Frequently Asked Questions
What is “coaching,” anyway?
Where are you located?
One way to answer that is “on the phone.” Most of our coaching work is done on the phone, which is very convenient for our clients. Rob is based in New York City. Other members of our team are located around the country.
What size businesses do you work with?
Our clients are typically already established, already established businesses doing $2-$20 million in revenue. Many of our clients are larger than that, many are smaller. Occasionally we work with start-ups. For more information, please contact us.
Do you specialize in certain industries?
No. We specialize in small to mid-size businesses. Most of what we do does not require industry expertise in our client’s industry – our client has that expertise. Of course, we do become familiar with our client’s industry. How we help applies to companies in any industry.
But what if I need a consultant with expertise in my industry?
As coaches and organizational consultants, we know that there are times that you need additional expertise in your industry brought in. We’re accustomed to working alongside industry and technical experts (after all, our clients are experts in their industries) – and at times help to bring them to our client. For more information, please contact us.
Do you work with non-profits?
Yes! When we say “company” or “business,” we aren’t referring just to for-profit businesses. We realize that, on the one hand, non-profits are businesses too. They have many similar needs and opportunities as for-profits. We also know, on the other hand, that non-profits have operating conditions and “markets” that differ from for-profits. It’s because of that even-handed approach that our non-profit clients work with us.
How do I decide who to work with as my coach?
There are many factors that count, but the two that we find are most important are that the coach have the right skills and abilities to help the client and that the coach and the client have good “chemistry” together. When the two line up, it’s a good fit. Though it rarely occurs, when a coach and coaching client do not have sufficient chemistry. We make every effort to work through them and ultimately may elect to match a different coach who is compatible. For more information, please contact us.
Does it matter whether my coach and I work in person? In the same town?
For most clients, we have found that it is not necessary to have coaching sessions in person. In fact, most of our clients are not located in the same town as their coaches. Our coaches work around the country every week without leaving their offices because the phone is so convenient (and much less expensive than travel!).
Are there times when you will work with me on site at my place of business?
Yes. There are definitely times when it makes sense to meet in person at your place of business. Especially for certain types of organizational consulting projects or to facilitate meetings. Also, there are some coaching clients who strongly prefer to work with their coach in person. We do that at our client’s work place or at other appropriate locations. For more information, please contact us.
What if I already have enough advisors?
We are glad when our clients have good advisors and mentors. That doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t benefit from having a coach. This question, like the next (“What if I already have a mentor?”), incorrectly implies or assumes that coaches and advisors (or coaches and mentors) are one and the same. In fact they operate in different capacities. An advisor typically gives advice you can take or leave. Good advisors are valuable contributors in a business leader’s support system. A coach works with you to develop, draw on and rely on your instincts and inner wisdom rather than simply “give advice,” although there are times coaches also give advice. Further, we work with you regularly, creating a system of “supportive accountability.” We help you be accountable to yourself, on behalf of yourself, to take the steps necessary to achieve your stated objectives, and see you through to achieving them.
What if I already have a mentor?
A mentor takes a personal interest in the “mentee,” sharing from his or her experience and wisdom, connections, resources, etc. (often within the same field or industry), to guide the mentee and help smooth the way to success. Having a good mentor can be a wonderful and productive relationship. A mentor often does not meet with you as often as your coach does nor provide the same structure of support. Furthermore, while a mentor’s guidance is often industry specific, a coach’s guidance focuses not just on helping you take the steps to achieve your business goals (and manage your business more effectively) but acquire the leadership behaviors that contribute to your success. (For more on the contrast, see the answer to the question above, “What if I already have enough advisors?”) For more information, please contact us.
Isn’t coaching just “business therapy”? How is this different than therapy?
