Coaching FAQs

What is coaching?

Coaching is a technology of personal and professional development based on concepts from sports, business, spirituality, psychology and organizational development.  But unlike most other coaches, our firm uses one or more assessment tools that allow science to guide our coaching sessions and strategies, enabling us to be laser-focused and productive.

Coaching is for passionate people who want more from their personal and business lives. The role of a coach is to help clients set larger and more rewarding goals than they might set on their own, to develop a strategy to achieve those goals and to provide support throughout the process. Having a coach is not unlike having a personal trainer or an athletic coach; a coach applies similar skills to personal or business challenges.

What are the benefits of coaching?

Individuals who enter into a coaching relationship can expect to experience fresh perspectives on personal challenges and opportunities, enhanced thinking and decision-making skills, enhanced interpersonal effectiveness, and increased confidence in carrying out their chosen work and life roles. Consistent with a commitment to enhancing their personal effectiveness, they can also expect to see appreciable results in the areas of productivity, personal satisfaction with life and work, as well as the achievement of personally relevant goals.

How does coaching work?

Coaching works when the client is experiencing a gap between where they are and where they want to be.  Successful coaching clients know the value of sharing ideas with an objective individual whose only goal is the success of the client, as he or she (the client) defines it.   Often times, a client gains complete clarity when talking about options with someone who listens with a non-judgmental ear.

Coaching works because of three unique features:

  • SYNERGY: Client and coach become a team focusing on the client’s goals and needs and accomplishing more than the client would alone.
  • STRUCTURE: With a coach, the client takes more actions, thinks bigger and gets the job done, thanks to the accountability the coach provides.
  • EXPERTISE: The coach helps clients make better decisions, set goals, develop new skills for communicating as well as to restructure their professional and personal lives for maximum productivity.

Where do you start with a coach?

The Ann Babiarz & Associates, LLC coaching process starts with one or more assessments, followed by a special client meeting or call that serves as a dual interview process.   Shortly thereafter, both parties design a list of goals.

How do the subsequent coaching sessions work?

Subsequent coaching is usually done via telephone or Skype, allowing frequent, regular contact. The person coached completes a coaching call strategy form prior to each call, describing the current challenges and the progress that he or she has made since the last call.

With our concierge coaching process, people are typically coached multiple sessions per month.  A concierge client and coach may also communicate as needed between sessions via e-mail or similar means.  There are no fixed number of sessions nor fixed length. We tailor the coaching to suit the client’s individual needs.

The coach helps the client solve problems and make the most of opportunities. The coach draws distinctions, adds missing principles or structure, strategizes, and provides the support needed to reach goals. There is often “fieldwork”, where the client is given a formula, new perspective or a challenge to try something in a new way.

Between coaching sessions, the individual may be asked to complete specific tasks that support the achievement of one’s personally prioritized goals. The coach may provide or suggest additional resources in the form of relevant articles, books or programs, checklists, additional assessments, or models to bolster the individual’s thinking and actions.

Assessments provide objective information that can enhance the individual’s self-awareness as well as the awareness of others and their circumstances, provide a benchmark for creating coaching goals and actionable strategies, and offer a method of evaluating progress.

A variety of concepts, models and principles drawn from behavioral sciences, management literature, spiritual traditions and / or the arts and humanities may be incorporated into the coaching conversation in order to increase the individual’s self awareness and awareness of others, foster shifts in perspective, promote fresh insights, and energize and inspire the individual’s forward actions.

At the end of the coaching process, the client will have in hand a strategic plan to move forward towards a better lifestyle.

What happens when you contract with a coach?

  • You use time wisely and learn to be productive rather than busy.
  • You take yourself and what you want more seriously.
  • You take more effective and focused actions immediately.
  • You stop putting up with stuff that gets in your way.
  • You create momentum to achieve more, be more balanced and develop more powerful management skills.
  • You set goals that are clear and meet your needs.
  • You identify and eliminate the barriers that get in the way of the achievement of goals.
  • You communicate about what you need and want from others in more responsible way.

Why should I select Ann as my coach?

Ann is a highly qualified coach. She has coached for over 20 years and holds the following certifications:

  • International Coach Federation Professional Certified Coach (PCC)
  • iPEC Certified Professional Coach, (ICF Accredited Training Program)
  • iPEC & Genos Certified Emotional Intelligence Coach (ICF Accredited Training Program)
  • iPEC Master Practioner-Energy Leadership Incex (ICF Accredited Training Program)

For more information about Ann’s background and credentials, see the “About Ann ” section of this website.

Why should I select Michael as my coach?

Michael retired from the practice of law after twenty-five years.  During his time as an attorney, not only did he consult with numerous small business entrepreneurs on start-up and operational issues, he also started and ran several small businesses as sole proprieter, partner, or shareholder/member.  He also assisted hundreds of clients as they transitioned to retirement, or to the next phase of their lives.  In addition to his Juris Doctor degree (with high distinction), he is a certified life coach.

