Why do I coach? While consulting for more than 25 years, I've learned an important lesson: meaningful, lasting organizational change begins with the individual. Meetings and plans and reports don't get it done. People get it done. The more capable the individual leaders and managers are, the more resilient and effective an organization becomes. Coaching is the most powerful tool I have found to achieve this. As a consultant, my reach is the scope of the project. As a coach, I can have lasting, permanent impact on individuals and their organizations.
My approach to coaching is unusual. I don't seek to simply instill "business knowledge." Rather, I seek to create business warriors, individuals empowered through self-awareness, honesty, integrity, tenacity, and as much knowledge and information as is needed to succeed. Therefore, coaching with me is all about you. Yes, we'll discuss your business and its challenges but be prepared to face your fears, insecurities, and setbacks as well.
In a coaching relationship you have a great deal of responsibility in setting the agenda and determining what we work on. For some coaches, this is the extent of the relationship but I'm not hesitant to suggest items to work on based upon our previous work together and what my intuition tells me. As we get to know each other I do my best to help you get where you desire to be.
Many people see coaching as a means of remediating performance problems and it certainly can do that. However, many of my clients are already top achievers looking to further improve their performance. A good coaching engagement will stretch your boundaries no matter from where you are beginning or how much you have already achieved.
Every successful coaching engagement brings real change and growth to the client. However, every good coaching engagement also brings authentic change to the coach. There's balance and reciprocity in coaching that's all too rare in this world. I love what I do.
Lastly, here are the warnings and disclaimers:
As a coach, I can't fix behavioral issues that are serious enough to threaten employment, happiness, or your life. That's the realm of psychotherapy and I'm definitely not a psychotherapist. If you have rigid belief systems, tend to blame others, play the victim, or otherwise engage in self-sabotage, then coaching is not for you. There's work still to do before coaching can be effective. It's honorable, beautiful, restorative work, but it's not coaching.
Some of my coaching clients hire me independently while others receive my services through their employment. My approach is the same either way. If you are looking for someone with coaching certifications and specific "coaching modalities" then I'm not the coach for you. I've developed my own way to approach a coaching engagement through years of learning and growing and I strive to find the most effective approach with each client on an individual basis. Certifications can impose a systematic approach into the relationship--at least for me. I'm not saying certifications are bad, nor am I saying certified coaches are not effective. I'm only saying that it's not for me and that's a conscious, intentional choice. If that makes you uncomfortable than I'm probably not the best choice for you.
I'm a good choice for people ready to work hard for their desires and goals. There may be homework between sessions--sometimes for both of us. There will be a lot of introspection and the metaphorical turning over of rocks. Working with me is often challenging for people but so are most aspects of a successful professional life. For me, a good coaching relationship is not about being easy or safe, it's about stretching, growing, succeeding, learning, and developing the skills to face your professional life courageously, confidently and skillfully. These things do not come easily.
If you made it to the end of this little essay congratulate yourself! Your career and your life are worth the effort and time invested. There are no shortcuts to authentic success and accomplishment.