Is there a coach in your future?

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Tips – May 2018
Is there a coach in your future? (Or how to tell if you could benefit from one.)

Executive coach, personal life coach, career coach. . . it seems like the concept of coaching is in the top ten of business articles today. Having a coach does not necessarily mean that someone has performance problems. Rather, coaching is more often viewed as an accelerant to positive outcomes than as a requirement. In our April blog, link here, Rory Gilbert discussed coaching as an option to “Going It Alone.”

“A coach is a thought partner offering support, perspective, insight and an accountability structure to achieve change in a safe and confidential environment.”

 There are several situations, or times in the life cycle of a career/job when having a coach could be really useful.

  1. Transitioning into a new role or working in a new organization.

I used to be best friends with Marla, and now I have to supervise her. I’m worried that either our friendship will suffer, or that I won’t be able to do the job right.

This job now requires that I support positions that I may not agree with. . . I don’t have the luxury of being publicly critical. How can I keep my integrity?

  1. Reaching a plateau. . . losing passion, commitment or feeling burned out.

Am I in the right job or role?

I can’t get excited about my work anymore. What is wrong with me? I used to look forward every day to coming to work; now I dread it.

  1. Confronting dilemmas about clarity, focus, insecurity. Exploring issues and decisions safely without the pressures of pleasing a boss, or just doing what is expected.

I have no idea about where to start. I can’t seem to figure out the actions to take beyond the first obvious one.

This problem situation has so many elements to it. I am worried about unintended consequences.

  1. Being at the top level in an organization with no confidante.

Who do I talk to when I am unsure about my actions?

How can I safely reveal my weaknesses, or my insecurities? The organization depends on me to demonstrate confidence and inspire others to take action.

  1. Planning for leaving a legacy.

I want to be known for making a positive difference in the organization. How can my desires coincide with the organization’s mission?

If you think having a coach could be the right thing for you, the next question is the practical one, how do I find a coach, and what am I looking for?

  1. Ask around for referrals. . . friends, colleagues, social connections. More people may have or had coaches than you might guess. Understand that much of business coaching can be conducted remotely via phone, Skype, Facetime, or similar platforms.
  2. If applicable, ask your Human Resources department if your organization provides coaching resources for leaders or emerging leaders. If available, an employee assistance program may provide some types of coaching, such as performance coaching, wellness coaching, or leader coaching.

The coach you are looking for should have the following abilities:

  1. Someone who listens well to you and can offer clarity to what you are saying.
  2. Someone who understands the issues you bring to the discussions, and takes you seriously.
  3. Someone who expects you to develop actions plans and to keep them.
  4. Someone who is not afraid to ask you the tough questions.

At Thunderbird, we consider coaching leaders and leadership teams to be our sweet spot. Our coaches have been in leadership positions and know what it is like to be out there alone. For more information, visit us at

Jill Bachman, MSN