A look at what professional coaching is and what you can expect from professional coaching by Andreas Gross (a pitch for services from Andreas Philip Gross Enterprises - com'on, let's be shameless [evil smile]). Today's post, however, starts with a mostly unrelated reflection (unrelated to coaching) on Veterans Day/Armistice Day, since today is November 11th.
Last Updated: 11/11/2021
Hi Ladies and Gents,
Andreas here on the Andreas Philip Gross Enterprises blog! Happy Veterans Day! Today is a very important day not just in the U.S. (celebrated as Veterans Day in the US), but in numerous countries around the world, as November 11th, 1918, marked the signing of the armistice that effectively ended the fighting in World War I (although it would be another 7 and a half months before the Treaty of Versailles was signed that actually formally ended the war). The day was originally celebrated/commemorated as Armistice Day in many Allied nations, and is still called so in some. Other countries changed the name of the day around the years before and after World War II. In Great Britain and many Commonwealth nations, the day is now known as Remembrance Day. In the U.S., the name of the day was changed to Veterans Day several years after World War II. In the US, the day now commemorates veterans of all military conflicts and those currently serving in the armed forces. Just three years ago, on November 11th, 2018, the world celebrated a very special Armistice Day as humanity marked the 100-year anniversary of the end of World War I.
In China, where I live at the moment, there is no mention of Armistice Day, and the day is not such a happy one to remember, at least in terms of nationalistic memories of the ending of World War I. China's role in the First World War was rather unique (you can read about that here: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/surprisingly-important-role-china-played-world-war-i-180964532/ and in the other articles linked to in this post). While China never actually sent troops into battle, well over 300,000 Chinese volunteered and served the Allied Powers in the Russian, French, and British militaries as trench-diggers, munitions factory workers, road and railway builders, battle equipment mechanics, and battle field ‘clean-up crews’ – “a gruesome and thankless job,” as this article in The Diplomat so rightly puts it (https://thediplomat.com/2018/11/why-didnt-china-honor-its-world-war-i-dead/). In the end of the day, the Allied Powers themselves wound up serving up China the short end of the stick at the Treaty of Versailles, giving the German-held concessions in the Province of Shandong (formerly Chinese territory before the Germans took it) to the Japanese at the end of the war after the Allied victory. This German-held territory in Shandong was precisely the territory that China was trying to win back through their affiliation with the Allies.
You see, China had hoped that the foreign concessions in Shandong would go back into Chinese hands if the Allied Powers won the war...but it was much more complicated than that! The Japanese were also supporting the Allied Powers in World War I. The Japanese Imperial Military actually fought in the war on the side of the Allied Powers and stormed the German concessions in Shandong, China, (at the request of the European Allies) and effectively got the Germans to surrender. Thus, the Japanese were now left (very happily) administering the foreign concessions of Shandong – just what they wanted! And the Japanese hoped it would remain this way with the blessings of the European Allied Powers after an Allied victory at the end of the war as well...and so it did! The Treaty of Versailles gave the German concessions of Shandong, China, to the Japanese! Infuriated over this, China refused to sign the Treaty of Versailles in the end, feeling back-stabbed the by the Allied Forces whom they had so firmly supported. Because of the Treaty of Versailles incident, this sparked what is known as the May 4th Movement (no, not “Star Wars Day” – this was long before that!) in China and the establishment of The Communist Party of China just two years later in 1921. You can read more about how China views World War I here: https://nationalinterest.org/feature/how-china-sees-world-war-i-11949 and in the other links above.
In China today, November 11th has nothing to do with the military or war remembrance. November 11th is unofficially recognized and celebrated as “Singles Day,” as the date 11/11 is, essentially, all “ones” (“single sticks”). Supposedly it is a day that single people celebrate the love of their single life; but what it really amounts to is a massive online shopping day, with tons of hype leading up to it and tons of mega blowout sales on the day of. Very much like Cyber Monday in the U.S.
Whether we spend today remembering the end of World War One 103 years ago, recognizing those who have served or are serving in the military, or having a wild online shopping spree (or some, all, or none of the above), today's post is really about professional coaching. As in remembering the end of the Great War, I want to remind you all, dear readers, that coaching is a cornerstone service offered here at Andreas Philip Gross Enterprises.
What exactly is “professional coaching,” you may ask? The International Coaching Federation (ICF) defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.” Some key words here are “thought-provoking,” “creative,” “process,” “inspire,” “maximize,” and “potential,” although I personally like to thinking of coaching as helping people to “optimize” as opposed to “maximize” (and you can very much expect that attitude from me as your coach).
A professional coach works with his or her client as a partner in an open, trusting space where free-thought, creativity, and inspiration rule. The coach works with the client (coachee) to help him/her unlock his/her own potential and optimize his or her world.
Coaching focuses on the present and the future - how you can work with what you have right now to move forward and optimize the situation you are looking to optimize. In this regard, coaching is different than therapy or counseling, which largely aim to work through and heal tough problems and roadblocks that are lingering from past events and experiences. Although sometimes it can be helpful to take a quick look at your past to get your bearings and know where you have come from in a coaching relationship, coaching is not a “heal the past” type of activity.
