We seem to be everywhere: parenting coaches, relationship coaches, career coaches, leadership coaches, money coaches, and the catch-all life coaches. Some of us help you get clear on what's next in your professional life or how to handle a promotion to a senior role; others help with changing how you think about something as a way to get unstuck from it. By and large, we are all in the business of helping you get from where you are now to where you wish or want to be.
In addition to the different types of coaches, there are different philosophies and frameworks around coaching. Some adhere to a specific modality, such as NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), while others take a solutions, values or positive psychology approach.
Further, lots of people become coaches, building on careers in business or consulting, without specific coach training or certification. Unlike being a psychologist or therapist, there are no licensing prerequisites, and no requirement to join the ICF (International Coaching Federation), so just about anyone can hang a shingle and charge money to have a conversation with you about your goals.
Given all this variety, it's useful to think about what you want coaching for, and what kind of coach will get you there. Coaching works better than most learning modalities, but you need to be clear on what you want it to do for you, and what you expect from your coach. And when you work with a professionally-certified coach, you are working with someone who is trained, meets strict credentialing criteria and adheres to a robust set of ethical standards, in service of your emerging self.
Most coaching helps you get clear on the issue at hand, then prompts you to make choices about what to do about it. My coaching takes an alternate route.
Whether you accomplish a goal or not is less of interest to me. Let me explain.
What I do is help you become who you long to be. I do this by providing the kind of relationship you won't have with anyone else—one in which you engage in the most honest, put-it-all-on-the-table conversation with yourself, guided by my questions, challenges and candid feedback. The more you get clear on who you are and who you want to become, the simpler it is to make decisions about doing things that align with that.
Essentially, I don't think you can really DO you until you can fully BE you.
When you work with me, the focus is exclusively on bringing into clear relief what holds you back, pressing through fear and uncertainty, so you can become grounded in a set of principles that govern your thinking and behaviour. From there, you choose how these principles show up in your role as a leader, a business owner, a spouse, a parent, a co-worker or any other role you have or take on.
A few things you should know about how I think and work:
A few more things: I went through my coach certification process after years working in organizational development roles, and helping teams become more effective. I loved (and still do) supporting people in strategy development and collaborative efforts of all kinds, specifically helping a group shape how they work together, and working with, and through, conflict. It was in pairing up with my own coach, however, that I saw my limiting beliefs laid before me—specifically my fear of being who I actually was and not 'performing' a likeable version of myself—and from there, make life-changing shifts in both my personal and professional life.
Basically, once I experienced coaching, it was absolutely clear that no amount of reading, training, therapy, work-shopping or mentoring would ever have the profound impact on my thinking, feeling and behaviour as coaching did. I built a new framework for my life, changed behaviours that no longer served me and started operating from a strong desire to feel alive, doing the things I imagined I would "some day." Like buying a log cabin on a lake, writing a book about how bad we collectively are at leadership (and what to do about it), and leaving a job that left me bluer than a bottle of Windex. I became a coach because coaching changed me. I know it will change you.
Lastly, I keep things real by facing new fears, trying new things, and asking myself a lot of questions; I won't invite a client to step into ways of thinking or being where I have not gone before. There is no end to this, only deeper insights and over time, better choices. And often more fun.
Work with me and together, we will build the nest from which flight is possible.
---If you would like to listen to me coach, tune in to my conversation with Dr Rehman Abdulrehman on Season 2, Episode 7 of the Different People Podcast here.