Coaching is a very flexible and often deeply personal approach that appears, at times, to have methods or applications used by therapists. Coaching is not psychiatric therapy, nor a substitute for a licensed therapist. If we believe that psychiatric therapy would be a useful or necessary complement with or replacement for coaching, and our client is not currently in therapy, we will either continue our coaching work, recommend the use of a therapist, or may even withdraw from providing coaching services if we feel it is in the interest of the client, the coach, or Management Resources.
Is coaching confidential?
Our effectiveness – our business – depends on being reliable, trustworthy, discreet, and confidential. With a client’s permission, we may speak in general terms with other members of a team about some of the topics or efforts we work on. When a coach meets with one of our supervising coaches, they may discuss a client’s work. Our coaches and our supervising coaches treat our coaching relationships with the highest confidentiality. (It should be noted that coaching conversations and documents do not have the same legal protections as those with a doctor or lawyer.) For more information, please contact us.
Why should I work with a coach
We see you as the expert in your business and life. We are experts in personal development, and the process of eliciting your answers rather than providing them. We get the right things on and off your plate to free you to do the work you wish you were doing (and the business needs you to do).
Can a regular hour-long coaching session really make that big a difference for me and my business?
Yes. Our clients are generally highly accomplished, highly successful people and they hire us to coach them. Their time is scarce and precious but they make time for coaching. It’s worth it to them. It’s valuable to them. It helps them be, get, have, and do more of what’s important to them. For many clients, the coaching session is their one regular “sacred hour” to get away from the fray, view things from above, and sharpen their own decision-making and performance. For more information, please contact us.
How much do you charge per hour?
We don’t work that way. Neither the cost nor benefit of coaching is measured by dollars per hour but by value across time. That’s why our coaching is by retainer. Coaching is often the highest leverage on the consulting dollar. A little goes a long way. We don’t “rack up the hours” to get the job done. Our philosophy is that we shouldn’t earn less for being super-efficient and productive with your time (and ours). Instead, our approach is to share in the value we help create for what are some of the most important things in a business owner’s life.
Can you work with more than one person on a leadership team?
Yes. In fact, in our experience, working with two members of a leadership team yields three times the value because of synergies. Likewise there are synergies when we work with multiple members of a team. For more information, please contact us.
Does the way you work with a client change when you coach more than one member of a team?
Yes. We often will set up additional periodic meetings (usually monthly or quarterly) where we bring together multiple team members we coach for purposes of coordination, communication, and other benefits.
Do you do “group coaching”?
Yes, but not as the routine meeting. As mentioned under coaching multiple members of a team, we bring them together to meet as a group periodically. However, each member of the team still benefits from one-on-one work with their coach(es), work that may be personally confidential and that would not get addressed if they only received coaching in a group setting. For more information, please contact us.
What if my employee is the one who needs a coach?
There are two types of “needs a coach:” 1. To help foster and achieve their potential and 2. To help “solve a problem.” Each type may be reason enough to coach your employee (assuming they welcome coaching). However, we find that when it is the second type, it can often be because the employer may not know how to handle the particular challenge with the employee. Rather than coach the “problem” employee, it may be far more beneficial to the employer to be coached how to (a) deal more effectively with that kind of problem, with this employee and future ones, (b) learn how to prevent such problems from emerging in the first place, and (c) grow in their own management and leadership skills.
What if my boss is the one who needs a coach?
You’re not the first to ask! Often the employee sees the potential benefit to the boss of the boss working with a coach (and all too often sees true shortcomings in a boss’s current level of management know-how and manner). Sometimes the boss is amenable to a helpful suggestion but that is very situational to the boss, the employee, and the way and timing it is brought up. We don’t recommend bringing it up unless you really know what you’re doing. However, we often coach people with bosses in much the same way we coach the top boss. One added feature: We help you “manage up” more effectively and find ways to make your job work for you better when you have a “challenging” boss. For more information, please contact us.
What if my business partner is the one who needs a coach? This is kind of a hybrid of the FAQs “What if my employee is the one who needs a coach” and “What if my boss is the one who needs a coach.” Reading both will help answer your question.