Thursday, February 17, 2011

Some thoughts on Coaching

You may have heard about personal or creativity coaching but you really don't know what it all about. Or perhaps you have toyed with the idea of hiring a coach but you are a little afraid to take that first step. Let me demystify the subject and tell you all about my experience.

I know some of you have all heard about personal coaching.  There are many artists out there who hire personal or creativity coaches. You may have heard them talking about their coach and how they were helped. You may wonder what does a coach do for you?  Or perhaps think to yourself, would hiring a coach help you in your life or with your creativity? What if you can't afford one?  What else can you do to get help?

Just what does a coach do for you?

Simply put a coach is like having your very own cheering section and also someone that keeps you honest, makes you accountable, helps you overcome blocks and more. Some of my long time readers may remember that I hired a coach a couple years ago.  I did two months worth of coaching with Jamie Ridler and she was awesome.  She helped me clarify some goals, figure out where I wanted to go and set me on that path. It really is amazing working with someone who has your best interest at heart and pushes you in the areas that you need pushing, and cheers you on to achieve new heights.

Why hire a coach?

I hired a coach because I felt stifled, blocked and unsure of what I wanted to do next. I had just paid off my car so I had extra money.  This time I decided to invest in myself. I hired Jamie for a month initially but ended up working with her for two months and it was the best money I have spent. Coaches can help you see what you couldn't see in yourself.

How do you choose a coach?

I think its a personal decision for sure.   I recall that I was part of the Next Chapter book group that Jamie Ridler does on line at her site.  I was really impressed with her and thought, if I ever get the funds to hire a coach she'd be the one I would hire.  I thought I could work with her and I was right.

So when I got serious I checked out her site and set up an initial consultation. Most coaches will give you a free session.  They want you to know how coaching works and then they want to see if you mesh with them. You'll talk about what you want from coaching and then decide if the two of you  are a good match and whether the coach can help you. I did this with Jamie and discovered that we worked well together.  Then I set up some coaching sessions, they were all done over the phone. We met once a week, talked and I was given homework, which we talked about the next week.  It was very easy and very productive.

What if you can't afford a coach what else can you do? 

Well for one thing you can hang out on their blog or website.  All coaches give free advice, sometimes there are tele-seminars or book groups or other small events that you can take advantage of. Sign up for their newsletters, they are a wealth of information. You'll get to know them and one day you may find yourself able to hire one, it will be the best decision you make.

Some coaches whose sites I love and recommend:
Jamie Ridler
Jennifer Lee
Jennifer Louden
Christine Kane
Cynthia Morris
Jill Badonsky

If you are stuck creatively or personally and don't know where or what you want to do next perhaps some time with a coach would be helpful. It was such a wonderful experience for me I am sure it will be for you too.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post Kate, and good advice. Where I live, there are so many Art Guilds and Art Education Centers and private small class instructors that no one would ever need a coach here. Just pick your class and go. But if this is not available, a coach seems just the right thing.


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