Your Frequently Asked Questions Answered!


Here is some info to help you decide if coaching or hypnosis is right for you

1. What is hypnosis? 

Hypnosis ia a voluntary, state of extremely relaxed attentive concentration, when your conscious critical mind is relatively inactive, and your subconscious doorway (inner mind) is opened. With your permission, your senses and suggestibility are heightened and your mental absorption is increased


2. Can a person be hypnotized against their will? 

No. You cannot be hypnotized against your will. You must be a willing. Your hypnotist must have your full cooperation. 


3. Will hypnosis make me do something I don't want to do? 

NO Hypnotized people will not do anything against their ethics or moral code. When in hypnosis, you are aware of everything that is going on and you continue to retain your values and morals. 

4. Does a weak-minded person make a better subject than a strong-minded person? 
No. Strength of mind really has little to do with it. Either a weak-minded or strong minded person who resists will make a poor hypnotic subject. On the other hand, a weak or strong-minded person who cooperates will be a good subject. However, because Hypnosis helps a person gain greater control over both mind and body, it can help a person develop a stronger mind.
(Return to top of page)

5. What about the idea that Hypnosis can weaken the mind? 
Hypnosis does NOT weaken the mind. On the contrary, it helps people use more of their mind’s potential. It helps people access their inner strength. The subconscious mind is protective. Hypnotized people will accept suggestions that are acceptable, and reject suggestions that are not acceptable. Suggestions must be worded in a form and language that the patient’s subconscious can understand. (Return to top of page)

6. Will I be asleep? 
No. When a person is in Hypnosis, he is not asleep. He or she is very much aware of all that is going on. In actuality, in Hypnosis, one’s senses become heightened and more acute. Of course, if a person is tired, it is possible to fall asleep during hypnosis. However, then, the subject is asleep and no longer in hypnosis. In actuality, when this occurs, the state of sleep is a light but relaxing state of sleep. A simple suggestion to wake up given by the hypnotist is all that is required to rouse up the subject. (Return to top of page)

7. Is it possible that a subject could not be brought out of Hypnosis? 
No it is not possible. You cannot get stuck in Hypnosis because you do not lose control when you are hypnotized. Hypnosis is a cooperative relationship. When you are hypnotized, you retain full control over your mind and your body. Sometimes, people feel so relaxed and comfortable in Hypnosis that they may wish to remain in that state for a little longer. However, a simple suggestion for awakening (or alerting) is all that is needed to bring a subject back into the Waking State even if the subject has fallen asleep. Additionally, when the hypnotist stops talking, the subject will soon awaken on his own. Most importantly, you can come out of hypnosis any time you want. (Return to top of page)

8. Will I tell any secrets under hypnosis? 
No. Hypnosis is not a truth serum. You retain full control over what you say. Subjects in Hypnosis reveal no secrets in the Hypnotic State that they would not reveal (because they want to) in the Waking State.

Hypnosis CANNOT be used to find the truth, or make a person tell the truth. Hypnosis is NOT a truth serum. First of all, the hypnotized subject retains enough awareness and control to NOT say anything that he doesn’t want to make known, or isn’t ready to make known. Secondly, human memory is inherently inaccurate and unreliable both in and out of hypnosis (Brown, Scheflin, & Hammond, 1997). Hypnosis can help a willing patient get deeper in touch with his deepest and most heartfelt feelings. But feelings are NOT facts. Recollections that come to mind in hypnosis are colored by the patient’s feelings. We use hypnosis to find the truth about how the patient feels about something, NOT the truth about what really happened. The hypnotist or therapist CANNOT make the patient find out, or talk about, how he feels about something, unless the patient feels comfortable and totally safe, and is ready. (Return to top of page)

9. Can a person in Hypnosis be made to bark like a dog or cluck like a chicken? 
No. This is not what happens in Therapeutic or Clinical Hypnosis. On the other hand, volunteers during Stage Hypnosis Show, which is for entertainment purposes only, will typically go along with the Stage Hypnotist’s suggestions as long as it is all in good fun and for entertainment purposes. This is not the context of Clinical Hypnosis. (Return to top of page)

