Coaching is a new concept for a lot of people. It was for me, too.
Until I began researching some possibilities for professional development in my work as a higher ed administrator, I only had a fuzzy concept of what coaches do and why people would want to meet with a coach. But let me tell you, what I found out as I read more and when I actually began to receive coaching, was amazing. Truly. It was as if this work had been waiting for me all my life.
Now that may sound overly dramatic for some of you, but for those of you who know me and know a bit about coaching, you know that it is kinda true! Coaching is a unique combination of listening skills, asking relevant and effective questions, encouraging thought and reflection, being OK with silence, and allowing a client to really focus on what they want to get out of the experience. And this matched the way that I tried to be in so many of my professional encounters already that it was a relatively smooth switch. After training and mentoring and lots and lots of practice, I am finding my groove. And I am available to help you find yours, too.
I focus on wellbeing at work. And that means that I am particularly adept at listening for the desires of your heart, for asking questions that allow you to look at your own health and wellness from a variety of perspectives, at being attuned to patterns of speech that align or don't match up with what you say is important to you (and pointing that out), and offering, when appropriate, tips for mindful practice, personal ritual, or self-care that can help you improve your life.
What that means in a coaching session is that you and I talk about what's going on in your life, what you would like to focus on for the day (and for the duration of a coaching relationship), and I help you untangle, sort, rearrange, probe more deeply, self-inquire, and figure out what it is you are trying to figure out. A lot of my clients, set clear action plans for change, and some focus more on adapting schedules or making priority lists as they get started on improving their wellbeing.
Coaching is for you if you are ready to make some serious change in your life. Coaching is for you if you feel stuck and haven’t been able to make lasting changes on your own very well. Coaching is for you if want a sounding board or a thinking partner to help you prioritize and plan. Coaching is for you if you are relatively healthy right now, but therapy is the right call if you really need support and treatment for ongoing anxiety, depression or serious mental illness. Coaching can work in concert with therapy, but mental health professionals are valuable if and when you need them.
Let me tell you a couple of coaching stories, both from my own experience being coached as well as working with clients--watch for the next blog post to read more!