewed and selected to work with many different organizations (such as leadership development programs and foundations providing technical assistance to grantees).

I was a founding member of Prism, a consortium of multicultural coaches who focused on the ways that cultural awareness enhances coaching.  I also worked with the Coaching and Philanthropy Project’s Coach Training Pilot Project. This project recruited people of color with extensive nonprofit experience and a demonstrated commitment to the nonprofit sector to attend coach training programs. Our goal was to increase the number of culturally appropriate coaches in the nonprofit sector and to enhance the coaching sector’s trainings based on recommendations of CTPP participants.

For six years I was a staff member for a grassroots leadership program providing support and mentoring to many of the over 300 graduates of the program.

I am trained in systems coaching through Team Coaching International and I have attended Rockwood Leadership Institute’s Art of Leadership workshop.

Are Your Coaching Sessions Face-To-Face Contacts, By Phone Or E-mail Or All The Above?

Most of the coaching sessions I provide occur via the phone.

My clients — even those locally — have found coaching via the phone can be more effective than in-person coaching for a variety of reasons. It can be:

  • Easier not to be distracted by our physical actions or surroundings
  • More efficient with the session beginning right away without extended social graces we might feel the need to practice in-person
  • Less inhibiting, and therefore easier to create trust and safety in fewer sessions
  • Simpler to schedule sessions without factoring in commuting

I will schedule coaching sessions in-person if requested and as possible. The coaching relationship includes 2-4 scheduled hours a month and voice mail/e-mail support between coaching sessions.

How Much Does A Session Cost? Do I Pay By The Session Or Do I Have To Contract For A Period Of Time?

I will negotiable fees on an individual basis with all potential clients. Twenty-five percent of my coaching slots are sliding scale; potential clients can ask if any of these slots are open and if they are eligible. I ask clients to make a minimum four-month initial commitment to coaching. After that time my client and I can re-negotiate our commitment as needed or desired.

In What Areas Do You Provide Coaching?

I provide coaching in all areas of a client’s life in which s/he wants support and/or change: career, family, relationships, health and spirituality. The ultimate focus of coaching, as I see it, is to support clients in identifying personal and professional goals so they may manifest their potential and live richer, more fulfilled and meaningful lives.

What’s The Difference Between Coaching And Therapy?

There are many models of psychotherapy and the difference with coaching can be subtle. Generally, clients seek counseling when they sense something is wrong and coaching when they sense something is not as right as they would like it to be.

Therapy outcomes may focus on improved emotional/feeling states. While positive feelings/emotions may be an outcome of coaching, the primary focus is on creating actionable strategies for achieving specific goals in one’s work or personal life. The emphasis in coaching is on action, accountability and follow –through.

What is the difference between coaching, consulting, technical assistance, training, mentoring, etc.?

Coaching as a specialty is a confidential partnership. The coach brings discovery-based approaches and the client brings a willingness to discover and implement change.  The assumption in coaching is the client is capable of generating her/his own solutions. For many Executive Directors and others, coaching is a valuable structure in which to examine mistakes, face fears and perceived weaknesses, and celebrate successes and accomplishments.

Individuals or organizations may retain consultants, TA providers and trainers for the purpose of accessing specialized expertise.  While consulting approaches vary widely, consultants may assess problems and provide advice and expertise, based on their prior work and training while guiding efforts supporting the organization or cause.

Some consultants may provide valuable support (which some call “coaching”) to staff in the organizations with whom they work.  In general, this may be provided as a side focus to the project goals.

Coaches often have experience and expertise in the client’s field, but are not mentors.  In a mentorship relationship there is an assumption the mentor has experienced and learned from the same challenges the “mentee” is or will experience; therefore the focus is in the mentor sharing her/his knowledge.  In coaching the focus is on the client’s, not the coach’s, knowledge, learning, experience and action.

Coaches strive to understand — rather than be understood.

How Can I Find Out If Coaching Is For Me? How Can I Decide If You Are The Right Coach For Me?

  • Read what you can about coaching
  • Get as clear as possible as to what you would like to get from coaching and don’t be afraid to ask for what you want
  • Talk to trusted friends and colleagues who have worked with coaches
  • Interview a few coaches
  • with any questions you may have. Also,
  • Consider setting up a free sample coaching session with me — it’s a great way to get a feel for coaching
  • Ask me for referrals – current and former clients who can talk with you about coaching and my way of working

How Long Does An Average Coaching Relationship Last?

I ask clients for an initial commitment of four months. At four months we evaluate and re-negotiate the relationship: the client may decide to extend the relationship for some additional piece of time, to terminate the relationship or to set up occasional sessions as needed. According to an International Coach Federation survey, the duration of a coaching relationship is on average almost nine months.