Curious about coaching? Find answers to these frequently-asked questions.
General coaching questions
The International Coach Federation (ICF) defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires maximum personal and professional potential”. The coaching process helps to dramatically improve one’s outlook on work and life, while improving leadership skills and unlocking potential. Each of our coaches is expert in working with individuals to help them do what they love and love what they do. They do this by:
- Encouraging self-discovery
- Eliciting client-generated solutions and strategies
- Holding you, the client, as responsible and accountable
Coaching is a collaborative process – both the coach and the client must play an active role in the process. Since coaching is a partnership, it’s important that you embrace collaboration, other viewpoints, and new perspectives. Ask yourself whether you and your business are ready to devote the time and energy to making real changes. If the answer is yes, then coaching may be a beneficial way to grow and develop.
Professional coaching focuses on setting goals, creating outcomes, and managing personal change. Sometimes it’s helpful to understand coaching by distinguishing it from other personal or organizational support professions.
- Therapy. Therapy is mostly rooted in the past and deals with healing pain, dysfunction, and conflict. The focus is often on improving overall psychological functioning. Coaching, on the other hand, is future-focused and supports personal and professional growth based on actionable strategies for achieving specific goals in one’s work or personal life.
- Consulting. Individuals or organizations retain consultants to diagnose problems and do the work to develop and implement the solutions. With coaching, the individuals or teams are capable of generating their own solutions, with the coach supplying supportive, discovery-based approaches and frameworks along the way.
- Athletic Development. The athletic coach is often seen as an expert who guides and directs the behavior of individuals or teams based on his or her greater experience and knowledge. Professional coaches possess these qualities, but their experience and knowledge of the individual or team determines the direction, and the focus is not on winning or losing.
All the research, and our own experience, tells us the same thing: Most people aren’t confident that they’re working at their full potential. There can be a variety of reasons for this:
- You know you’re capable of even more, but aren’t sure how to unlock the strengths, talents and potential inside you.
- You feel ‘stuck’ and aren’t sure how to get from where you are to where you want to be.
- You ‘fell into’ your career and haven’t ever been certain that it’s the right career for you.
- You’re looking to make a change, big or small, but aren’t sure how to actually do it.
Whatever the reasons, we believe that the vast majority of people will benefit from coaching, no matter what they’re hoping to accomplish. That’s why we started Sayge, after all.
We passionately believe that almost everyone would benefit from coaching, if only they were able to experience it for themselves. Historically, there have been a number of obstacles that have stopped people pursuing coaching, which we’ve set out to dismantle one by one:
Problem 1: (Lack of) Awareness & Understanding.
Although most people have career challenges they’d like help with, they don’t know who to go to to help them solve those challenges. They often don’t trust their manager to be objective and/or sympathetic, nor do they always feel comfortable being entirely open with HR because – ultimately – HR is working for the employer, not the employee. This leaves family and friends who, while sympathetic, usually lack the experience and expertise to be able to offer trustworthy, actionable counsel.
The Sayge Solution: We’re evangelical about the power of coaching to change people’s lives and have made it our mission to demystify and democratize it so that as many people benefit from it as possible.
Problem 2: Affordability. Coaching is often seen as an expensive luxury that’s beyond the reach of those who don’t have a C in their job title. Whether it’s an individual looking for a coach, or an employer looking to offer coaching to their people, coaching has (often justifiably) been perceived as unattainable.
The Sayge Solution: By taking much of the hard work out of establishing a coach-client relationship, we’re able to offer first class coaching at unparalleled prices. We also offer three subscription plans, so that you can pick the plan that’s right for you and your budget.
Problem 3: Finding the right coach.
The coach-client relationship is, by its very nature, a close one. You need to be able to trust your coach and be completely honest and open with them if you are to reap all the benefits of coaching. Until now, finding a coach has been a bit like going on a blind date – difficult to set up and completely unpredictable.
