Why call yourself a Personal Development Coach instead of a Life Coach?
I've always felt that the term Life Coach was a misnomer. In all other areas, coach titles typically describe an area of focus or expertise, such as Executive Coach, Career Coach, or Leadership Coach. Life Coach, however, implies no such meaning. If anything, it might be interpreted that the coach in question is an expert in “life.” It's also an unfortunate reality that the term Life Coach is a favorite of self-appointed gurus who operate in the wild west corners of the fledgling coaching industry, further confusing the public on exactly what good coaching can be.
Instead, Personal Development Coach accurately describes what I am qualified to do, and maintains the true broad focus of my practice. Wherever a client sees their own personal development leading, I am prepared to go with them. This is possible because my training and experience has shown me that a client-centered coach doesn't necessarily need to be a subject matter expert, understanding the minutiae of every field. My clients are naturally creative, resourceful and whole and I respect that by trusting them to do the heavy lifting. What I am is their aligned partner for the journey!
What qualifies you to coach others?
I asked myself the same question for years! Critically, it's what kept me from pursuing this path for a long time. While there are countless certifications in today's world, being an International Coaching Federation coach is the gold standard in this growing industry. I'm proud to say that I earned the ICF's Professional Certified Coach (PCC) credential which is the universal hallmark of effective professional coaches worldwide. As part of my training and professional obligations, I continue my own learning and development on a weekly basis. My growth aids my clients, and theirs helps me as well!
What topics do you cover with your coaching clients?
Only those that are powerfully meaningful for them. I have a love for transformational coaching with a focus on purpose and fulfillment through clarity on values. Transformation means different things to each of us, but a key is that inner growth is intertwined with outer growth. Even if we desire external changes, we will inevitably shift, change and grow inside as part of the process. My role is to facilitate a client activating their best, most desired potential, and helping them feel empowered to overcome the barriers on the way.
I have worked with clients who are looking for more fulfillment, starting or advancing a career, managing teams, losing weight, building confidence, achieving a more balanced life, being more comfortable in public, raising standards of performance, achieving financial security and making life changing decisions, to name a few. The common thread is that each of these has represented a meaningful step toward living a more authentic and empowered life for the individual that has come my way.
What does a typical coaching engagement look like?
I believe in client-centered coaching; we will design our relationship to serve you most effectively. That being said, I have a few guidelines:
I encourage clients to commit to at least three sessions. Why, you ask? Awareness can shift in an instant, but real change takes time to anchor. I'm interested in helping to not only raise awareness and build empowerment, but also to create change that lasts.
When someone defers to my judgement on how we should proceed, I often suggest the following:
After our initial, no-cost discovery conversation, where we both confirm that we're well suited for the partnership, we will schedule our first one hour coaching session. That's followed by another a week later, and then subsequent ones every two weeks for a three month period. This means we create momentum with a one-two punch right out of the gate, and we proceed to go deeper and anchor further for a three month period, for a total of seven coaching sessions. From there, we will re-evaluate before continuing the biweekly meetings for as long as necessary. A three to twelve month period is what you should have in mind for highly successful, durable change to take place. How long it takes depends on the individual.
Some clients prefer the higher level of support or accountability provided by a weekly call. Either way, it's important that we re-assess goals and progress every three months.
Eventually, clients often want to enter a “maintenance mode” while still continuing the relationship, where we connect monthly or as needed. It's important to note that we are not creating a dependent relationship. You should see yourself eventually getting to where you want to be, in your desired future state. If you encounter new situations in the future and want to re-engage based on our prior success, then that's great. But beware a coach who is proud of having the same steady, dependent clients for many years. That could be a red flag for an ineffective coaching relationship!
A drummer and a coach - why are you doing two things with your career?
This is close to my heart. My father was a huge science fiction fan, so I was exposed to some serious nerd content from a very early age. This fascinating quote is from the legendary author Robert Heinlein:
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
While I don't butcher hogs or plan invasions, I do savor the challenge of living this in my own life. In my adult life I've been a student, a teacher, an expert, a novice... I prepare taxes, make home repairs, change diapers, play drums, program drums, mentor, engineer, invest, cook, write, read, lead, and follow all on a regular basis. To imply that one person can or should develop only one skill highly is an extreme underestimation of human potential.
I've come to realize that I am highly skilled and highly passionate as a drummer as well as a coach; both have value to myself and others. I would be less whole if I limited myself to one of these expressions. Instead I simply said, “Why not?”
Alright, enough already, what does coaching cost? (The question no coaches seem to answer on their website!)
I charge a competitive (even low!) rate when comparing among ICF PCC coaches, with a discounts for a 3 month package as described above. As of 2022, this is $150 per call. That being said, it's important to me to be of maximum service to others in my life. If cost is truly a burden, I maintain one designated pro bono coaching slot every week so that a transformative coaching relationship is within reach for anyone. These are often fully booked several weeks farther in advance than my regular slots but they are no secret because I'm proud to offer them.
I invite you to contact me today - RIGHT NOW, in fact - to talk about your needs, desires and road blocks. Don't put it off - neuroscience research has shown that if we don't connect an impulse to a corresponding action within a mere five seconds, we risk wasting the opportunity! Our discovery call is free, but priceless awareness can shift in an instant.