5 + 5 Reasons Why I Work with a Professional Coach

image from pixabay.com
image from pixabay.com

Lots of people work with professional coaches for a host of reasons.  Done well, coaching enables individuals and groups to achieve what was originally thought impossible or to do something far better than imagined.  Although the process can sometimes feel magical, coaching is not magic. Coaching is partnership between coach and client. The client is the expert in her life – she knows her destination and has ideas about how to get there.  The coach provides support for the journey through various thought and inquiry processes, exceptionally insightful feedback, and an unflinching belief in the client’s capacity to succeed.  Alongside my work as a leadership coach I habitually take advantage of coaching services offered by a fine colleague.

When I sat down to reflect on what it is I really reap from being coached, I came up with two lists: What I actually receive for the money I pay and then the internal benefits I draw from the relationship.

From my wise, witty coach, I get:

1. her full and undivided attention focused solely on my agenda.

2. feedback that is honest and often highlights something I am showing yet not seeing.

3. pictures of what I’m saying. (She makes simple graphics, charts, lists which show what we worked on.)

4. a partner in crime who holds me accountable to my stated goals.

5. an incredibly satisfying and positive customer service experience.

In the process, I give myself:

1. a break. I don’t have to do everything on my own. I can get help and move forward faster.

2. time and space to fully be who I am and explore who I want to become without fear of being laughed at or shamed.

3. a tangible self-affirmation: I deserve to have a coach – who I am and what I do are worth the money I am investing.

4. the challenge of living up to my own expectations, complete with a built-in accountability feature.

5. 100 reminders, large and small, of why this is the field of work I am also choosing for myself.

As a result of the work I have undertaken on myself with the aid of my superb coach,

  • you are among several others reading this post,
  • I have coaching clients of my own,
  • I am proud to share my work with groups through workshops and talks, and
  • I am fully convinced that I am in the right field at the right time.

Curious about what kind of difference Sherri Spelic Coaching can make in your life right now?  Click here to find out more.

What are your possibilities?

This was a question I was asked to respond to in an online course I am doing on marketing.
What are your possibilities?
The instructions were to take 5 minutes and write down the first things that came to mind.
I started at the coward’s end of the spectrum: Walk away and go home. And then more ideas came; less resigned, more interesting and after a short while pretty creative. (Become a wildly successful leadership coach, create a new group movement, go on a full year vacation)
They are, in fact, all possibilities.
If I go back to my list I can certainly identify 4 or 5 possibilities that I can positively influence – there are real actions I can take, there are factors that are under my control. If I do just one of those things today, how will my possibilities look tomorrow and the next day?

What are my possibilities?

To keep improving my possibilities one positive step at a time.
To ask others the same question.
To keep growing the list.

With an open mind, generous heart and zero assumptions,
Ask yourself
What are my possibilities?
See what happens.

Testing, testing: This is your coach speaking…

This year, this month, very recently, I learned to speak the following words out loud: I am starting my life coaching business.  It is a true statement and no longer that bottled dream on a shelf waiting patiently to be released.  My secret is out: I am here to coach and I know so because when I engage in the process and your agenda is at the center of attention, that is when I am most fully myself: present, curious, observant, connected.

My card

During our time together, we open up space in which to work.  We survey the landscape, explore the territory, become discoverers in your own backyard.  We can investigate exteriors and inner workings, we can wonder about oddities and ideosyncracies, tinker with habits and patterns.  Our process recognizes and honors the “quest” embedded in the questions and by design sets us on a course of movement towards your desired destination(s).

Our journey is rich in discovery.  Your research takes unexpected trajectories. New findings emerge. The topic of investigation shifts.  Your learning expands and you are energized by the forward momentum you have created. We walk, we skip, we amble. We catch our breath and move on.   We celebrate progress and do a victory dance right there in the space of our deliberate making. We mix our metaphors like exotic cocktails and have fun doing it.

I can hardly wait to work with you.  To listen intently, share in your humor; to welcome your wildest dreams and ambitions into the light of day; to life.

No longer a test: This is your coach speaking.  I’m here.

See you soon,

Sherri

Powerful Questions, Brave Responses

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I’m currently enrolled in a life coaching course and we have been exploring and experimenting with powerful questions. Which questions are powerful? you ask. They are the questions which force you to stop and think. Powerful questions can startle you out of autopilot and make you grab the steering wheel of your random thoughts. You can feel them land. They can catch you off guard and cause you to prick up your ears. They may confound and exhilirate you. Powerful questions tend to find you when you least expect them. They’ve got your number and when they come calling, you’ll be compelled to answer.

What I like about powerful questions is that they are not powerful according to formula. Depending on who you are, what you need and how you function, the power of the question lies in its reception. That makes powerful questions both a gamble and surprise. I like to raise all sorts of questions with my students. Many questions are closed – require a yes or no answer – and yet are often asked in service to a deeper learning: “Was that kind?” ” Were you respectful?” With these queries I often want to draw students’ attention to their behavior and the impact their behavior may be having on others. On the other hand, when time allows, I can create open questions to stimulate a different student response: “What did you do that was kind?” “How were you and your teammates respectful of each other?” In these cases I am encouraging students to dig a little deeper into the topic and give me some specifics from their thinking.

It can be an inspiration when my students respond to a well posed open question. Their answers are often amazingly articulate and plain. They cut to the chase and get to the point. Following a round of challenging team building activities, I asked my 5th graders silently to ask themselves this question: What am I learning? Then I asked them to share their answers with me individually and I noted them on a sheet of paper. Here’s what some of them said:

“We should be safer, be more respectful and cooperate more.”

“We need to have teamwork which is kinda hard, but we learn to problem solve.”

“I need to rely on others.”

“Working with teamwork means that you have to put in effort.”

“If we yell at each other, people get discouraged and feel under pressure and then can’t do their best.”

“It’s basically a trust exercise. You have to trust others…”

“When you work as a team, winning isn’t what matters.”

“I am learning about the word challenge. You have to keep on trying and challenge yourself.”

“Maybe we don’t have to fix it every time, maybe sometimes we should go with the flow.”

“To listen to others more carefully.”

“It was better when more people gave ideas. We had more brains thinking.”

“We shouldn’t scream. We should be more helpful and give support.”

Those are some powerful responses. I felt each of them land. They hit the nail on the head and gave me pause. In my students’ answers I find fuel for my own ongoing inquiry: What am I learning?