10. Can a person be made a "slave" to a hypnotist? 
No. Hypnosis is not a master-slave relationship or a power relationship. It is not about "zap, you are under my power!" like Svengali type stuff. Hypnosis is a cooperative and collaborative relationship. The subject retains full control and responsibility for his or her actions at all times. This myth comes from old movies and novels such as the old novel "Trilby". (Return to top of page)

11. What about the idea that Hypnotized People Behave like Zombies? 
Hypnosis is NOT about ZAP you are under my power like Svengali. Hypnosis is a collaborative and cooperative teacher-student relationship. Hypnosis is NOT sleep. When a person is in hypnosis, he is relaxed and aware of his surroundings. He hears the sound of the therapist’s voice and will remember more or less of what the therapist says.

The hypnotized subject or patient is NOT asleep. He is relaxed, comfortable, focused, and in a state of daydream type thinking. His analyzing thinking mind (Conscious mind) is turned off and his feeling and intuitive and creative mind (Subconscious) is aware of everything that is going on. A hypnotized subject cannot be made to do anything he is not willing to do. A person must be a willing and cooperative subject for hypnosis to work. (Return to top of page)

12. Can a person become addicted to Hypnosis, or is it habit forming? 
No. A person can resist going into Hypnosis or being hypnotized anytime he or she desires, regardless of how many times he has been hypnotized. (Return to top of page)

13. What is the best age for being hypnotized? 
People can be hypnotized at any age. However, on the average, the years between 12 and 20 are a developmental stage when pre-adolescents, adolescents, and young adults are most fantasy prone and capable of employing that trait to benefit from hypnosis. Nevertheless, children can be helped to solve their problems with the tool of hypnosis as can middle aged and older people.(Return to top of page)

14. Can an "insane" person be hypnotized? 
Persons who are clinically insane are typically out of touch with reality and have difficulty concentrating. The ability to sustain concentration and the ability to follow instructions are necessary prerequisites to being able to be hypnotized. Thus, clinically insane persons can be very difficult subjects. Nevertheless, there are clinical practitioners who specialize in working therapeutically with this population, and some of these practitioners do have the training to use the hypnosis tool effectively and therapeutically in selected cases. (Return to top of page)

15. Who can be hypnotized? 
Anyone who can pay attention and follow instructions can be hypnotized if they want to be. People will vary however, as to the extent or depth to which they can be hypnotized. (Return to top of page)

16. What about the idea that some people are just not hypnotizable? 
Anyone who can daydream can be hypnotized if he is willing. Nobody can be hypnotized against his will. If a person is not willing to cooperate, he cannot be hypnotized. However, the idea that some people are just not hypnotizable is INCORRECT. Some patients may initially have problems with feeling that they may lose control in some unacceptable way. This may lead them to intellectually second guess and over analyze what is going on. Thinking too much will interfere with relaxing enough to enter trance. 

Hypnosis is NOT about the hypnotist controlling the patient. It is about the patient gaining more control over himself. Once the patient realizes that experiencing hypnotic trance will (a) help him feel how he wants to feel and do what he wants to do, AND (b) actually give him more control and power than he previously had, he will stop over thinking, let it happen, and become a good subject.(Return to top of page)

17. What are the requirements of a good Subject? 
They are mainly the desire to be hypnotized and to experience Hypnosis, the ability to concentrate, the willingness to cooperate and follow instructions, and the relative absence of mistrust and fear.(Return to top of page)

18. Is deep Hypnosis necessary? 
For most purposes, deep Hypnosis is not necessary. For most purposes, in a therapeutic setting, a light degree of Hypnosis is all that is necessary for experiencing the therapeutic benefits of Hypnosis. In other words, we typically do not need or aim for Deep Trance. The therapeutic subject (the patient or client) is awake and aware of everything that is going on, but very relaxed.
(Return to top of page)

19. Can "poor" subjects become better subjects? 
Most definitely yes. Repeated conditioning can improve the depth of relaxation, concentration and absorption that a patient or client can attain. Also, strong motivation is a plus. A poor subject with a strong desire to benefit from Hypnosis to get relief from a problem can become a very good subject. Additionally, a "poor" subject can become a better subject to the extent that the Hypnotist instills confidence and helps the subject diminish anxiety and fear. (Return to top of page)

