The Basics of Personal Coaching by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

Successful people are always looking for a way to gain a new edge. Any tool that can help you be more effective is welcome. One tool you may not have considered that has the potential to bring you great benefits is taking advantage of the guidance you can gain from having a personal leadership coach.

Personal coaching is new to a lot of people, but the concept has been around for a number of years. Personal coaches use their experience and skill to help people develop the skills to become the person they wish to become. Professional coaches can offer a fresh perspective and new ideas on how to handle the challenges you face in your life.

How Do I Find a Coach That’s Right for Me?

Choosing the right coach is important to ensuring a successful partnership. Look for a coach that has a style similar to yours, but be sure he or she has some differences from your personal style, as well. We can always learn from those who handle issues differently than ourselves.

You might start by looking for a coach that specializes in an area where you have interest. Interview several coaches before choosing one. Don’t worry; they are accustomed to this process, and want to ensure a compatible fit as much as you do.

How Does the Process Work?

Your initial coaching session will be much like an interview, where the coach will want to learn about what you plan to get from the coaching process. Be prepared to discuss the challenges you face and where you would like to see growth. Your coach may also ask you to take some personal assessments to better understand you and your style. I personally always give a sample coaching session so both of us can get a sense of what it would be like to work together.

Over the course of the relationship, you may have face to face meetings or talk over the phone. Keep a list of issues or things you want to discuss between meetings. Your coach will likely recommend articles and books for you to read that he or she has found valuable for others facing similar challenges.

Be prepared to evaluate the relationship in an ongoing way. Do your part to follow through on your action commitments. Be honest about what does and does not work. Over time, your coach will become better and better at helping you as you work together.

Many people have found personal coaching to be a valuable tool in developing themselves. Even a few sessions of personal coaching may be just the help you need to move yourself, and/or your business, forward by leaps and bounds!