Below are some of the questions I get most often about coaching in general, and my coaching in particular.
If you can't find what you're looking for, feel free to contact me personally.
What is coaching?
This may sound corny, but I am here to make your deepest dreams come true. The ones you're excited about -- AND the ones you have tucked away in a safe place where the harsh realities of the world won't trample them.
And, my #1 job is to make your dreams come true faster, better and more easily than you could all by yourself.
How do I do this? Read on:
So, how do I know if I need a career coach?
As a career coach, I can help if you:
- Feel "stuck" in your job or career
- Want a new job - but have no idea what it is
- Have a big, thrilling "dream job" in mind - but don't know how to make it happen
- Want to make more money - but don't know how
- Want to do a job search in the shortest possible time
- Worry your resume or interviewing skills are rusty or out of date
- Have employment gaps or other "issues" that you need to de-emphasize
Michelle, are you a coach or a consultant?
A little of both, actually. I have over 20 years' experience coaching/facilitating literally a few thousand people (both individuals and groups). Both coaching and facilitating involve finding out where people want to go, and helping them get there.
I also have extensive career expertise - concrete knowledge about careers, job seeking, networking, and etc. that I share with you.
Finally, I have over 6 years' experience as a program director, where I interviewed, hired, trained, and coached my own staff. This gives me a real-world understanding of what you need to be a successful candidate and wow the interviewer.
If you are looking for career development, career change, or just better job-seeking strategies, you will need both coaching and consulting to get where you're going. I skillfully combine both into my sessions with you.
What happens in a coaching session?
Sessions are always customized to your needs.
Having said that, at the core of my practice there are four critical steps to success. They are:
1 – Clarify What You Need – Often, we know we need a change, but we don't have a clear vision of what it is. Once I guide you to define your vision, goals and needs more clearly, it becomes much easier to lay out a path to get there. I have several techniques to do that.
2 – Remove Obstacles – If you didn't have obstacles, you would have just stepped into your new job or career yesterday, right?
I help you get clear on your obstacles - especially the ones that are currently hidden - and figure out how to dissolve them so you can move forward. This may include techniques to deal with issues, situations or people. It may include guidance to develop your vision. It may also include concrete, helpful information about resume writing, interviewing, networking, or other nuts-and-bolts career skills.
3 – Set Better Goals – In my experience, one of the things that trips clients up most is planning action steps that don't make sense for their situation.
I help you set goals that are (1) the right size for your schedule, (2) have the right support system, (3) are properly tailored to your end goal, and (4) have a concrete end point. I have over 19 years' experience setting goals with groups and individuals...trust me, we got this.
4 - Get Excited! - Once you know where you're going, can see a path to get there, and have a "next step" that feels totally manageable, you will get excited - for your goal, and for your life. And that feeling will, in turn, propel you forward. It's what always happens, and sharing that with you is the best part about what I do.
What happens between coaching sessions?
Ah, that's where the real action is. Since coaching is about making it easier for you to do it yourself, you'll be doing something between coaching sessions to move forward on your goals and dreams. The size of the project - and how fast you choose to finish it - is entirely up to you. Coaching projects should fit into your life, not the other way around.
The best part? As you achieve your own success, you get that deeply satisfying feeling of knowing You. Can. Do. It. You get confidence in your competence. One of my top goals is to help you feel more confident in your ability to make things happen in your own life.
How long does the coaching relationship last?
That varies from person to person, depending on their needs and preferences. Some clients have as few as three sessions to work on something specific, while others work with me for a year, or "as needed" over the years for various goals. I'll work with you to create a plan, and you can end the coaching relationship at any time.
That's because coaching is all about helping YOU.
Is coaching confidential?
Yes, definitely. When you become my client, no one will even know that you are my client, let alone what we talk about, unless you disclose it. The only two times when I would be required by law to share this information are (1) If you tell me you are hurting yourself or others, or (2) In the very unlikely event of a court order. Otherwise, it's mum's the word.
I don't live near my coach. How do we meet?
Most coaching sessions happen by phone, Skype, or similar online technology. That way you can live anywhere and still work with your coach. If you happen to live in St. Petersburg, Florida, we can also meet in person.
How much does coaching cost?
Coaching is similar in cost to other hour-long, one-on-one sessions with skilled professionals, including counselors, accountants, massage therapists, photographers, or personal trainers. As with all of these professionals, the right coach will help you achieve something that would have been difficult to do by yourself with the same quality of results.
As a coach, I offer several options to make coaching as affordable and convenient as possible for the truly motivated client. These include: pay-as-you-go arrangements, "frequent flyer" packages, sliding scale arrangements, and group coaching sessions. We can discuss these in a no-cost consultation session (see here for a basic overview of fees).
How do I find the right coach for me?
I won't be offended if you look around a bit before choosing a coach. Schedule a consultation session, and ask lots of questions. Here are some questions you may ask:
- What is your coaching specialty? How did you chose this specialty?
- How long have you been coaching? What is your background or experience?
- What is your program?
- What kind of contract or payment arrangement do you require?
Then, listen to your gut: does it feel like a fit? Ultimately, you want a coach who seems genuinely interested in helping YOU, rather than making a sale.
Michelle, I'm anxious to get started. What's the best first step?
A no-cost consultation is usually the best way to start. In that conversation, I do a lot of listening, to learn about your unique situation. Usually, in the process of talking to me clients gain a lot of clarity for themselves about their situation, and this in itself is empowering.
At the end of this conversation, I'll give you my recommendation for how we might best proceed. I'll give you my best estimate of how many sessions we may need to get where you want to go. And I'll suggest a small step you can do immediately to get more of what you want into your life. After that, there's no obligation - I'm pretty low-pressure in the sales department. But if you want to schedule another session, we'll do that.
Curious? Just contact me to schedule your free session...I am looking forward to helping you create a life you love.