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What Does a Coach Do?

Life Coaches do what all coaches do: We lend you our expertise, training and experience. We shape the learning environment to offer you the best possible chance of success. We try to navigate you into the “zone of proximal development”- the appropriate place of challenge- not too easy, not crushingly hard, but jussstttt right.

Ultimately, we help you develop your own sense of expertise and to learn to apply that expertise in skillful ways. It works on the game field and it works in life.

What will we do together in our coaching sessions?

It depends.

Before we meet, I’ll have you fill out a brief worksheet to help me get a sense of your personality, temperament, goals, and experience. Once I get a sense of who you are and how you go about your business, I’ll sketch out a tentative agenda with some concrete goals, and if that looks good to you, we’ll arrange to meet for 1/2 an hour, usually at a local coffee shop. At that time, we can sketch out a “map” looking into the future, with an estimate of how long it might take to get certain kinds of work done. From our first meeting, you will get the sense of tangible movement towards your goals.

What I recommend at this point depends on where you are “on the journey.”

Every once and a while I meet a student who is really together and their main issue is that they don’t even know what good shape they are in! If this is you, I’ll congratulate you, shake your hand and send you on your way!

Someone who has been authentically wrestling with the issues in their life might just need a session or three to get a good start on their next steps. I might point you to a professor on campus who has something you need to hear. I might have you explore a few web pages or do a little reflective writing to get more clear on what you are after. In some cases it might be that just a little accountability can get you get back on track. Sometimes we humans have a funny knack for avoiding the things that we know will really be helpful. Knowing that someone is going to check in on us can be a great motivator.

Sometimes in life, we get seriously adrift…we might be plagued by a sense that things aren’t working for us, but don’t have any idea where to start. The answer is always: Just start. It might take a while to get unstuck, but waiting will just make it worse.

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