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Got problems? Hire a coach -- Page 2

"You want to find someone you can build a partnership with, someone with whom you can easily relate," says Leach.

Currently there are no state licensing requirements for coaches.

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"Coaching is like a lot of other professions, it's up to the individual or group hiring the coach to look into their credentials," says Daniel Martinage, executive director of International Coach Federation, whose organization credentials coaches and accredits coach training programs.

"Find out whether and where the coach received training and how many hours of experience they have coaching," suggests Martinage. "Take the time to find the right person for your needs. You want to be clear about what you're looking for and be sure the person you hire fits your bill."

Cost of success
Hiring a coach can be pricey. Fees range from $200 to $800 a month depending on the coach and on the number of sessions held per month.

Coaching usually begins with either a personal interview or phone interview that assesses needs, defines the scope of the relationship and sets priorities for actions.

"Usually, clients and coaches talk once or twice a week in the beginning," says Walton. "Some people go every other week. It depends on how you choose to set it up."

The coaching relationship can last anywhere from 30 days to a year or more depending upon the goal and the individuals.

"It usually takes about three to six months to achieve sustainable change without slipping into the habits of the past," says Walton. "It's very individual. Change is certainly possible to do in 30 or 60 days."

About 80 percent of coaching is done by phone and is therefore not limited by geography says Leach, who practices from Santa Barbara, Calif.

"Phone coaching supports people's lifestyle. They can 'meet' with their coach and not lose any time traveling. It can be done on a lunch hour or between other appointments. The focus can be complete because there are no distractions on the phone," she says.

Another benefit is that you can work with someone anywhere in the country -- or the world, says Leach.

Practice makes perfect
If you hire a coach, be prepared to work.

"Homework is a big part of the work we do in coaching. Whether it's buying a book, writing a memo or cleaning your desk and developing a plan for keeping it clean -- there's work to do," says Weinstein, an adjunct professor of marketing at the University of New Mexico.

"I'll often say, 'For this week, write a memo about falling through the cracks -- listing everything that's not getting done -- and begin to work on a program of action on how to change that, including prioritizing tasks. Then the next session we will go over the plan.'"

"It may seem basic, but if no one is holding you accountable, it often doesn't get done."

Could some people have done the same thing without a coach?

"Certainly some people could and do accomplish great change without a coach. But having a coach makes it easier, more fun and cuts the time it takes to accomplish the goal," says Walton.

"I've seen transformations that are amazing."

To find out more about coaching you can log on to the International Coach Federation Web site.


PAGE 1 | 2 
-- Posted: Jan. 14, 2005

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