Some Reality Testing Around Coaching
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Title: Some Reality Testing Around Coaching
Author: Molly Gordon
Why get a coach? The answer was obvious to me after my eight
years as a self employed creator of wearable art. I learned in
those years that it was nearly impossible to simultaneously hold
a vision, map out a path, walk that path and measure my own
progress. I was so often distracted by the apparently conflicting
demands of the marketplace and of my heart. Even my body seemed
to throw obstacles in my path as tendonitis or other ills
appeared to contradict my vision of right livelihood.
As I thought about the kinds of problems I faced I came to
understand and accept that it would always be difficult to have
both an overarching view of my long term goals, a cogent
understanding of my near term strategies, and a confident and
simple approach to walking my daily path. Once I thought about it
the reason was obvious: each of these activities requires that I
adopt a different perspective. And guess what, it's hard to be in
more than one place at a time, so often I would be conducting one
activity from the perspective of another. No wonder I felt
confused and overwhelmed.
Coaching offers a solution by providing objective recognition,
validation and reinforcement. A coach helps you to clarify your
goals, test your plans against your resources and your
intentions, and measure your progress. A coach asks you to live
up to standards you set together while reminding you to enjoy the
grace of being a human being and not a 'droid. Coaching deals
with the human condition: it's not about being or even becoming
I think of the kind of business coaching and personal growth
coaching which I practice as motivating, instructing, focusing,
correcting and encouraging my clients to find solutions to their
problems and to achieve a fundamental way of being in the world
that flows organically and authentically from who they really
It's easy to see that successful coaching requires a good match
between coach and client. If you are interested in getting a
coach, start by asking yourself these questions:
- What are my goals and expectations around hiring a coach?
- What's my time frame for achieving them?
- What's my learning style? What kind of person is likely to
support that style?
- How much can I afford to invest in coaching?
Find at least three coaches to interview. The International Coach
Federation has extensive listings of its members coaches. Another
resource is The Coaches Training Institute. Ask around among your
professional colleagues, inquire at the local Chamber of
Commerce, Small Business Administration or business schools.
Select two or three coaches to interview. In addition to the
following sample questions, ask any that reflect your personal
priorities and concerns. It's a good idea to write out your
questions in advance.
1. Ask about their experience coaching people who have goals and
challenges similar to your own.
2. Do they work by phone, in person, by email? How long are the
sessions? How frequent?
3. What do they charge? When is payment due?
4. What support do they offer between sessions?
5. Are you required to buy any support materials (books,
6. What kind of commitment do they require? Many coaches ask that
you commit to a preliminary two or three month period after which
you decide whether or not to continue working together.
7. Ask for a couple of references and follow up by calling them.
Coaching can introduce you to the self you were meant to be. The
time you invest in choosing your coach will be amply repaid by
his or her greater ability to recognize, nurture and evoke that
About the author:
Molly Gordon, MCC, is a leading figure in business and personal
growth coaching, writer and frequent presenter at live and
virtual events worldwide. Visit her website at
www.mollygordon.com and/or her blog at
www.shaboominc.com/blog/ to join 12,000 readers of her
Authentic Promotion® ezine and receive a free 31-page guide,
"Principles of Authentic Promotion."