20. What is Self Hypnosis? 
This is Hypnosis induced by a person by himself without the help of a hypnotist. Some experts say that all Hypnosis is Self Hypnosis since the hypnotist is in actuality not doing anything to the subject, but rather guiding the subject into the hypnotic state of consciousness with the subject’s permission. Because the subject permits it to happen, he is really hypnotizing himself with the assistance of the hypnotist. (Return to top of page)

21. How can one learn Self Hypnosis? 
You can learn Self Hypnosis from a good CD or even a book authored by a competent Hypnosis professional. However, your best bet is to have the experience first of being hypnotized by a qualified Hypnosis professional, and then learn from that hypnotist how to enter the hypnotic state on your own. At that point, tapes (CDs) and books can be very useful aids, guides, and sources of information and inspiration. (Return to top of page)

22. What are the benefits of Self Hypnosis? 
The premier benefit of learning and practicing Self Hypnosis is to initiate and continue the process of positive self-change. The regular use of Self Hypnosis facilitates the continuation of healthy changes in behaviors, feelings, beliefs and attitudes. When you practice Self Hypnosis you enter a state of self relaxation. When you are relaxed, you cannot be uncomfortable or anxious or stressed or in pain. Relaxation is the physical and emotional opposite of these negative feelings. Practicing Self Hypnosis conditions your ability to relax at will. It builds your ability to control your mind and your body. More control is the goal, and with more control, you gain greater ability to control your symptoms. Additionally, when you are in a state of Self Hypnosis you are able to give yourself positive suggestions and use positive imagery for positive self-change. (Return to top of page)

23. Can anyone learn Self Hypnosis? 
Any normally intelligent person who can concentrate and follow instructions, and who is motivated and willing can learn Self Hypnosis. (Return to top of page)

24. What is Hetero-Hypnosis? 
This is Hypnosis wherein one person, the Hypnotist or Hypnotherapist, hypnotizes (induces the Hypnotic State) another person who is the subject or patient (or client). To do this, the Hypnotist uses an appropriate hypnotic induction, which is a method for inducing the state of hypnosis. For many types of problems where Self Hypnosis is taught, the Hypnotist teaches Self Hypnosis to the patient while he or she is in the hypnotic state. (Return to top of page)

25. What is a hypnotic induction? 
It is a method of inducing the hypnotic state. There are numerous ways of inducing hypnosis. Most clinicians who practice hypnosis have their favorites. However, it is important for a clinician to choose an hypnosis induction method that fits the needs of the client or patient. The hypnosis professional gives you carefully worded instructions to follow with the goal of helping you enter a state of deep relaxation and focused attention. This is called the hypnosis induction. For this hypnosis induction to be effective, you must cooperate as an active participant in the process.
(Return to top of page)

26. How does Hypnosis make a person more suggestible? 
This occurs first and foremost with the subject’s permission and cooperation. By following the "hypnotist's" instructions, you become more suggestible. When you are in this altered state of increased suggestibility, your mental "clutter" is cleared away so that you can pay attention to the hypnotist's suggestions and be open to experiencing new perspectives and solutions to your problem. In this "hypnotic trance state", you remain aware of everything that is going on, but at the same time, you become increasingly absorbed in using your imagination as directed by the "hypnotist". (Return to top of page)

27. How does Hypnosis work? 
Once the Hypnotic State is induced and the doorway to the Subconscious Mind is opened, with your permission, the competent Hypnotist can provide information, in a language and form that the Subconscious can accept, to help you change the behaviors, feelings and thoughts that you want to change. We utilize the fact that the Subconscious Mind has the ability (actually the tendency) to accept what it imagines as real. This can greatly reduce the felt stress of changing unhealthy habits to healthier habits. (Return to top of page)

