Frequently Asked Questions

What is life coaching?


The International Coach Federation (ICF) officially defines coaching as "partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential." Dr. Gary Collins defines coaching as the "art and practice of enabling individuals to move from where they are ... to where they most want to be." Where are YOU right now? Where is it that you MOST want to be? Life coaching can assist you to take action and to start moving towards where you most want to be in your life! In coaching, you and I partner together to enable you to create change in your life, and to reach your goals. We will work together to help you create a vision for your future, to set goals to work towards, and to develop a plan to achieve your goals.




Why do I need a life coach? What can you do for me that I can't do on my own?


As a professional life coach, I will walk with you through the following phases of the coaching process:

  • Assessing where you are right now in your life.
  • Creating a vision for where you want to be in the future.
  • Developing a strategy to get there.
  • Dealing with any obstacles which may be standing in your way.
I will support you to:
  • Discover your real values, passions, and priorities.
  • Create a clearer vision for your future.
  • Live in a more meaningful, intentional, and purposeful way.
  • Set and reach your goals.
But coaching is so much more than identifying goals, and creating a plan to achieve them. What would it be like to NOT have to try to figure everything out on your own anymore ... to NOT have to try play all the parts yourself? What would it be like to have your own life coach to:
  • Encourage you to explore, dream, and make decisions about your future?
  • Motivate, encourage and inspire you to TAKE ACTION?
  • Be fully invested and commited to YOUR success?
  • Ask you all the questions you just never thought about asking yourself?
  • Help you get "unstuck" ... get out of your "comfort zone" ... encourage you to take risks and move forward?
  • Regularly confide in - knowing that it is confidental?
  • Listen to you ... be your sounding board ... hear the some of the things you may have never told anyone else before?
  • Share your goals, passions, hopes and dreams with - confident that I will be non-judgemental, and NOT have my own agenda?
  • Inspire you to see your situation in a different way... to see new perspectives and possibilities you may not have noticed before?
  • Encourage you as you strategize, or explore new options?
  • Guide you through the change and growth process ... support you through any obstacles, or fears that may be getting in the way?
  • Honestly explore any observed self-defeating behaviors or patterns, or negative self-talk?
  • Be in YOUR corner - be YOUR supporter, YOUR encourager, and YOUR cheerleader - as you achieve successes?
  • Check in with ... to have someone that will care enough to be your accountability partner?
  • Guide you in evaluating your progress ... to assist you with making any necessary changes to your vision, goals and/or action steps?
  • Just walk right alongside you, as you move into your new future?




Isn't coaching kind of like counselling? How is coaching different from counselling?


No, coaching is completely different from counselling. It is important for you to know the general differences between counselling and counseling - so that you can make the right choice for you. Difference between Counselling and Coaching: Counselling:

  • Past-focused.
  • Problem-focused.
  • Treatment for psychiatric/psychological conditions, or emotional issues.
  • Goal is to get the client to the place where they can be well-functioning, and be better able to cope in their daily lives.
  • There is something wrong that needs to be treated, “fixed”, healed, overcome, "worked through", etc.
  • A focus on understanding the past, the causes of problems, and client’s emotions.
  • The counsellor is an expert who gives diagnosis, treatment plans, advice, and recommendations to the client.
  • Examples of psychotherapy language: Adjust, help, cure, heal, process feelings, confront, alleviate, intervene, resolving issues or dysfunctions, normal or abnormal, unconscious or subconscious, inner conflicts, diagnosis, phobias, addictions, etc.
  • A "helping" or medical treatment-related profession.
Coaching:
  • Future-focused.
  • Solution/Outcome-focused.
  • Creating an enhanced and transformed, a more meaningful and purposeful, life.
  • Client is already well-adjusted, creative, resourceful and whole.
  • Using personal strengths to create a vision/clearer direction for one’s life, to achieve one’s goals and dreams, etc.
  • Beyond day-to-day living and coping, client wants to take his/her life “to the next level.”
  • Focus is on client who wants to achieve personally desired outcomes. Supporting client to enhance and transform his/her life … to live a more authentic, meaningful, engaged, and fulfilled life.
  • Focus is on supporting, assisting, empowering, and inspiring client to achieve his/her personal goals and dreams.
  • The coach DOES NOT give advice or recommendations. The client ultimately has the answers, and the coach assists and supports him/her to find own solutions. It is a co-equal partnership between coach and client.
  • Examples of Coaching language: Prioritize, clarify, create awareness, strategize, personal mission statement, transformation, partnering together, values, personal strengths, planning, client determining the agenda, brainstorming options, being proactive, taking action, achievement, acknowledging, envisioning, action steps, evaluating and measuring progress, personal accountability and responsibility, etc.
What service do you need more at this time in your life? Counselling or coaching? If it's counselling that you really need at this time, then please get counselling. Don't try to use coaching as a substitute for counselling. Don't waste your hard-earned money on the wrong service. The best time to receive coaching services is after you have worked through - and healed from - any psychiatric diagnoses, psychological issues, or past abuse or trauma.