Furthermore, coaching is a very client-centered practice. In contrast to consulting or training, coaches do not offer advice or suggest solutions to issues or problems. Instead, the coach helps the client to see inside him or herself to unlock the inner lock that is holding him/her back. The coach creates the space and runs the logistics of the coaching session, the client is the one who actually does the work and has the breakthroughs! The coach is the car with the built in GPS. The client is the driver.
Let’s take this aforementioned GPS model a step further, because I really like to think of professional coaching and what a professional coach does in terms of being a navigator. You can picture this navigator as a modern GPS or an ‘old school’ human navigator (a person highly skilled at map reading), whichever fits your fancy; but, essentially, in the end of the day, whether a real person or all-automatic, they are both the same: a navigator helps guide you from Point A to Point B, but you (the coachee), are the one in the driver’s seat driving. YOU are the driver. Sure, the navigator can tell you such factual things as “you have just turned on to a primitive road with no warning signs,” or “this route merges with the freeway in 2 miles,” but you are still the one in the driver seat. You are still the one driving. You still have to decide whether or not you want to continue following the current route, or if you want to take a different route. I feel that this analogy is the perfect way to describe what a coach does, how the coachee fits into the relationship, and how the two work with each other.
Who do I coach? I am a career international K-12 educator by profession with 13+ years of teaching experience and 9+ years of educational leadership (at the time of this writing) and counting. I am also an ICF-trained coach. Because of my background in education, I work with teachers and entrepreneurs, namely, teachers who are thinking about starting or who have recently started their own business but aren’t quite sure how to get started and/or get it to really blast off; and businesspeople who are thinking about getting into or who have recently transitioned into education. I also work with teachers and educational leaders within school settings (i.e. not starting a business) who are looking to up their game and re-enliven their professional careers in education (instructional coaching).
When you come to me for coaching, we will start out with a “Discovery Session.” This is our very first session together where we take the time to get to know each other; talk about what you want coaching around; short-term and long-term goals and expectations we both have for our Coaching Partnership; guidelines, scheduling, and other logistical details of the Coaching Partnership; and generally seek to determine if we both feel we could form a meaningful Coaching Partnership together or not. The Discovery Session is not an “actual” coaching session, per say, it is more akin to a conversation between two people determining if they would be a good fit working together. If we determine that we would not be good coaching partners, then we simply go our separate ways after the Discovery Session and that is that. If we determine that we would be good coaching partners, then I will send you a Coaching Agreement for you to read through and sign (I will sign it, too) before our next session, which is the Intake Session. A one-time, non-refundable fee is charged for the Intake Session in advance.
The Intake Session, while similar to the Discovery Session in some ways, is the first “real” Coaching Session in the sense that we will actually get into some “real” coaching during this session. The Intake Session focuses heavily on solidifying clear expectations for the two of us partnering together and setting specific goals for our time together – both short-term goals and long-term goals. During the Intake Session we will revisit and review the items we discussed in the Discovery Session; discuss, hone, and focus goals; and look at where priorities lie. A one-time, non-refundable fee is charged for the Intake Session in advance. Again, at the end of the Intake Session we will check-in with each other. If we still feel that we are a good fit for each other and we want to continue moving forward with our Coaching Partnership as outlined in the Coaching Agreement we have both signed, then we’ll go ahead and do just that. Our next session would then be the real-deal Session 1. If we decide after the Intake Session that we are not a good fit, then that is that, we can agree to terminate our Coaching Agreement, cease moving forward, and go our separate ways. Even if we do happen to decide after our Intake Session that we are not a good fit, after the session you should have a clearer picture of some of your bigger goals and where your general priorities around these goals lie.
If we do go ahead and move into Session 1, we will have between two to three paid sessions (check out the Coaching Page here for more particulars on packages) and then a Midpoint Check-In Session. The Midpoint Check-In Session is free. The Midpoint Check-In Session, as the name suggests, is a free session where we check-in and see how everything is going. Similar to the Discovery Session, the Midpoint Check-In is not a “true” coaching session, but more of a conversation and debriefing. If we need to make any tweaks or modifications to our program going forward, we will talk about this during the Midpoint Check-In.
After the Midpoint Check-In we will have two or three more paid coaching sessions and then our Final Session (which is also free). In a nutshell, this is the general layout of what you can expect from a basic coaching package with me. I offer a longer-term package as well, and am also do coaching on a session-to-session basis.
This was the first Coaching Is... post for this blog, and I realize it has turned out quite wordy and logistical. In the future, you can expect at least one Coaching Is... post every month here on the Andreas Philip Gross Enterprises blog, and most posts moving forward will try to offer some insights and/or techniques you can use in your daily lives to light your life on fire!
Some things to think about until next time.
Better life, better business, better you!
Ideas, inspiration, opportunity,
Andreas Philip Gross Enterprises
Washington State Certified K-8 Educator, K-12 International Education Consultant, Professional Coach, Proofreader/Editor, Affiliate Marketer, Popsicle Stick Crafter, Print-on-Demand Products Designer, and Webmaster (check out:
Looking for a professional coach? I’m your man! Let’s chat.
International K-12 Educator,