28. What role does the Subconscious Mind play? 
The Subconscious part of the mind, or the Inner Mind, controls all of our living functions that keep us alive, as well as all of our automatic behavior patterns. But, the Subconscious is not as easily communicated with as is the Conscious Mind. Information is imprinted in the Subconscious essentially in three ways: through trauma, through repetition, and through the language of Hypnosis. Thus, Hypnosis is the quickest and most efficient way to impress the Subconscious and imprint changes in behaviors, attitudes, beliefs and feelings. The upshot is that making changes in long-standing, core habits (e.g., eating patterns, smoking, emotional reactivity, coping responses) often creates internal discomfort and stress. Old habits cling and typically resist efforts to change them. This can be because of Conscious conflict about changing, but it can also be the result of conflict between the Conscious and the Subconscious parts of the mind. That is, you consciously may want to change and may have decided to change, but the Subconscious does not know this. If it did, it would help you, but it often has no way of knowing that you consciously want to change. So, it continues to control the old behavioral habits and this creates and perpetuates inner conflict. Once the Subconscious is informed that you want to change, and once it knows that it is in your best interest to be helped to change, it has no choice but to help you change. Then, the two parts to the mind, Conscious and Subconscious, can work together in cooperation with little tension, upset, or stress. Remember, what you can conceive you can achieve, and the Subconscious has a tendency to accept what it imagines as real. 
(Return to top of page)

29. What are some of the benefits of Hypnosis?
There are many benefits and uses for Hypnosis. To mention but a few of the more common uses:

  • induce relaxation

  • relieve tensions

  • relieve pain

  • in childbirth

  • diminish and control anxiety

  • eliminate phobias

  • treat depression

  • improve self-confidence

  • control mood swings

  • modify or change hurtful baits

  • stop smoking

  • lose weight through changing eating and other habits

  • improve concentration and memory

  • improve study habits

  • develop natural abilities

  • relieve insomnia

  • aid police work

  • stop fingernail biting

  • stop bedwetting

  • in dentistry

  • in optometry

  • stop bruxism

  • preparation for surgery or other medical procedures(Return to top of page)

30. What can Hypnosis "cure"? 
Hypnosis by itself is not a "cure". It is a tool to be used in therapy or treatment by a professional who is qualified to render that treatment. Medical treatments must be supervised by a medical physician. Similarly, psychological treatments for emotional or psychological problems must be supervised by a qualified psychology or mental health practitioner. (Return to top of page)

31. If you decide that you want to see a clinical hypnosis practitioner, how should you go about finding someone who is qualified? 
Do Your Homework! When choosing a qualified clinical hypnosis practitioner, it’s best to make sure you’ll be working with someone who is properly trained and with whom you’re comfortable. Consumer Beware. The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH), the largest national organization of licensed health professionals who use hypnosis, advises on its official Web site ( that, just as in choosing any health professional, you exercise care in selecting a clinical hypnosis practitioner. Unfortunately, the practice of hypnosis is not regulated by most states as is the practice of other healing arts. Therefore, in most states, clinicians and therapists who use hypnosis are not licensed in hypnosis. The implications of this are that anyone can call themselves a "certified hypnotherapist," or "clinical hypnotist," and hang out a shingle. Beware of quacks.

"Lay hypnotists" are people who are trained in hypnosis but lack formal medical, psychological, dental, or other professional health-care training and lack state licensure. There is no way to evaluate the nature, quality, quantity, continuity, or validity of their hypnosis training or previous academic background and schooling, since their practice is not state regulated. A lay hypnotist may claim to be "certified in hypnotherapy," and start a hypnotherapy or hypnosis practice after just taking a three-day weekend course!

Most licensed health-care professionals first attended college for four years and earned a bachelor’s degree before continuing on to graduate, medical, or dental school for professional training. Graduate level professional training typically takes two years for a master’s degree in Clinical Social Work, Mental Health Counseling, or Nursing, four years for an M.D. or D.O. doctoral degree in Medicine, or a D.D.S. or D.M.D. doctoral degree in Dentistry, and four to five years for a Ph.D., Psy.D., or Ed.D. doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology.

After completing their graduate, medical, or dental school training, most state licensed health professionals went on to take one to four years of clinical internship and/or residency training in their specialty, plus at least one to two years of supervised experience, before becoming eligible to sit for the state licensure examination. These are the steps that must be passed to be eligible for licensed independent practice. By the way, a psychologist is a mental-health professional with either a master’s degree or a doctorate in psychology (a Ph.D., Ed.D., or Psy.D.) who has taken post-degree internship or residency training in clinical or counseling psychology. A psychiatrist is a physician with a medical doctoral degree (an M.D. or D.O.), who has taken post-doctoral internship or residency training in psychiatry.

