Life Coach Path Interview
1) Karen can you describe your coaching practice and the kinds of clients you typically work with?
As coach my clients are in some sort of leadership position, either within an organization or a part of their own business venture. These leaders fall into an age span ranging from university students to those who are in their 30’s, 40’s, or 50’s. I offer a relationship built on trust to help leaders learn, grow, and transform into who they need to be and do more of their best work serving those they influence. My favorite way to coach individuals is face to face. When distance is an obstacle, the telephone or webinar format serves us adequately. I’m also passionate about group coaching with those who love to collaborate in this format. In addition to coaching I serve as a workshop facilitator sharing Strengths-based Development, Time Management, How to Increase Engagement, and Life Planning for individuals and teams.
2) What initially got you interested in this career path and what kind of degree or certifications did you need to complete?
Prior to coaching, I had a 14 year fulfilling career in high-end retail. As a Visual Specialist who transitioned into management serving as a Merchandise/Operations/Sales Support Manager is where I fell in love with the opportunity to help others move forward in their careers and do more of what they love. Deciding to take a leap in life and see what more there might be for me, I landed in the profession of coaching. I wanted to be able to help individuals looking at them as a whole person, not just addressing them at work.
Prior to acquiring my first coaching certification I studied counseling for a full year. Though I believe whole heartedly in this needed helping profession, my heart still longed for the business aspect of life. Beginning with certification as an Advanced Life Coach, after a couple of years I gained the Executive and Leadership Development Coach Certification. In 2016, I moved forward to become an independent Strengths Coach, holding a Certification with the Gallup Organization. (I am not a Gallup employee, but have completed all the necessary requirements, certification, and recertification process to hold this certification.) 3) What is the most rewarding part of your career?
The most rewarding part of my career is serving those who share part of their journey with me. I don’t just want to help someone meet goals or outcomes, I want to help them create the life they long for, being their best and using all they have been given, their innate talents and strengths to their full potential. I value and respect each leader who invites me into the conversations they long to have in order to experience life more as gift it is. 4) What is the most challenging aspect of the work that you do?
The most challenging aspect of the work I do is being a faithful student of learning more and more how to listen with clarity. It’s not just the words spoken by the client that matter, but paying attention to the details, emotions, and personal presence they use to try to express what they are really trying to say or make happen in life. For the last two years, I’ve make a commitment to listen better. I think 2020 will continue my longing to pay attention with greater care, not just with those who call me coach, but especially with those who mean the world to me. 5) Can you think of mentor who was most vital to your success as a coach? In what ways did this mentor help you to thrive in your career?
Yes, indeed! I have a mentor/coach that I met actually nearly 17 years ago when I was at the peak of my retail career. At the time of our meeting I did not know she was a coach. Our relationship developed over the years and when I decided to switch careers and begin a new venture she helped me see what I couldn’t see within me that was good and strong. I wouldn’t be where I am today, had it not been for her influence and compassionate caring. She taught me the importance of being myself and enjoying coaching conversations, being in the moment. Every coach needs a coach, I see her at least 2 times a year for about 5 hours each time. I always walk away feeling inspired, adjusted, and full of passion to carry on. We laugh, we cry, and we coach until our hearts are content. Find someone who will spend this valuable time with you; it will make the difference you are after as a coach. 6) What is one piece of advice you would give someone who is just starting out in their coaching career?
If I could roll back the hands of time, I’d build my coaching practice from the start using my particular talents and strengths, not what social media or the rest of the world noise is telling me what to do. I’d be more selective on which organizations I align with and not sign up for everyone’s newsletter. I’d pick the marketing initiatives that are the best fit for my personality and enjoy promoting the value and care I am offering. It’s great to keep an eye on what other coaches are doing, but you have your own path and way of making things happen. Follow your own intuition more as to what is the best way for you to build your practice. Someone once told me if I were going to be successful as a coach, I’d need to make 300 cold calls a week. Cold calls give me the feeling of having a bad case of the flue. I knew I’d need to find my way, that wasn’t so gruelingly painful. I have Relator as #1, I thought I’d coach a few people and then let them tell their friend, family, and others about what our conversations have done for them. Nearly nine years later, it’s still working. Many clients return to coaching after a few years, because they know we have built a relationship and I care.
If you are passionate about helping people through the coaching profession, know there are individuals who would love to have a conversation with you, especially if you make it all about them. It’s not often in life we have the opportunity to talk about ourselves for an hour with someone who gives us their full attention. I thank you for letting me share my heart about my coach’s journey. Thank you for listening! I hope the words I’ve put into this interview help and move you to a place where you will begin to know how important the world needs what you have to offer.
And thank you
for the opportunity to share part of my coaches journey!