The Sayge Solution:
We’ve built up a roster of world class professional development coaches, each of whom is eminently well-qualified, and each of whom is a unique individual with different strengths and styles. When you sign up to Sayge, we’ll ask you to complete a brief questionnaire so that we can get a good sense of who you are and what you’re looking for. We then take great care to match your profile to the coach that seems best suited to you and your own individual needs.
Problem 4: Convenience and ease.
All too often, the way that coaching happens can feel outdated – you get to talk to your coach at a set time, in a set way, at a set price. It can feel like the coaching is happening on your coach’s terms, not yours.
The Sayge Solution:
We aim to offer flexible scheduling for all live coaching sessions and, knowing that questions and thoughts come up all the time, enable you to message your coach at any time, so that you know you can always call on them if and when you need to.
At Sayge, we’re on a mission to create the most client-focused career coaching service the world has ever seen. We’re doing this in four key ways:
- Educating people about the power of coaching and the life-changing difference it can make.
- Making coaching more affordable than it’s ever been before, so that more people can benefit from it.
- Delivering the most thorough client-coach matching process in the industry, along with the power to switch coaches for any reason, at any time and at no cost.
- Building the easiest, most enjoyable coaching experience on earth.
Sayge coaches can work with you on a wide range of professional development challenges – no problem is too big or too small. You may want help figuring out whether or not you’re on the right path. Perhaps you know the path you want to be on but aren’t sure how to get there. Maybe you’ve just become a new parent, or are a first-time manager. Or there’s a big meeting next week and you don’t know how to prepare for it. In short – if your challenge is work-related, Sayge can help you tackle it head-on.
There’s no ‘right’ answer to this question – everyone’s needs are different and unique to them. Sometimes, one session will be enough (although it’s rare that this happens). Other times, a coach-client relationship may last for several years. The duration of most coach-client relationships, however, is somewhere in between those two extremes.
Absolutely – your privacy is paramount and we take it very seriously. Your conversations with your coach are protected by the agreement you sign with Sayge (in which we commit to never sharing any of your personal information with anyone else) and the professional certification of your coach.
We send surveys to all Sayge participants to ask them about their coaching, so we’re only able to share whatever you tell us. Further, we anonymize all of our survey responses before sharing them, so any feedback you give us will never be attributed to you without your permission.
Questions About Our Coaches
It’s critically important to us that each and every Sayge coach is an experienced, qualified coach who has been personally recommended to us by one or more of their peers. That being the case, all of our coaches are:
- Certified coaches holding an International Coach Federation (ICF)-certified qualification
- Already actively practicing, with a minimum of five existing clients
- Recommended by one of his or her qualified coach peers
We regularly review our roster of coaches and solicit client feedback, to ensure that the quality of coaching meets the high standards we expect and promise.
The ICF is the International Coach Federation, the world’s largest coaching organization. ICF-certified credentials are the gold standard of coaching qualifications.
Although much progress has been made in the coaching industry in terms of credentials and qualifications, there’s still much room for improvement when it comes to standardization and regulation. Indeed, anyone can call themselves a career coach and set up in business, even if they don’t have any formal qualifications. At Sayge, we think it’s vitally important to know that your coach is highly-trained and experienced, which is why we only work with ICF-certified coaches.
You will be assigned a coach based on your profile and your goals. They will be the only coach you work with up until you reach a point in your career where you require a coach with a different skillset.
A coach can be, and usually is, many different things – partner, trainer, sounding board, motivator, supporter, mentor and many other things besides. Depending on your own challenges, you can expect your coach to be any and all of these things. You should not, however, expect your coach to do all the work for you. Coaching is very much a collaborative partnership between coach and client. In the same way that a personal trainer can’t lift weights for you, your coach won’t solve all your challenges all by themselves. Instead, you’ll work together on those challenges – which is what makes it such an enjoyable and rewarding process.
Absolutely. You can change your coach at any time. Just let us know if you’d like to do that and we’ll assign you a new coach at no cost to you.
Absolutely – at any time for any reason. We’d love to know why so we can improve the service, but you’re under no obligation to tell us.
Yes, we can easily switch you to a personal plan and you can pay for your subscription directly, or transfer it to your new employer.