Home » Self Improvement » Coaching

Coaching for Burnout, Balance and Success (Part 2 of 2)

Aug 17, 2007
Coaching often takes place in 30-minute weekly telephone conversations although some coaches and clients prefer to meet in person and/or use a longer format.

During a typical call, the client reports on accomplishments since the last call, as well as on incompletions. The coach provides both congratulations and a thoughtful examination of the problems that led to the undone tasks.

The coach may make specific requests that these tasks be completed, or that they be re-examined in the face of the current situation. The coach may also suggest that some tasks be dropped entirely, if it becomes clear that the client has no real intention of doing them; guilt wastes energy.

Clients report on current problems and opportunities and learn to ask the coach for specific help or direction in making choices and plans. Coaches provide encouragement, challenges, information and direction. They also provide referrals to others who can provide needed technical support for various projects, including physicians, accountants, software experts, networks, attorneys, marketers, graphic designers, and other coaches.

There Are Many Different Types of Coaches

Coaching is a profession that is practiced by a variety of individuals, with no standardized training or regulation. Several professional accrediting processes do exist, including the well-respected International Coach Federation.

Today's professional coach, like yesterday's mentor, does come from a variety of different backgrounds, and can assist a client to identify and reach different objectives. While accreditation is a guarantee that the coach has a certain skill level, it is no guarantee that any particular coach is right for any particular client.

A coach with a background of business consulting (with or without an MBA) may have realized that just providing expert advice about a business problem isn't enough. Although a client may know what to do about a problem, s/he may often have difficulty implementing the solution without ongoing support. The coach provides this support.

A coach skilled in career development may help an unemployed client through the job search process. This may involve helping them identify target companies, write a resume, and learn to present themselves well in an interview.

Another coach focuses on helping her clients discover the unique work path that will help them feel truly alive and successful, instead of on just finding employment.

A financial coach may be a financial planner who provides ongoing support to help you implement the plan you have designed together.

A personal coach may come from a background in the helping professions and hold a professional degree, certification or license in psychology, social work, or counseling. S/he may also be a senior member of any field who has broad life experience and training and a commitment to the success of the client.

Choosing a Professional Coach

Choose your coach with as much care as you would choose any other member of your professional support team. First consider the specific support you need and ask your associates whether they know of anyone who can help. A surprising number of people already work with coaches. The expertise of the coach you are considering and your comfort with the person who offers this very personal relationship are both important factors.

You should expect your coach to be committed to helping you define and achieve your own goals. Your coach should help you examine possible courses of action, help you identify and solve potential problems, and support you enthusiastically every step of the way.
About the Author
Communicate skillfully about sensitive subjects in business situations. Have the challenging conversations that lead to cooperation and success. Are To Say It Blog
Laurie Weiss, Ph.D. is a Master Certified Coach and communication expert. Dr. Weiss has spent 35 years helping clients resolve conflict in business and personal relationships. Email feedback@laurieweiss.com
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