Are you looking to work with a coach? When you talk to or visit a coach’s site, are you finding varying lengths of coaching programs? I am not surprised. There are a number of reasons why different coaching programs exist which center on the complexity of the coaching engagement.
In general, there are two types of coaching programs – company sponsored coaching programs and personal direct pay or private coaching programs.
Company Sponsored Coaching Programs
These programs company initiated for a specific reason. Company sponsored coaching programs are predominately offered to executives and high potential employees.
The executive may be a manager, director, vice president or CEO of the company. High potential employees may hold any position and are seen as future leaders or rain makers in the organization. Companies make investments in their development to cultivate and reinforce the skills necessary for career, business or industry success.
Executive coaching focuses on the company or individual’s key career success factors. Some coaching assignments help promising individuals ramp up their career learning curve faster.
Other times, executive coaching addresses a success factor that is failing or derailing and requires the executive to adjust their behavior. In cases of derailment, executives tend to defer responsibility and mitigate the potential implications of not changing their behavior. How long does it take for an executive to assume responsibility? It varies.
Both of these situations require longer programs to be effective – usually six months or longer.
Executive coaching is an effective way to achieve results because executives respond better to one on one development.
Private Coaching Programs
In a private coaching program, the agreement is between the coach and the client – no third parties are involved.
Coaching programs where people pay directly are generally shorter in duration or engage the coach sporadically.
The areas where people seek coaching most often are: career exploration, career transition, work/life balance, personal development and management or leadership development. There is a growing trend for individuals to assume personal accountability for their development in light of cutbacks in internal company development programs.
Individual clients who start coaching services focus on their outcomes more rigorously because the goals are self-generated versus being imposed by a third-party (company). In many cases, coaches offer discounts to direct pay clients because there are fewer reporting requirements and overhead costs.
When in doubt, always ask for more information from the coach you are thinking of working with – by phone, email or in person.