For more information about Michael’s background and credentials, see the “About Michael” section of this website.

Can I select both Ann & Michael as my coach?

You will, automatically! We use a team approach to coaching, combining our differing skills to best benefit our clients.


How can an entrepreneur use a coach?

Whether you are re-starting your business after an unexpected interruption, or want to exit your company, or want to start a new venture as part of your retirement plan, a coach can assist in many ways, such as assisting you in reaching your targets and goals, integrating your business with your personal life for appropriate balance, prioritizing actions and projects, turning around difficult situations, learning efficiencies of the successful entrepreneur, and helping with business or personal problems.  Most of all, you retrain your brain to think strategically.

How long does a coach work with an individual?

We find that new clients need three to six months of coaching for optimal success.

How do you ensure a compatible coaching relationship?

Be prepared to design the  relationship with your coach.  Discuss your goals for coaching within the context of the coach’s specialty or the coach’s preferred way of working with an individual, business, or team.

Specifically, what will the coach do? The individual?

The role of the coach is to:

  • Provide objective assessment and observations that foster the individual’s enhanced self-awareness and awareness of others,
  • Practice astute listening in order to garner a full understanding of the individual’s circumstances,
  • To be a sounding board for possibility thinking and thoughtful planning and decision making,
  • To champion opportunities and potential, encourage stretch and challenge commensurate with personal strengths and aspirations,
  • To foster the shifts in thinking that reveal fresh perspectives, challenge blind spots in order to illuminate new possibilities, and support the creation of alternative scenarios.
  • To assist the client towards greater success.
  • To maintain professional boundaries in the coaching relationship, including confidentiality, and to adhere to the coaching profession’s code of ethics.

The role of the individual is to:

  • Create the coaching agenda based on personally meaningful coaching goals,
  • Utilize assessment and observations to enhance self-awareness and awareness of others,
  • Envision personal and/or organizational success,
  • Assume full responsibility for personal decisions and actions,
  • Utilize the coaching process to promote possibility thinking and fresh perspectives,
  • Take courageous action in alignment with personal goals and aspirations,
  • Engage big picture thinking and problem solving skills,
  • Utilize the tools, concepts, models and principles provided by the coach to engage effective forward actions.

What does coaching ask of an individual?

To be successful, coaching asks certain things of the individual, all of which begin with intention.

  • Focus—on yourself, the tough questions, the hard truths, and your success.
  • Observation—the behaviors and communications of others.
  • Listening—to your intuition, assumptions, judgments, and to the way you sound when you speak.
  • Self-discipline—to challenge existing attitudes, beliefs and behaviors and to develop new ones, which serve your goals in a superior way.
  • Style—leveraging personal strengths and overcoming limitations in order to develop a winning style.
  • Decisive actions—however uncomfortable, and in spite of personal insecurities, in order to reach for the extraordinary.
  • Compassion—for yourself as you experiment with new behaviors, experiences setbacks—and for others as they do the same
  • Humor—committing to not take yourself so seriously, using humor to lighten and brighten any situation.
  • Personal control—maintaining composure in the face of disappointment and unmet expectations, avoiding emotional reactivity.
  • Courage—to reach for more than before, to shift out of being fear based to being in abundance as a core strategy for success, to engage in continual self-examination, to overcome internal and external obstacles.

How can the success of the coaching process be measured?

Measurement may be thought of in two distinct ways:

  • First, there are the external indicators of performance: measures that can be seen and assessed in the individual environment.
  • Second, there are internal indicators of success: measures which are inherent within the individual being coached.

Ideally, both external and internal metrics are incorporated.

Examples of external measures include:

  • Achievement of coaching goals established at the outset of the coaching relationship,
  • increased income/revenue,
  • Performance feedback which is obtained from a sample of the individual’s constituents (e.g., direct reports, colleagues, customers, family, volunteer organizations),
  • Personal and/or business performance data (e.g., productivity, efficiency measures).

The external measures selected should ideally be things the individual is already measuring and are things the individual has some ability to directly influence.

Examples of internal measures include self-scoring/self-validating assessments that can be administered initially and at regular intervals in the coaching process, changes in the individual’s self-awareness and awareness of others, shifts in thinking which inform more effective actions, and shifts in one’s emotional state which inspire confidence.

How is coaching distinct from other service professions?    

Professional coaching is a distinct service that focuses on an individual’s life or business as it relates to goal setting, outcome creation and personal change. In an effort to understand what a coach is, it can be helpful to distinguish coaching from other professions.

