Here are Some Frequently Asked Questions
There are many ways but here are some highlights. Few, if any, coaches can honestly say they have held high-level, direct line, senior positions in the corporate arena, as well as not-for-profits and have multiple entrepreneurial experiences. I was a top executive for a number of brand names, global organizations. One was a start-up, the other a rapidly growing division, and another a mature, well-defined industry leader. In the not-for-profit sector I sat on the Executive Committee, served clients directly addressing the needs of the workplace and individuals as well as functioned in development and outreach capacities. My entrepreneurial ventures include opening my coaching business ExecutiveCoachNY in 1999, owning and operating a general store in East Hampton, NY, and having a private clinical practice. Few, if any, coaches have this breadth and depth of experience and even fewer had direct P&L responsibilities or staffs of hundreds, multi-level employees.
I have earned three degrees — in business, education, and human behavior. I am formally trained as an executive coach, not a life coach. People come to me around workplace and career issues.
Most coaches have less than three years coaching experience. I have more than a decade and often say, “I was coaching in the workplace long before we even called it coaching.”
A private office, in a convenient Manhattan location, is something many prospective clients require. They like the privacy, professionalism, and the opportunity to get away from their place of work such a site offers. Most coaches can’t offer the session location options that my office, your office, or the phone provides.
Finally, I bring extensive and broad personal experience gathered from a full, well-lived, life. There is something to be said for that. At times it proves priceless.
What model do you use?
I am often baffled by this question because it seems very narrow. All coaching at ExecutiveCoachNY is customized to the clients’ needs. If someone is focused on getting to the next level in his or her current position, our targets and focus will be different from the concrete needs of looking for a new job or getting a team to collaborate. People at different times and stages of their career have different hurdles to clear.
Team coaching may have a more educational component and involve small group work while the individual might want to practice or explore a new professional skill or perspective. The clients of ExecutiveCoachNY are too smart, diverse, and goal-focused to fit into a single program or model. Click here to learn more about executive coaching services.
Who is your typical client?
While it’s hard to pigeonhole coaching clients, I would say they have the following things in common — success-driven, smart, intellectually curious, demanding in the good sense that they know quality, have little time to waste, and are open to change. They also acknowledge they can’t succeed alone and are comfortable with a team of pros supporting them. One person on their team is me their executive coach.
Demographically clients range in age from the mid-20s into their 60s (though I did have a career changer in her 80s). The gender break is about 50/50, male/female. Clients come from all cultures and ethnicities. Most work for an organization but that can range from mega, multi-national, global corporations, to mid-size firms, or small start-ups. Some are in the not-for-profit arena and a few are out on their own. Most clients are in the New York City area because they like the face-to-face office meeting experience. On the other hand, some clients live 3,000 miles away and do well with phone-only coaching. ExecutiveCoachNY clients work at C, senior, and mid-levels for companies in finance, high tech, accounting, media, advertising, fashion, and not-for-profit (to name a few). They come to coaching as a group, team, or individually. Some coaching is financed by their organizations, while others prefer to make the personal investment by paying for coaching services on their own.
Why do they come to coaching?
Most want to advance in their already successful careers. Many, if not all, clients are challenged with relationships in the workplace — their staff, colleagues, clients, supervisor, even becoming better managers of themselves. Not that they are necessarily bad managers but surely could be enriched or better. Coaching clients often need to strengthen that leadership muscle or build their influencing skills. Some managers and leaders find their career brand is either non-existent or out-of-date. They aim to professionalize what they know, how they behave, and network the message better.
Everyone wants the competitive edge and they get it with coaching.
Reading testimonials from coaching clients is a way to get a sense of the people I coach and their level of satisfaction. Click here to read testimonials.
How long does coaching last?
Coaching assignments vary widely by coach. I find three months (three sessions per month in about 90 days) to be a good start. In fact, it is the minimum commitment. I have concluded less than that is a good experience that generally doesn’t stick. My clients are complex and the challenges they bring to coaching are not addressed in an hour or two. So, everyone who works with me starts with the three-month package.
What people come to coaching for is not always why they stay or continue. Many of my clients have worked with me for years, maybe not weekly or on a constant basis, but the relationship developed and the knowledge base is so solid it often carries people through their careers, career changes, and continued professional skill building. Coaching remains a constant in their work life. To learn more about my coaching services click here.
How does coaching differ from therapy?
I have been trained and worked as a coach and was educated and practiced as a therapist (no longer do the latter) after my extensive career in the corporate sector. I can tell you coaching and therapy is very different. In fact, I caution you. There are therapists pretending to be coaches and coaches thinking they can act as therapists. Both are confusing at the least and dangerous at the most.
Executive coaching is forward-focus, action driven, and not generally motivated by pain or a desire to resolve a personal conflict. Most coaching clients come to coaching with good psychological health and excellent work habits. When it comes to executive coaching, which differs from life coaching, the workplace and career are always the center of the discussion.
Coaching boundaries are different than that of psychotherapy as is the power. As a coach I often share work experiences and insights with clients to help them imagine, clarify, or get a sense of what it is like in real time; therapist rarely, if ever, do this. In coaching I believe you, the client, have expertise as do I. We work together, as equals, to find the solution that is best for you. The power is shared.
While knowing a bit about your personal history can be informative, the focus in coaching is not on your past, particularly not personal, distant past. Coaching assumes an ability to self-manage and direct. It looks at strengths rather than pathology. Coaching can be more directive when appropriate.
I can only be your coach, never your therapist. If I think you might benefit from therapy, I would be happy to help you locate a competent professional.