You do both secular and Christian life coaching? What's the difference?


Secular Coaching: In secular coaching, I support and assist you "to move from where you are ... to where you most want to be." You and I generally would not focus on exploring your Christian faith (or any other religious or spiritual beliefs you may have) as part of the coaching process. There may be religious or spiritual aspects you may decide to incorporate into your coaching - but focus on these religious or spiritual aspects is not the core of the coaching relationship. Christian Coaching: As your Christian coach, I respect your beliefs. YOUR beliefs are what we incorporate into our coaching conversations, and work from. In Christian-based coaching, I support and assist you "to move from where you are ... to where God wants you to be." We work together to explore God's vision for your life. We both approach the coaching with a more eternal perspective. We seek to understand how God may be calling you to serve and advance His kingdom through your God-given spiritual gifts, personal strengths, skills, and interests. We both acknowledge Jesus Christ as the center of our coaching relationship, and that we are both committed followers of Jesus Christ. I will inquire with you how you would like your Christian faith brought into the coaching sessions. For example, I can open and close our coaching sessions with prayer, or I read a devotional if you wish. Normally, we will invite the Holy Spirit into our coaching conversations to guide and encourage us both. Christian coaching DOES include secular life coaching elements - and many Christian clients do prefer a combination of both. If you have questions about scripture, you find a piece of scripture especially challenging, or you are seeking further clarification/interpretation of scripture, I would refer you back to a member of your own faith community/pastoral team to seek their counsel. We do not deeply explore scripture and make that the focus of our coaching sessions. (A coaching session is not a bible study session.) And I do not - in any way - enter into debates about scripture, or what constitutes "right" Christian living. (A coaching session is not an opportunity for a debate about some aspect of scripture or Christianity.) Special Note: I provide life coaching services to EVERYONE - regardless of their faith, or other spiritual beliefs. So, you do not need to be a "Christian" for us to work together. I respect your faith and any other beliefs (spiritual or otherwise) you have, and I will not seek to impose my Christian faith or values on you. My personal statement of faith.... I believe that the bible is the word of God, and that its message is true and eternal. God’s wisdom, comfort, love, and encouragement is all we need to live a full and meaningful life. The bible is especially relevant for us today, given the state of our world and all its present challenges! I strive to apply the bible to my daily life, so that I might grow, and be transformed into having more of Christ’s character in me. God has called me to serve others as a life coach. And so, it is my honor to serve YOU. My primary focus is to encourage and support you in discovering, and then acting upon, what HIS will is for your life. What could be greater than each of us serving God, and helping Him advance His kingdom? The world needs YOU – and all your God-given strengths and spiritual gits, now more than ever. And the world needs ALL OF US now to help fight the enemy – whose main goal is to separate us from relationship with God for all eternity.... It is important to me so SHOW the love of Christ to others. I want to lift up and glorify Him in EVERY interaction. So, I love to coach ANYONE, regardless of their faith or beliefs. It is not important to me what faith you are … what church or denomination you belong to…. I still believe that Jesus Christ is the center of our coaching relationship, and that the Holy Spirit is present with both of us in our coaching sessions to inspire us … and to give us both hope and encouragement. I believe in the Trinity – that God exists as a 3-in-one… God the father, God the son, and God the Holy Spirit. All are co-equal and co-eternal. All ARE God! And I believe that God is sovereign in each of our lives. I believe that faith in Christ – and daily relationship WITH Christ - is the only way to God the father. All who repent of their sins, and believe in the gift of salvation through Christ’s death on the cross, will receive eternal life with God. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
- Psalm 91:2




