What's a cross between a psychologist and a mom, is
less expensive than a shrink and doesn't apply guilt? A personal
Most people think
physical fitness when they hear the word "coach," but life coaches are more like
a personal trainer of attitude. They help their clients put together a step-by-step
plan of action for achieving success -- in the workplace or in their personal
Coaching can help people create more satisfaction in
their jobs, find new jobs, start new ventures, get a better handle on their fears
and anxiety and get out of their own way, says Barbara Walton, past president
of the International Coach Federation, the largest worldwide organization of professional
Coaching might sound like therapy, but it is not,
"Therapy focuses on healing pain and dysfunction,
most often arising from the past, which hamper emotional functioning in the present.
Coaching is forward moving and future focused. It focuses on thriving. Therapy
focuses on surviving," she says.
is coaching and what can it do for you?
Coaching helps you be the best
you can be, explains Mark Weinstein, founder of Peak Life Habits, an executive
and personal coaching firm in Albuquerque, N.M. A coach offers feedback, insights
and guidance from an outside vantage point.
Malott was struggling. He was 47, a partner in
an accounting and consulting firm in New Mexico and seemingly successful. Yet,
he was unhappy personally and professionally.
"I was going
through a devastating divorce and having trouble focusing at the office,"
says Malott. He sought out the services of Weinstein who helped him to get back
on track. Under his guidance, Malott began to make changes in his behavior, set
priorities and communicate with his partners. The impact of coaching is difficult
to measure in dollars, but I know it's made a big difference, Malott says.
people know what needs to be done, but struggle with the execution. Coaching holds
you accountable. With Mark's help we are way more productive than ever before,"
"People seek out coaches because there's something
in their life they want and they don't have," says Weinstein.
could be a certain position in their career or a certain quality in a relationship.
It could even be a certain level of fitness that they are always on the verge
of hitting but somehow always missing the mark."
A coach will
help you identify habits that are impeding your success as well as sidestep the
obstacles that seem to get in the way of what you want.
is one bad habit that commonly gets in the way. We have probably all used the
expression "someday I'll do this" or "one day I'll do that."
says he guides his coaching clients to make someday into now.
make a plan of action, even for something as simple as cleaning your desk. Instead
of someday, we make a commitment in our conversation that by next Thursday, this
will be done."
How to find the coach
Coaches come from many backgrounds
-- psychology, business, education, law -- and specialize in everything from finance
to personal relationships.
To find the right coach for your
needs, Joy Leach, owner of Professional Resource Initiatives and life coach for
over 20 years, recommends interviewing a few coaches before hiring one.
is a two-way process and needs to be a good fit for both coach and client to be
successful," says Leach, co-author of "A
Practical Guide to Working with Diversity."
- Interview several coaches. There is generally
no charge for an introductory session.
- Look for stylistic
similarities and differences to help you determine your compatibility.
questions about their typical time frame of coaching, their specific coach training,
their experience as a coach, the number of individuals, organizations and situations
they worked with as well as the number of years in the field.
referrals from previous clients or ask for examples of how the coach has helped
other clients reach their goals.
- Find out what specific expertise
or specialized skills the coach would bring to the relationship.