Screening a Practitioner’s Qualifications. Careful questioning on the telephone can help you avoid falling into the hands of unscrupulous persons who engage in fraudulent or unethical practices. First, ask the person what his or her primary health-care field is. If the person answers that it is hypnosis or hypnotherapy, the person is a "lay hypnotist." If the person states that it is medicine, dentistry, psychiatry, psychology, clinical social work, or nursing, ask if he or she is licensed in his or her field by the state. If the person is not licensed by the state, he or she probably lacks the education required for licensure or has lost his or her license.
Find out what the person’s degree is in. If the person states that it is in hypnosis or hypnotherapy, as opposed to a state-regulated health-care profession, the person is a "lay hypnotist." If the person is licensed in one of the above health-care fields, check for membership in the major professional organization for their field (for instance, the American Medical Association, American Dental Association, American Psychological Association, National Association of Social Workers, etc.). Also, check for membership in the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis or the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis. These are the only nationally recognized organizations in the United States for licensed health-care professionals using hypnosis.






I'm a title. Click to edit me


I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It’s easy. Just click “Edit Text” or double click me to add your own content and make changes to the font. Feel free to drag and drop me anywhere you like on your page. I’m a great place for you to tell a story and let your users know a little more about you.


Need Coaching?


  • Benefits of Using a Coach
  • Coaching Success Stories
  • Coaching FAQs
  • Hiring Tips
  • Coach Referral Service
  • Member Directory
  • ICF Career Centre



Need Coaching?

Coaching FAQs



What is professional 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, which is particularly important in today’s uncertain and complex environment. Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole. Standing on this foundation, the coach's responsibility is to:

  • Discover, clarify, and align with what the client wants to achieve
  • Encourage client self-discovery
  • Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies
  • Hold the client responsible and accountable

This process helps clients dramatically improve their outlook on work and life, while improving their leadership skills and unlocking their potential.

How can you determine if coaching is right for you?


To determine whether you or your company could benefit from coaching, start by summarizing what you would expect to accomplish in coaching. When an individual or business has a fairly clear idea of the desired outcome, a coaching partnership can be a useful tool for developing a strategy for how to achieve that outcome with greater ease.

Since coaching is a partnership, ask yourself whether collaboration, other viewpoints, and new perspectives are valued. Also, ask yourself whether you or your business is ready to devote the time and the energy to making real changes. If the answer is yes, then coaching may be a beneficial way to grow and develop.

How is coaching distinct from other service professions?


Professional coaching focuses on setting goals, creating outcomes and managing personal change. Sometimes it’s helpful to understand coaching by distinguishing it from other personal or organizational support professions.

  • Therapy: Therapy deals with healing pain, dysfunction and conflict within an individual or in relationships. The focus is often on resolving difficulties arising from the past that hamper an individual's emotional functioning in the present, improving overall psychological functioning, and dealing with the present in more emotionally healthy ways. Coaching, on the other hand, supports personal and professional growth based on self-initiated change in pursuit of specific actionable outcomes. These outcomes are linked to personal or professional success. Coaching is future focused. While positive feelings/emotions may be a natural outcome of coaching, the primary focus is on creating actionable strategies for achieving specific goals in one's work or personal life. The emphases in a coaching relationship are on action, accountability, and follow through.
  • Consulting: Individuals or organizations retain consultants for their expertise. While consulting approaches vary widely, the assumption is the consultant will diagnose problems and prescribe and, sometimes, implement solutions. With coaching, the assumption is that individuals or teams are capable of generating their own solutions, with the coach supplying supportive, discovery-based approaches and frameworks.
  • Mentoring: A mentor is an expert who provides wisdom and guidance based on his or her own experience. Mentoring may include advising, counseling and coaching. The coaching process does not include advising or counseling, and focuses instead on individuals or groups setting and reaching their own objectives. 
  • Training: Training programs are based on objectives set out by the trainer or instructor. Though objectives are clarified in the coaching process, they are set by the individual or team being coached, with guidance provided by the coach. Training also assumes a linear learning path that coincides with an established curriculum. Coaching is less linear without a set curriculum.
  • Athletic Development: Though sports metaphors are often used, professional coaching is different from sports coaching. The athletic coach is often seen as an expert who guides and directs the behavior of individuals or teams based on his or her greater experience and knowledge. Professional coaches possess these qualities, but their experience and knowledge of the individual or team determines the direction. Additionally, professional coaching, unlike athletic development, does not focus on behaviors that are being executed poorly or incorrectly. Instead, the focus is on identifying opportunity for development based on individual strengths and capabilities.

