Soar Above

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve put together some questions we receive on executive coaching and working with Sonali. If you have a question we haven’t answered, please contact us and we’ll get back to you.


Coaching is one-to-one partnership between the coach and the client in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires the client to maximise personal and professional potential. Executive Coaches work with leaders within an organisation (such as a director, vice president, president, or member of the C-suite). The executive coach brings new eyes and ears to their situation and provides a safe and non-judgemental space for these leaders to understand their current challenges and aspirations, see how others perceive them, and focus on identifying and clarifying current goals as well as the appropriate action steps to reach those goals. Executive coaching is not just about problems and issues—it is about awakening consciousness to maximise potential.

Maybe. Some people have the ability to motivate and course correct themselves on their goals. But for the rest, working with a coach helps them reach a higher level of achievement—in a much shorter period of time. There could be aspects of who you are and how you operate that you’re not ready to recognise or accept, so working with an executive coach can accelerate your self-awareness and personal development, setting you up for expansion of role in terms of scope and scale.

‘Mentoring’ and ‘coaching’ are often used interchangeably, but they are two distinct approaches to working with and developing others.

You’re lucky to have a mentor you can look up to. A mentor is often referred to as a “wise guide”, trusted advisor, or wise council. They will have a good level of experience in the mentee’s working domain. They support the mentee with information, advice, and practical assistance to help their development and growth. A coach, on the other hand, doesn’t give advice or information. The coach has faith that the coachee has the ability to have their own ideas, make their own decisions, and move themselves forward. The coach does not try to “fix” someone by solving their problems. The goal is to reveal the coachee’s ability to resolve their own problems and hence make them feel more empowered and realize their own potential. The key difference is giving advice—that is the primary approach in mentoring, whereas coaches rarely give advice.

Coaching can help you improve performance, gain insight, and become better at what you do. Being coached can be daunting, and not everyone is ready to take it on. To figure out whether you are ready for coaching, ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I willing to examine my role in situations where things go wrong?
  • Am I willing to self-reflect and identify the limiting believes and behaviours that may be holding me back?
  • Am I willing to change the way I think and behave in areas where I am currently not getting the outcomes I desire?
  • Am I willing to take out time from my busy schedule and make the space to be fully present to focus on self-development?

Yes, there is. Currently, the term “coach” is used broadly. Some people call themselves coaches without having formal training or receiving a certification. On the other hand, certified coaches complete formal training programs accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF).

An ICF Credentialed coach has completed stringent education and experience requirements and has demonstrated a strong commitment to excellence in coaching. They have fulfilled coach-specific training, achieved a designated number of experience hours, and have worked with a coach themselves. Certified coaches have made it through this filtering process, demonstrating an earnest commitment to high coaching standards.

Coaching is most effective when the coach-client relationship is strong, which means finding someone whom you consider credible, resourceful, and empathetic with your situation. Someone who “gets” you, yet someone who can offer fresh perspective on things. You should also explore what the driver is for the coach to get into coaching. Be wary of coaches who are eager to give advice based on their own experience or want to ‘fix’ people. You can get a sense of this during an initial consultation.

It’s recommended that you talk to a few coaches and see who feels right and who you click with. Your coach needs to be someone you trust and who makes you feel safe as well as challenged and motivated.

As your coach, I will act with integrity, honesty, and sincerity. I will be fully present for you in each of our interactions. I will access my intuition and seek the best way to support your needs. I will gently probe as well as ask direct questions, and I will seek your permission if I want to offer a suggestion. I will provide you with support, encouragement and a safe space to take risks. All communication is confidential. I abide by the ethical standards set forth by the International Coach Federation. If you need assistance I cannot provide, I will refer you to a variety of resources.

You are committed to action and evolution. You want to look more closely at what you’re doing–and not doing–and make changes that will move you forward. You come to the partnership with curiosity, openness, and a willingness to be honest with yourself and with me. You are ready for new possibilities and ways of seeing yourself and those around you. You set the agenda and tell me what you need for each session. You determine your goals and priorities. You define success for yourself. You keep your commitments and are fully present for each session.

I conduct most sessions via video chat so my clients can speak to me in the comfort and privacy of their own home or office, which is also a time-efficient approach. Typically, we’ll start by getting a snapshot of your current situation, current issues, and where you want to go. We’ll clarify life purpose, values, ambitions, and goals. We’ll also work to identify key barriers in your life, common frustrations, areas where you tend to get stuck. At the end of each session, we will talk through next steps and actions to keep you moving forward between sessions. Most sessions last 60 mins. Anything you tell me is 100% confidential, and I will never divulge that I’m working with you unless you give me explicit permission.

This varies from client to client, and it takes multiple sessions to create meaningful progress. I’ve found the clients who get the most from the coaching commit to certain goals they aim to achieve over a 3 to 6-month period, as significant change doesn’t happen overnight. Some continue beyond this or choose to move more quickly. I want you to feel like you’re getting tremendous value from every session we have together, and the moment that’s not the case, you have the freedom to stop. At the conclusion of our work together, we’ll recap our progress and identify how you can best leverage what you’ve learned as you move onward in life.

Do you have more questions?