Do you follow any kind of code of ethics?


Absolutely, I do. As a professional life coach, I follow the International Coach Federation's Code of Ethics. You can find the International Coach Federation's Code of Ethics here: https://www.coachfederation.org/about/ethics.aspx?ItemNumber=854




I see the areas you offer coaching in. What if I would like coaching for something different?


Let's talk about it, and explore how we might partner together! Most life coaches, myself included, coach people in a wide variety of areas - including outside their usual area(s) of specialization. But it is important to me that I am the best choice for you. I want to be able to offer you a lot of value for your investment. So if I do not feel that I have sufficient knowledge or experience the area you are interested in, I will do what I can to help you find another life coach.




What is a coaching session like?


Imagine an hour-long conversation ... where YOU set the agenda (goal) for the call ... and by the end of the hour, I have assisted you in achieving that goal! Maybe you wanted to achieve increased awareness about something ... or you have a clearer picture now of what you most want your future to look like ... or you have set a specific goal to start working on ... or you have figured out how you will start working towards your goal .... or you have explored how to deal with a specific obstacle to achieving your goal .... Whatever it was YOU decided to focus on got accomplished in the hour! You feel heard at a deep level, supported, understood, and cared about. You got to talk about your real goals, dreams, and passions! (How often do we get to do that in our daily lives?) Perhaps you had a real insight - or you see you situation differently than you did before. You leave the call feeling more confident and hopeful about making real progress than you did before the call. You feel inspired and hopeful, and eager to take action! You're also a little curious about the "homework" I'll give you to work on (i.e. an exercise, more questions to consider) for the next coaching session. Maybe you were a little nervous. You wondered what kind of questions I would ask you. But you found them really helpful. Maybe I asked you at least one question where you thought to yourself, "That's a good question. I've never really thought about that before!" You're looking forward to next time. You can't wait to report how things went, ... to share your successes! A coaching session is a focused and goal-oriented conversation. During every coaching call, I will ask you what you specifically want to be coached on during the hour - and what specifically you want to leave the call with. A coaching conversation is a more than a general or surface-level conversation. It is not like consulting with someone and getting their advice. It is not like having a conversation with a family member or good friend over coffee or a meal. A coaching conversation is a very deep-level conversation. It is my responsibility to really draw out insights and realizations that may inspire - or even really surprise you. I am responsible to hear not only what you are saying - but what you are really trying to say to me. I listen for the realizations, the real dreams and needs you have, how you really feel about something, etc.




How would our coaching sessions actually work? What kind of technology do I need?


I normally coach people over the phone, using a dial-in free phone conferencing service. The time spent on the conference call is free - however, you NEED TO HAVE any required long-distance plan coverage to be able to dial into the phone conferencing service for free. A benefit of using phone conferencing services is coaching sessions can be recorded. I can send you a copy of session recordings if you like, so that you can listen back to them - and recall things you may have forgotten about... or receive additional insights the second time around! We can also use Zoom or Skype as an alternative to phone coaching. I also provide e-mail coaching, so all you would need is the ability to send and receive e-mails!




What can I expect of YOU as a coach?


