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Coaching FAQ's

Please click on the questions below to view the answers.

Integral coaching® takes a holistic approach to personal and professional development by taking into account the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of a client – so that true insights arise and lasting growth can take place. Other forms of coaching may only focus on one aspect of a person – e.g. your career – and work on that area in isolation.

The Centre for Coaching is a joint venture between the Centre for Coaching (Pty) Ltd and the UCT Graduate School of Business – one of Africa’s leading business schools. The Centre is located at the UCT GSB campus and integrates seamlessly into that institution’s activities.

New Ventures West has been hailed by the International Coach Federation as one of the best coaching schools in the US. The Centre for Coaching collaborates with New Ventures West on course design and to develop appropriate programmes for the South African market.

Coaching is still an emerging industry and therefore still lacks standardisation – particularly here in South Africa. Accreditation ensures that programs are internationally recognised and of a high quality – and sets practising professional coaches apart from ‘chancers’ attempting to enter a largely unregulated industry.

The recommended minimum time is 6 months and many people choose to work with their coach for 9 – 12 months. Ideally, the length of your coaching programme depends on the depth and complexity of the challenges you wish to work on. A minimum of 6 months is recommended to, for example, develop a new competence such as handling performance assessment sessions constructively. A longer period of 12 months or more is required for addressing issues of fundamental change such as a questioning of your life purpose.

If you are experiencing a particularly turbulent or challenging life period, then you might well need a coach for 12 – 18 or even 24 months. But if, after 24 months you find you are still feeling the need for a coach, you might well wish to ask yourself if there is a chance that you are becoming dependent on your coach. This could happen if, for example, your coach was blurring the boundaries between coaching and mentoring or consulting. In this case the coach might be taking the role more as advisor and expert guide instead of coach. Then by all means, if you receive valued advice, and wish to continue, do so – just don’t call it coaching!

Most South African coaches prefer face-to-face coaching, with one session every two weeks for a minimum of 6 months to a maximum of 12 months. Each session lasts one to one-and-a-half hours. For those clients living futher away, one can mix telephonic and face-to-face coaching, and for more remote and international clients, coaches do all sessions telephonically, barring the first one or two, which are face to face.

We believe that it is important to have at least established a personal chemistry between coach and coachee, as well as a visual image of the client to work off for the remainder of the programme.

Only you can decide if you are ready to be coached. You have to want to do this, because your coach is going to need to ask you to apply your attention to areas of your life which you may have ignored or avoided in the past. Ideally, you are ready to be coached if you are curious about yourself and your relationship with the world around you; curious about how you learn, grow and develop. Most importantly, you need to be open to new thoughts, concepts, feelings, ideas and possibilities in all areas of your life.

On a physical and emotional level you need to realise that coaching can be emotionally and spiritually draining at times. Ideally you should have the physical and emotional space available to be able to invest time and energy into your coaching programme.

You will sit down with your coach and agree on what the desired outcomes of your coaching programme are. Whilst you might initially start off with a fairly generic notion such as “I want to improve my relationships”, your coach will assist you to boil this down into observable behaviours so that you can both recognize when this outcome has been achieved. For example, the comment above might be broken down into areas such as:

  • I will reduce conflict levels with my line manager
  • I will participate constructively with my team
  • I will manage to express myself honestly but without offending others
  • I will experience less conflict at home.

Yes – there are several ways of doing this. Some coaches encourage their clients to do a 360-degree appraisal at the start of the programme. This achieves the following:

  • the coach gets a grounded view of how the client is seen and experienced by those around him or her;
  • the coach and the client can identify additional strengths and development areas to work on;
  • the coach is able to design a more grounded and comprehensive programme.

One can then also encourage clients to do the same 360-degree appraisal at the end of the coaching relationship, in order to find out if other people have noticed a change and how they feel about this.

There is no accepted universal code of ethics for the coaching profession as yet. COMENSA has designing and set one up, to which your coach ought to subscribe. If your coach is a member of the ICF, then there is also a clearly articulated code of ethics to which all member coaches need to subscribe. All points are important in this Code, but the one which most clients fret about is that of confidentiality. All coaches, and our trained integral coaches in particular, take confidentiality extremely seriously. It is the bedrock of a successful professional career as a coach – some coaches’ commitment to confidentiality is to follow the code of ethics for the psychology profession in this regard.

Although usually the organization pays, a coach ought to consider their primary client to be the individual. This should always be cleared up front with the organization.

A coach might turn down an assignment, for the following reasons:

  • Coachee not ready or open to coaching.
  • Any assignment where it was felt that the organization expected an inappropriate level of disclosure or discussion with regards to the coachee.
  • Any coaching assignment where the coachee was not engaging with the process.
  • If the coach was required to coach a hierarchical relationship – e. g. a boss and her subordinate. This would not allow trust to develop.

Each client is special and one shares wonderful moments. Here is a story from one coach:-

One memorable case involved a time when I was working with a senior executive who was an extremely driven, technical, impatient, Alpha Male type. Nevertheless, he decided to throw himself fully into the coaching process. Any practice, observation, reading or task that we agreed to, he did meticulously in the fullest possible way.

His insights came to him thick and fast – every session with him was a revelation for both of us. Whole new worlds opened up for him in his personal life, his family relationships, work relationships, team buy-in, and his relationships with his Board improved dramatically.

So much so, that he was offered a huge promotion and international transfer with the comment that they could not consider him previously for this because of his non-existent EQ.

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What our clients say

“In the day-to-day struggle to progress in business we all need tangible tools to empower our staff and ourselves. I believed an MBA at a top university would bring me all that I needed. The MBA was great, but I experienced truly great value by attending IGA courses. In a single day of listening to Kim I have been empowered with more, and better tools than an entire MBA could offer me.”...

Paul Venter
MD, Estates in Africa

Right from the word go my dealings with IGA were of complete professionalism. The insights you provided me with during the personality profiling, the personal conversations we’ve had regarding my individual life skills and test results during the day’s proceedings, and the opportunity to spend a day with an individual that obviously had so much to teach and give, was life changing."...

Corne Groesbeek
Customer Services Manager, NetCB Solutions (Pty) Ltd

As a relatively unknown person I was nominated to stand for Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the largest Golf Estate in South Africa. From the time I briefed Mike, he took control and ownership of the entire campaign. Very soon I was presented with a comprehensive strategic election campaign that was not only professional, but very structured and focused on the key areas. Needless to say, the results far exceeded my expectations..."

Pieter van der Merwe
MD, Various Companies

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