Have you Considered Coaching? Coaching@UBC

Have you ever taken a PD program and thought, “this was great information, but I how do I use this in my office?” Tried to implement a process and weren’t sure how to go about it? Are you looking to make a move in your job? Or maybe everything is great with your work, but you are wondering how you can build on your strengths and interests?

If you are looking to improve your leadership skills, relationships at work, or even your general enjoyment of work, perhaps coaching is the next step for you.

Coaching @ UBC offers 1-on-1 Coaching Services to AAPS members free of charge.

Coaching@UBC program established 1-on-1 Coaching Services in 2002 and has grown to host a roster of 70 combined internal and external coaches that are able to provide up to six free sessions on a particular issue or goal. All coaches have been trained and certified by an International Coach Federation (ICF) Accredited Coach Training Program.

Registering for the program is easy:

Read the How to Select a Coach page and review the profiles of available internal and external coaches.

  1. Select up to three coaches from the availability list
  2. Confirm the agreement
  3. Fill in the contact form
  4. Submit

Your request will be sent to the three coaches you selected and they will email you back within two weeks. You can then set up introductory meetings to determine which coach you would like to work with.

Once you have selected your coach, you and your coach take it from there, determining meeting times, locations and the number of sessions. If the coach you would like to work with is not currently available, check back in a few weeks as the roster is always changing. Questions? Contact Program Manager and Coach Catharine Chang.

Staff is encouraged to integrate coaching into their professional practice through workshops, courses, or by completing an International Coach Federation (ICF) Accredited Coach Training Program. AAPS members who are interested in becoming a certified coach from an ICF Accredited Coach Training Program may apply for the Coaching Internship Program. Coaching at UBC is currently taking applications.

What is Coaching?

Coaching is an interdisciplinary practice that developed out of the fields of psychology, athletics, adult education, organizational development, and neuroscience. Through a series of candid and confidential dialogues, coaches facilitate a client’s progress towards a goal or outcome.

There are different methodologies and specialties in coaching depending on the client’s needs, and the coach’s background and training. Each coaching experience is unique. The client and coach work collaboratively as equal, active participants in the process. The coach provides their expertise, tools, and an outside lens to the process and the client provides their ideas and experiences. The client is responsible for creating their own decisions and results throughout the coaching process.

A coach is not a counsellor, a therapist, or a psychologist. These disciplines tend to follow an expert/client model, whereas coaching is a partnership. Coaching is future-focused and action-oriented. It can be a very useful tool to achieving higher performance and satisfaction in the areas of professional development, organization development, and personal development.  

What Can a Coach Assist Me With?

A coach can facilitate a process for you to organize thoughts, explore ideas, and get clarity around issues or set a goal.

More specifically coaching can facilitate

  • Implementing a change
  • Integrating a new practice, process, or education (such as something you learned in PD)
  • Improving leadership or team skills
  • Career navigation
  • Building self-awareness
  • Improving effectiveness
  • Finding what you are good at and helping you to draw-out /leverage your strengths

How do I Prepare for Coaching?

  • Understand what your expectations are so you can discuss them with your coach
  • Understand that coaching is a partnership and has a time commitment -(even though it’s free)
  • Understand coaches are not there to solve your problems for you, but to facilitate your own problem solving and share some tools that can be used in the future

In your initial meeting you should be able to speak about:

  • What brought you to coaching
  • Why you would like to get coaching
  • Potential outcomes

Questions you may wish to ask your potential coach at the initial meeting:

  • Their coaching philosophy
  • How they would describe their coaching process
  • Ask what your responsibility is in this process (both you and your coach should have a very clear understanding of your responsibilities before beginning the process)
  • If they have any special focus or area of expertise

What Can I Expect From My Coach?

Coaches have different styles, areas of expertise, and training backgrounds.  Therefore, it is important to engage in your three pre-selection interviews.  Remember that not all coaches will be the right fit at this particular time in your life or for this particular issue.

A Coach will

  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Focus on your individual needs
  • Create a safe space to brainstorm and try out ideas
  • Be a sounding board
  • Support you in thinking though an approach

What is the Difference Between External and Internal Coaches?

Internal coaches are UBC staff and faculty who have chosen to make coaching part of their professional practice. External coaches are coaches in private practice in Metro Vancouver and Kelowna, who take on UBC clients. Both Internal and External coaches are trained and certified. Coaching @ UBC tries to include internal coaches from various staff and faculty groups as well as different career levels.

Keep in Mind....

  • Not all coaching is solutions-based
  • Coaching can be proactive and preventative
  • Coaching can be about exploration
  • Coaching can be about self-awareness and affirmation — what’s really working well
  • A great time to see a coach is when nothing is wrong at all. Being in a good place gives you the opportunity to explore and experiment in ways you can’t when you are under stress

Interested in Getting a Coach?

Register through the Coaching@UBC website, and if you have any questions please contact Program Manager Catharine Chang.

Interesting in Becoming a Coach?

Please click here to learn more. And don’t forget to check out the Coaching @ UBC blog.


A very special thank you to AAPS Member Catharine Chang for her input on this article.