  • Therapy—Coaching can be distinguished from therapy in a number of ways. First, coaching is a profession that aids personal and professional growth and development based on individual-initiated change in pursuit of specific actionable outcomes. These outcomes are linked to personal or professional success. Coaching is forward moving and future focused. Therapy, on the other hand, deals with healing pain, dysfunction and conflict within an individual or a relationship between two or more individuals. The focus is often on resolving difficulties arising from the past which hamper an individual’s emotional functioning in the present, improving overall psychological functioning, and dealing with present life and work circumstances in more emotionally healthy ways. Therapy outcomes often include improved emotional/feeling states. While positive feelings/emotions may be a natural outcome of coaching, the primary focus is on creating actionable strategies for achieving specific goals in one’s work or personal life. The emphasis in a coaching relationship is  action, accountability, and follow through.
  • Mentoring—Mentoring, which can be thought of as guiding from one’s own experience or sharing of experience in a specific area of industry or career development, is sometimes confused with coaching. Although some coaches provide mentoring as part of their coaching, such as in mentor coaching new coaches, coaches are not typically mentors to those they coach.
  • Training—Training programs are based on the acquisition of certain learning objectives as set out by the trainer or instructor. Though objectives are clarified in the coaching process, they are set by the individual or team being coached with guidance provided by the coach. Training also assumes a linear learning path which coincides with an established curriculum. Coaching is less linear without a set curriculum plan.
  • Athletic Development—Though sports metaphors are often used, professional coaching is different from the traditional sports coach. 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 it is the experience and knowledge of the individual or team that determines the direction. Additionally, professional coaching, unlike athletic development, does not focus on behaviors that are being executed poorly or incorrectly. Instead, the focus is on identifying opportunity for development based on individual strengths and capabilities.

What has caused the tremendous growth in the coaching industry?

Coaching has grown significantly for many reasons. The world has changed a great deal, and coaching is a useful tool to deal with many of those changes. Coaching is a great tool in today’s challenging job market where many choose self-employment and entrepreneurship over traditional work.  It is also a key tool in preparing for retirement, one of the most important life decisions that any individual will make.  Some of the real life factors include:

  • Rapid changes in the external business environment.  This includes the replacement of the traditional pension with the self-funded retirement plan.
  • Retirement planning traditionally focuses on legal and financial aspects. These are two important elements, but a third, critical component, lifestyle, is often neglected. Coaching can assist in shoring up this third, crucial leg for a successful and exciting retirement or transition to a next phase of life.
  • Downsizing, restructuring, mergers and other organizational changes have radically altered what has been termed the “traditional employment contract”—companies can no longer achieve results using traditional management approaches and hire independent contractors in lieu of employees.
  • There is a growing shortage of talented employees in certain industries—to succeed,  businesses look to other businesses or older workers to provide competencies.   Retirees are often called back to assist.
  • There is unrest on the part of many employees and leaders in many companies—people are wrestling with fears of job insecurity and increased workplace pressures.  Larger organizations fail to develop inclusive, collaborative work environments in order to achieve strategic business goals, and to maintain high levels of customer satisfaction, leaving key individuals to “do it better themselves.”
  • There are personal and business issues individuals now face in a more open society, from self-identification to being alternatively enabled, that require a shift in thinking, one that helps the client go from chaos to clarity to a successful, fulfilling life.
  • There is a greater emphasis on passion, legacy and meaning in life.

In addition, individuals who have experienced the excellent results of coaching are talking to more people about coaching. In short, coaching helps people focus on what matters most to them in life: business and personal. People today are more open to the idea of being in charge of their own lives.

What is in the area called Private Client’s Area?

In this area you can:

  • Complete your Welcome Packet
  • Update various documents (such as Client Profile, Goals, Discovery, Evaluations), we will use in the coaching relationship
  • Process your coaching payments
  • Schedule your coaching appointments
  • Enjoy various materials posted for your use
  • Complete your Call Strategy prior to you coaching session

How do I access your Client’s Only Area?

  • Click on my website (
  • Select “Private client and Mastermind Group login” on the bottom of the page or click on the button marked “Private Clients”.
  • Once you are on the main page of the Private Clients Area, enter your login credentials.
  • You will know you have successfully logged into this area when the webpage displays: Welcome XXXXXX! in the upper left corner.

What do I do if I have to re-schedule an appointment?

Simply access the “Clients Only Area” by logging in with your username and password and access the on-line calendar to re-schedule. Click on an available time to schedule an appointment. Click on an appointment to modify or cancel it.  We both will receive instant emails confirming the changes.

If you must reschedule, please do so at least 48 hours in advance. If you need to reschedule within 48 hours, please call my office.  Be aware that rescheduling an appointment with less than a 48 hour notice may cause the original time to be counted as a completed session.

What happens if I miss a call due to an emergency?

Please e-mail or call for further instructions.

What if I’ve lost my password?

Not a problem! When you go to the home page of the private clients area and click on the “Login” link at the top center, you will be able to enter your username and then click on the “I FORGOT MY PASSWORD” button. The system will automatically send you an email with your password included. Should you misplace your username, send an email and you will be sent your username.

Your credentials are impressive.  This sounds expensive!

Coaching is surprisingly cost-effective.  Moreover, because we typically do not bill by the session or hour, clients find our coaching and consulting to be a great value.

Michael was a licensed attorney and Ann held numerous certifications and licensing in the securities field. Do you offer legal advice or financial advice?

No. If these issues arise, we direct you to appropriate professionals for assistance.