Question for you. How do you know what type of coach would be best for you? And then how do you choose one?
Sal Vilardo via twitter.
His webiste is: http://www.prolific-studios.com
Hey yourself Sal,
Tempting as it is to shout hire me hire me, I don’t know if I’m the kind of coach you need. Which brings us to the first question:
Why do you want a coach in the first place?
Why Do You Want A Coach?
- Life coaches who will help you sort out your whole life.
- Career coaches who will help you discover what your real passion is.
- Employment coaches who will help you get a job.
- Business coaches who will help you improve your business. Mark Silver of Heart Of Business is my all-time favorite business coach.
- Football coaches and coaches for other sports.
- Coaches for things I haven’t thought of…
…and of course, writing coaches.
So the first step in choosing a coach is deciding what you want help with.
It’s worth recognizing that in life issues get blurred. I’ve yet to coach anyone about their writing without getting into the rest of their lives at least just a bit. When I’ve hired coaches we’ve often needed to address something that was going on with me that wasn’t the reason I hired them. A good coach allows for that and also knows how to get the conversation back to the issue.
My Philosophy Of Coaching
My philosophy of coaching is that you already have the answer your seeking somewhere hidden inside you, that you’re the expert on your own life and you know, or will at least recognize, what writing you want to do and how to do it. You also know, with a little help, how to market your writing.
To be sure, new writers need to take in all sorts of information about writing from ideas, through getting it done, to selling their work. And a coach can also help with that. As a writing coach, however, my job is to listen deeply, reflect what I hear back to you so we both hear it a bit differently then hold space for you as you tune into your inner voice.
Coaches Provide Accountability
An important facet of coaching is providing the client with accountability.
If for example, I was coaching you and you had agreed to send me five pages of writing by Friday, you either would or wouldn’t keep that agreement. If you did, I’d read it, make comments and our next session would be mostly about what you had written.
On the other hand, if you didn’t do the writing and you kept your appointment the first part of our phone session would be about what got in your way, what kept you from getting the writing done. We’d then work out a strategy that we both felt would help you get the writing done for our next session. Solutions vary all over the map, but they really come from you, from my client. I’m just there to help you find them and help you get done what you truly want to get done.
Choosing A Coach
I suppose someone has written even a whole book on how to hire a coach. That’s not my way. Sure you want the coach you to be good at the thing you want help with. You want them to be able to communicate their experience to you in a non-judgmental way that helps you. References should be available and checked.
In my experience however, both as a coach and choosing them occasionally for myself, it all boils down to gut feelings. If I like their website, if their rates are affordable to me, the next step is a phone call to explore what kind of chemistry.
Good coaching is a mutual experience. Carl Jung said something along these lines:
If both the therapist and the client aren’t changed, nothing has happened.
The same thing applies in coaching. Good coaching is always about you.
What’s been your experience coaching or being coached?
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