There are many things you have a right to expect from me as your coach. You can expect me to:

  • Be fully committed and invested in your success.
  • Care about you, walk right alongside you, and to be genuinely interested in your life.
  • Be honest, available, trustworthy, respectful, and genuine with you.
  • Adhere to the International Coach Federation's Code of Ethics.
  • Encourage and inspire you to create a meaningful vision of your future.
  • Ask you questions that will really make you think, and to provide you with supplemental "homework" that may sometimes be a little challenging. (No, the homework does not have to be turned in for marking!)
  • Be honest with you, and to offer you any feedback or observations in a positive and constructive way.
  • Assist you in evaluating your progress, and designing ways that you will hold yourself accountable.
  • Always provide you with VALUE for the entire duration of our coaching partnership.
  • If I do not feel I have any more to offer you as your coach, I will not continue to coach you - or receive further/continued payment from you. Instead, I will encourage you to seek another appropriate resource, or the support of another life coach, to assist you in continuing to move forward towards your end goal(s).




How long would the coaching last?


How long would the coaching last? How long coaching lasts is different for everyone. For some, it is 1 - 5 sessions ... for others, it can be a number of months. However, YOU are in control of how long the coaching will last! Here are some questions to help you decide:

  • Do you feel you have reached the goals you came to life coaching for?
  • Have you received all the benefit you can out of the coaching sessions?
  • Have you received enough tools that you are confident that you can continue on your own?
  • Do you just need to take a break from regular coaching sessions for a period of time?
As a professional life coach, who adhers to the International Coach Federation's Code of Ethics, I will not continue to coach you if:
  • I feel I have done all I can for you - and I think you would benefit more from continuing on with a different life coach.
  • I feel that counselling, or assistance from another type service or professional, is more appropriate.
  • I think you may be experiencing coaching "overload" - and you may just benefit from taking a break from life coaching for a period of time.
In the above situations, I will provide you a refund for any unused coaching sessions. The BEST outcome is that you have achieved success, and you don't need my services anymore!




Is life coaching confidential?


Yes, all information you provide to me will be treated as confidential, except as required by law, or unless you consent in writing to any release of information. There are some situations in which I am legally obligated to disclose information to protect others from harm, including:

  • If I have information that indicates that a child or elderly or disabled person is being abused, I must report that to the appropriate authority.
  • If you are in imminent risk to yourself, or you make threats of imminent violence against another person, I am required to contact the appropriate authorities so that protective action may be taken.




Do you have any special offers going on right now?


I do! On an ongoing basis, I offer the following:

  • "Refer-a-Friend" - If you are a current Serious Steps client, and a friend you referred to me has become a client and has purchased a coaching package, you will receive two (2), free 1-hour coaching sessions!
  • Client Testimonials Contest - Provide a written testimonial for me to use on this site for your chance to win a free, 1-hour coaching session! (One draw per month!) Share the benefits and successes you achieved working with me, and how your life is different now than it was before for a chance to win!




What if I am not satisfied with the coaching services I receive - or I just decide that coaching isn't for me? What if I bought a coaching package and I end up not needing all the sessions I paid for? Do you have a refund policy?


It is important to me that you are satisfied with our coaching partnership. If you feel your needs are not being met, or you are not satisified with the coaching process itself, please tell me right away - so that we can discuss your needs and adjust your coaching program as needed. If adjustments have been mutually attempted, and you still wish to discontinue coaching, you will receive a refund for any unused sessions remaining in your coaching package. If you end up not requiring all the coaching sessions you originally purchased, you will receive a refund for any unused sessions remaining in your coaching package. A refund for unused sessions will be based on a rate of $65.00 per session.




I still have more questions.


Ask away! Pease feel free to message me any questions you have using the main page "Contact " form!




Can I just sign up for your monthly newsletter for now?


Sure, you can. Serious Step's free newsletter is for everyone!




I'm ready to start coaching! What are my next steps?


Contact me to schedule your free no-obligation, 30-minute, discovery session today! We'll discuss your goals and needs, and mutually determine if Serious Steps coaching is the right choice for you at this time. If we mutually decide to enter into a coaching partnership, I will send you a welcome package of information. I will also assist you to choose a coaching package that is right for you. Once a coaching agreement is signed and payment is received by Serious Steps, we'll schedule your first coaching appointment!





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