What are some typical reasons someone might work with a coach?


An individual or team might choose to work with a coach for many reasons, including but not limited to the following:

  • Something urgent, compelling or exciting is at stake (a challenge, stretch goal or opportunity) 
  • A gap exists in knowledge, skills, confidence or resources
  • A desire to accelerate results
  • A lack of clarity with choices to be made
  • Success has started to become problematic
  • Work and life are out of balance, creating unwanted consequences
  • Core strengths need to be identified, along with how best to leverage them

What has caused the tremendous growth in the coaching industry?


Coaching has grown significantly for many reasons, among them:

  • Rapid changes are taking place in the external business environment.
  • Downsizing, restructuring, mergers and other organizational changes have radically altered the "traditional employment contract.” Companies can no longer achieve results using traditional management approaches.
  • With the growing shortage of talented employees in certain industries, companies must commit to investing in individuals' development.
  • The disparity between what managers were trained to do and what their jobs now require of them is widening due to increasing demands for competitive results.
  • People are wrestling with job insecurity and increased workplace pressures to perform at higher levels than ever before.
  • Companies must develop inclusive, collaborative work environments to achieve strategic business goals and to maintain high levels of customer satisfaction. 
  • Individuals who have experienced the excellent results of coaching are talking to more people about it. 
  • People today are more open to the idea of being in charge of their own lives. Coaching helps them do just that.

In short, coaching helps individuals and companies focus on what matters most in life and business, and so the industry continues to grow.

How is coaching delivered? What does the process look like?


Coaching typically begins with a personal interview (either face-to-face or by teleconference call) to assess the individual's or business’ current opportunities and challenges, define the scope of the relationship, identify priorities for action and establish specific desired outcomes. Subsequent coaching sessions may be conducted in person or over the telephone, with each session lasting a previously established length of time. Between scheduled coaching sessions, the individual may be asked to complete specific actions that support the achievement of one's personally prioritized goals. The coach may provide additional resources in the form of relevant articles, checklists, assessments or models to support the individual's or business’ thinking and actions. The duration of the coaching relationship varies depending on needs and preferences.

  • Assessments: A variety of assessments are available to support the coaching process, depending upon the needs and circumstances of the individual or business. Assessments provide objective information that can enhance self-awareness, as well as awareness of others and their circumstances; provide a benchmark for creating coaching goals and actionable strategies; and offer a method for evaluating progress.
  • Concepts, models and principles: A variety of concepts, models and principles drawn from the behavioral sciences, management literature, spiritual traditions and/or the arts and humanities may be incorporated into the coaching conversation to increase self-awareness and awareness of others, foster shifts in perspective, promote fresh insights, provide new frameworks for looking at opportunities and challenges, and energize and inspire forward actions.
  • Appreciative approach: Coaching incorporates an appreciative approach, grounded in what's right, what's working, what's wanted and what's needed to get there. Using an appreciative approach, the coach models constructive communication skills and methods to enhance personal communication effectiveness. He or she incorporates discovery-based inquiry, proactive (as opposed to reactive) ways of managing personal opportunities and challenges, constructive framing of observations and feedback to elicit the most positive responses from others, and visions of success as contrasted with focusing on problems. The appreciative approach is simple to understand and employ, and its reach can be profound, opening up new possibilities and spurring action.

How long does a coach work with an individual?


The length of a coaching partnership varies depending on the individual's or team's needs and preferences. For certain types of focused coaching, three to six months of working may work. For other types of coaching, people may find it beneficial to work with a coach for a longer period. Factors that may impact the length of time include: the types of goals, the ways individuals or teams prefer to work, the frequency of coaching meetings and financial resources available to support coaching.

How do you ensure a compatible partnership?


