I.AM A Coach… Do You Need One?


Executive Career Coach. That’s a reasonably cool-sounding profession, but probably not one with a universally understood meaning.  So, what exactly do I do and how do I do it? The simple answer is that I use my 30-plus years of professional experience and my academic training to help people remove roadblocks to professional success.  Okay, that sounds pretty cool, but how do you know if you need a coach?  And, how do you choose the right coach with the right methodology/program?

The decision to hire an Executive Career Coach is a very personal one. Some things to consider include:

  1. Do you feel stuck/in a rut/dissatisfied professionally?
  2. Are you at a loss in terms of putting together a roadmap to success?
  3. Do you feel a nagging sensation that you should be doing something different, maybe a whole new job or a new approach to your current job? In short, do you lack direction?

Let’s say the answer to one or more of the above questions is “yes.”The next question is whether you are ready to invest both the time and effort necessary to succeed with coaching. If the answer to that is “yes,”then we get to “how do you choose the right coach?”

Here are some factors to consider when choosing an Executive Career Coach:

  1. Choose someone whom you think you will enjoy spending time with. You may spend a number of hours with a coach over an extended period of time. Make sure you like her/him.
  2. Choose someone whom you think has the appropriate background and skill set to provide you with value.
  3. Choose someone who can explain their methodology and coaching style in a way that makes sense to you.

To determine if a potential coach is someone with whom you will enjoy spending time, start by looking at the coach’s website. Does it resonate? Is it clear? Does the coach have any videos you can watch to get to know him/her? Does the coach’s background and skill set make sense, based on your needs?

As for methodology, well, everyone is different, and coaching can be a bit “squishy.” I like to inject some structure into my coaching sessions and not leave them entirely open-ended. So, I developed the I.AM coaching method. Identify, Attack/Act, Master. It looks like this:

  1. Identify: We spend a fair amount of time here because misidentifying the issue that is blocking you can lead to a lot of wasted time. We look at values and perspectives. We parse out what’s non-negotiable and what’s up for grabs. And, we agree on the exact issue that is blocking you and needs to be removed.
  2. Attack/Act: We put together a process for taking action and attacking a problem or issue. I help you to set up clearly defined goals and objectives and we jointly come up with a timeframe in which to achieve them.
  3. Master: You work on the issue that we’ve agreed must be mastered and you do just that. . . you master it. If we encounter static along the way, we re-think and re-adjust.

Most coaches will be happy to provide a complimentary 30-45 minute “get-to-know-you” session. We certainly do! It’s the best way to make your choice. And, if necessary, test drive a few coaches until you find one you feel comfortable with.