Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Confessions of a Coaching Skeptic

I started to hear about professional coaching a few years ago; it sounded to me like something silly people do. Passing judgment in blissful ignorance (don’t judge, we all do it from time to time), I just wrote it off.

Then my wife Laurie was invited to take a few coaching classes a few years ago. Some trusted friends encouraged her to take advantage of the opportunity, knowing that she would be good at it. While taking the classes and reflecting on the materials in the days that followed, Laurie said to me, “This coaching stuff is a lot like what you seem to do naturally.” Laurie and I generally have our noses in each other’s business; she likened coaching to the way I preferred to lead people on various teams that I worked with. 

I concluded that if coaching was an effort to teach people how to operate the way I like to do things, teaching people to be like me, then there must be something to it.  

My friend Craig has become a proficient and certified coach over the past few years. An extended conversation over coffee several weeks ago turned into me asking him a lot of questions about coaching… resulting in me becoming even more intrigued. 

And then my friend Beth kept sending me emails urging me to take a few classes. She was sending them to a big list, hundreds if not thousands of people… but they were hitting me with the impact of a personal invitation. I had a certain sense that I ought to give it a try. So I did, completing 32 hours of classroom instruction and practice last week.

My hope was to gain some tools for my toolbox. I had no intention to actually be a coach, run anything like a structured coaching session, or have anyone call me a coach. I just figured I’d gain some handy skills.

I did gain some handy skills… but I also came to understand that, at least for me, while coaching skills may be handy in a variety of contexts, the best way to apply professional coaching skills is in a purposeful, structured coaching context. So…

I think I’m going to be a coach.

That will require more training, a mentor coach, and some practice. I’m already on my way, and intend to qualify for at least an entry-level of certification.

I’m no longer a coaching skeptic. I’m a coach (well… at least a rookie coach).

If you’d like to be among my beta testers (in person, on the phone, or on Skype), allowing me to get some practice, let me know. It is a professional service, but at this stage of this rookie coach’s path I’m sure I can make you a very sweet deal.

I’ve hung out a shingle. Check it out at and let me know if I can be of any help; I’d love to work with you.