Overall, be prepared to design the coaching partnership with the coach. For example, think of a strong partnership that you currently have in your work or life. Look at how you built that relationship and what is important to you about partnership. You will want to build those same things into a coaching relationship. Here are a few other tips:

  • Interview more than one coach to determine "what feels right" in terms of the chemistry. Coaches are accustomed to being interviewed, and an introductory conversation of this type is usually free of charge.
  • Look for stylistic similarities and differences between the coach and you and how these might support your growth as an individual or the growth of your team.
  • Discuss your goals for coaching within the context of the coach's specialty or the coach's preferred way of working with an individual or team 
  • Talk with the coach about what to do if you ever feel things are not going well; make some agreements up front on how to handle questions or problems.
  • Remember that coaching is a partnership, so be assertive about talking with the coach about any concerns.

Within the partnership, what does the coach do? The individual?


The coach:

  • Provides objective assessment and observations that foster the individual's or team’s self-awareness and awareness of others
  • Listens closely to fully understand the individual's or team's circumstances 
  • Acts as a sounding board in exploring possibilities and implementing thoughtful planning and decision making
  • Champions opportunities and potential, encouraging stretch and challenge commensurate with personal strengths and aspirations
  • Fosters shifts in thinking that reveal fresh perspectives, 
  • Challenges blind spots to illuminate new possibilities and support the creation of alternative scenarios
  • Maintains professional boundaries in the coaching relationship, including confidentiality, and adheres to the coaching profession's code of ethics.

The individual:

  • Creates the coaching agenda based on personally meaningful coaching goals 
  • Uses assessment and observations to enhance self-awareness and awareness of others
  • Envisions personal and/or organizational success 
  • Assumes full responsibility for personal decisions and actions 
  • Utilizes the coaching process to promote possibility thinking and fresh perspectives 
  • Takes courageous action in alignment with personal goals and aspirations 
  • Engages big-picture thinking and problem-solving skills 
  • Takes the tools, concepts, models and principles provided by the coach and engages in effective forward actions

What does coaching ask of an individual?


To be successful, coaching asks certain things, all of which begin with intention. Additionally, clients should:

  • Focus on one's self, the tough questions, the hard truths and one's success.
  • Observe the behaviors and communications of others.
  • Listen to one's intuition, assumptions, judgments, and to the way one sounds when one speaks
  • Challenge existing attitudes, beliefs and behaviors and develop new ones that serve one's goals in a superior way
  • Leverage personal strengths and overcome limitations to develop a winning style
  • Take decisive actions, however uncomfortable and in spite of personal insecurities, to reach for the extraordinary
  • Show compassion for one's self while learning new behaviors and experiencing setbacks, and to show that compassion for others as they do the same
  • Commit to not take one's self so seriously, using humor to lighten and brighten any situation
  • Maintain composure in the face of disappointment and unmet expectations, avoiding emotional reactivity
  • Have the courage to reach for more than before while engaging in continual self examination without fear

How can the success of the coaching process be measured?


Measurement may be thought of in two distinct ways: external indicators of performance and internal indicators of success. Ideally, both are incorporated.

Examples of external measures include achievement of coaching goals established at the outset of the coaching relationship, increased income/revenue, obtaining a promotion, performance feedback that is obtained from a sample of the individual's constituents (e.g., direct reports, colleagues, customers, boss, the manager him/herself), personal and/or business performance data (e.g., productivity, efficiency measures). The external measures selected should be things the individual is already measuring and has some ability to directly influence.

Examples of internal measures include self-scoring/self-validating assessments that can be administered initially and at regular intervals in the coaching process, changes in the individual's self-awareness and awareness of others, shifts in thinking that create more effective actions, and shifts in one's emotional state that inspire confidence.

What factors should be considered when looking at the financial investment in coaching?

Working with a coach requires both a personal commitment of time and energy as well as a financial commitment. Fees charged vary by specialty and by the level of experience of the coach. Individuals should consider both the desired benefits as well as the anticipated length of time to be spent in coaching. Since the coaching relationship is predicated on clear communication, any financial concerns or questions should be voiced in initial conversations before the agreement is made. The ICF Coach Referral Serviceallows you to search for a coach based on a number of qualifications, including fee range.


Still have questions? Contact Me



​© 2014 Leverage Pointe Coaching.

Proudly created with

Give me a place to stand and with a lever, I can move the world!

  • w-facebook
  • Twitter Clean
  • w-googleplus