Professional Coaching

By Mary T. OSullivan

Hassled by an uncertain and complex work situation?

Learn about professional coaching and how it can benefit you. Executive and professional coaching is a process of asking questions that uses plausible suggestions without telling you what to do. Professional coaching is a partnership between you and the coach to help you creatively think through real solutions

to real issues, as you define them. The coach’s job is to assist you in the process of self-determined and self-directed problem solving or change, through a process of dialogue between you and the coach.

The coach’s role is to:

  • Encourage your process of problem solving
  • Elicit self-directed solutions and strategies
  • Help develop realistic,achievable outcomes

How can you determine if coaching is right for you? To determine whether you can benefit from coaching, start by summarizing what you would expect to accomplish. When you have a fairly clear idea of the desired outcome, a coaching partnership can be useful for developing a strategy for how to achieve that outcome with fewer obstacles in your way.

Since coaching is a partnership, ask yourself whether collaboration, other viewpoints, and new perspectives are valued. Also, ask yourself whether you are ready to devote the time and the energy to making real changes. If the answer is yes, then coaching is the right path for you.

How is coaching distinct from other service professions? Professional coaching focuses on setting goals, creating outcomes and managing personal change. Professional coaching is not therapy, or consulting. It is the process of uncovering creative solutions to achieving specific goals and outcomes. It is a fluid, inquiry based process.

What are some typical reasons someone might work with a coach?

You may choose to work with a coach for many reasons, including but not limited to the following:

  • Something urgent, compelling or exciting is at stake (a challenge, stretch goal or opportunity)
  • A gap exists in knowledge, skills, confidence or resources
  • A desire to accelerate results
  • A lack of clarity with choices to be made
  • Success has started to become problematic
  • Work and life are out of balance, creating unwanted consequences
  • Core strengths need to be identified, along with how best to leverage them

Love your job again with the help of a professional coach.

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Avatar About the Author: The Rhode Island Small Business Journal is a printed monthly magazine and an online resource for the aspiring and start-up entrepreneur and small business owner.

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