What is Personal and Professional Coaching?
Like sports coaches, life and professional coaches teach and support individuals and teams in their efforts to reach goals. Instead of working on athletic goals, coaches and their clients team up to increase effectiveness, achieve better work-life balance, and gain financial success.
What kind of people benefit from coaching?
Just about anyone can benefit from coaching. In cultures around the world throughout the ages, people have always sought wise counsel from experts or elders. Sometimes, the wise elder might be a tribal elder or a clergy person or a shaman. But in a fast paced, highly mobile culture, the connection to those resources no longer exists so coaches fill the role of guides. By temperament and training, coaches are insightful and intuitive individuals who can pace their guidance to the needs of the client. They are like therapists or spiritual directors but instead of working with clients on mental health or spirituality they help clients live better lives at home and at work.
In my coaching practice, I am most likely to have clients who want to:
While many women seek out my services because of my background in developing leadership programs for women and their organizations, I also coach men.
- Make a difference while making a living and a life;
- Create a sense of optimism about achieving their life goals;
- Discover their strengths and use those strengths in work they love;
- Navigate transitions in work or personal lives;
- Find a new job or career;
- Have support while working on new goals;
- Use a clear sense of direction to balance and prioritize roles;
- Develop a structured plan to balance leisure, relationship time, and work;
- Lower stress and busyness while increasing productivity;
- Experience more love, money, fun, and harmony;
- Answer questions such as, “Is this all there is?” and “What next?”
What kind of background do coaches come from?
Many coaches have professional experiences in either business or mental health. They may have additional training specifically in coaching. I am a licensed psychologist who has had one career as a psychology professor, another as a therapist, and now I split my time between those activities along with coaching and speaking. Being a college administrator and business owner have added the personal experiences of leadership, business development, and career transitions to my professional expertise. In addition, I am currently taking coaching courses toward certification in coaching through MentorCoach, a coach training school which specializes in training therapists who are coaches.
How does coaching work?
Usually clients schedule complementary, introductory sessions with several coaches to see which one might match the client’s needs and pacing. You need to feel comfortable with your coach so trust your instincts.
When I meet with clients I ask them what their current situation is about and what their goals are. I zero in on one aspect for a brief sample of what coaching with me would be like? If the client decides to work with me, we explore a plan for meeting the client’s goals and a time frame for meeting each month, for example, two or four times per month. Some clients meet with me in person and others meet on the phone.
A coaching relationship can last as long as you wish. Some of my clients take a break from coaching and then come back when they are ready to take action on new goals. In between coaching sessions clients work on agreed upon assignments relevant to their goals. I am available for phone and email to provide feedback and encouragement.
How is coaching different from therapy?
Therapy usually works on healing emotional difficulties while coaching works on designing and living your ideal life. Coaching can help you with career transitions or with reaching your dreams. If personal issues interfere with your moving toward goals, coaches recommend therapy either at the same time as the coaching or in preparation for entering into coaching.
What can coaching offer you?
Coaching can help you to get more of what you want out of life. To find out more about what some of my clients say about working with me, see Clients.