A Lots of reasons. Often they feel stuck and want to get moving forward again. Many of my clients want to change up their lives in some way. A lot of them get that ‘The future is written in pencil‘ and want help in discovering and creating a new future and making it happen. Sometimes they want inspiration and support on a particular mission, maybe getting past a particular hurdle or dealing with an immediate challenge. Whatever the reason, they simply feel like they’re stuck in a place they’d rather not be—that’s at the heart of many reasons why people choose to get coaching.
Whatever the ‘why,’ one universal aim we all share is exploring who we are in this moment and who we know, in our heart of hearts, we can be. One of my favorite quotes comes from the English novelist George Eliot: “It’s never to late to be who you might have been.”
Q How structured is a coaching session?
“I cannot teach anyone anything, I can only
make him think.”
A In brain-based coaching, we follow a format that takes you from goal-setting to strategy to action—to success! The structure allows a lot of room for recognizing patterns in our thinking and doing, exploring insights, and developing new thinking habits that lead to success. Sometimes what you need, though, is a shorter duration of coaching conversations that help you get past a specific point.
We can make a plan that makes sense for you and your immediate needs.
Q What, exactly, is brain-based coaching?
A It’s a style of coaching that links findings from neuroscience with coaching. The idea is to help us get what we want, and get where we want to be, by focusing on the quality of our thinking. The worn-out notion that ‘people don’t change,’ just isn’t true. Every time we have an insight, we’re literally changing our brains, creating new connections upstairs. We’re creating new wiring, and that usually leads to changes in the way we behave. The brain-based approach, pioneered by David Rock, is lighting up the coaching world.
Q Who is David Rock?
A He is the developer of the Results Coaching System powered by the NeuroLeadership Institute. David Rock is a founder and CEO of the NeuroLeadership Institute, a global consulting and coaching organization. Rock also developed New York University’s academic Certificate in Coaching. He is the author of Your Brain At Work (2009) and Quiet Leadership (2006), and co-author of Coaching With The Brain In Mind (2009). For an entertaining taste of his ideas, visit David Rock’s Psychology Today blog.
Q How much time do people usually spend in coaching?
Some clients choose to be coached around a specific challenge they’re facing. The length and duration of those sessions is up to the client.
A In brain-based coaching, we find 12 one-hour sessions create a sound beginning for real change to occur in our thinking—the kind of change that makes it possible to achieve goals with ease and grace. Our early sessions are about identifying inspiring, compelling goals, and creating strategies for achieving them. Subsequent sessions are about taking action to get you there—and gaining insight into patterns and habits in our thinking. By week 12, chances are you’ve achieved your goals—and if not, you’ve got the momentum to make it happen. Many clients are confident in concluding their coaching at that point. Others choose to extend their coaching sessions, or check in once every four to six weeks to stay on track.
Q What will coaching do for me?
A It will help you get from where you are now to where you want to be, whatever that means to you. It will help you break through obstacles and barriers that are holding you back or keeping you stuck. It will give you new insights and tools to help you achieve goals with grace and ease. Bottom line, coaching helps you recognize and shift built-in thinking patterns that get in the way of success. It gives you new ways of seeing yourself and helps you increase your effectiveness in achieving what you most want in your life. Think of Tiger Woods watching a video of his swing, or Michael Jordan watching a video of his free throw. It lets them see what they can’t see in the moment, to be aware of what they can do to make their game even better, and be inspired by the potential. Coaching gives you those same opportunities in your own life game.
Q What should I look for in a coach?
A Trust and rapport. Coaching is a partnership. It’s essential that you feel comfortable with your coach and trust that during your sessions, your success is his or her highest concern. Coaches have different styles and so do clients. I make sure prospective clients feel okay telling me, “I’m not certain you’re the right fit for me.” And it goes both ways—if I don’t feel I’m the best coach for you, I will recommend someone whose focus and style might better suit your needs. It’s also appropriate to inquire about coaching credentials—where your coach was formally trained and whether he or she is a member of the International Coach Federation. Certification by the ICF means your coach adheres to the gold standard of coaching ethics and responsibilities.
Q How private is the coaching conversation?
A It’s confidential, period. Unless you say something I am legally bound to disclose, anything you share in our coaching conversations is completely and safely confidential.
Q Will you tell me what to do?
A No, absolutely not. Coaching is more about asking, listening and synthesizing than about telling. Brain-based coaching, in particular, is about helping you experience your own insights. We know from neuroscience that no two brains are alike, which means the most powerful insights are our own. Occasionally, I may suggest an exercise or question that will give you new insight, or I may urge you to take action on something you’ve expressed a desire to do and just haven’t done. It depends on our relationship and what you expect of me as your coach. Whatever I ask of you, it’s always up to you to accept, decline, or suggest an alternative.