A post on Linkedin with a challenge question gave me the idea to write about this topic. It read, Ten lessons learned in the process of evolving from Corporate Katie to Entrepreneur Katie (who writes online). At the end of it Katie wrote, ‘Challenge : If you had to write something and publish it in two days (meaning, it has to be something you already know about) – what is the headline and who needs to read it?’ And I thought I can do this! So here we are.
The headline to this post is what I came up with that day. I also channeled someone whose podcast I listen to bi-weekly (cause she produces twice a week and I highly recommend it to everyone).
My audience for this headline – those navigating their career paths with multiple interests. And in the words of #SuzeOrman ‘everyone smart enough to listen’ or read. 😁
I’ve been reading and following a lot of coaches lately. Career coaches mostly, but some life and these things blur into each other because it is all life. I’ve listened to some podcasts, read posts and signed up for emails. I became aware of the industry in 2009. Met with a life/career coach for free back then. I think it was for 30 minutes in a cafe in NYC. He asked me to have prepared or maybe he asked me on the spot, a scenario of a time at work when I had a problem with a coworker. Well this was very specific and I had no issues at that time (what magical job was I working!?!). So I quickly mentioned an issue from a previous job, but I did not admit it was a former job. So this session was no help to me and frankly turned me off from coaching. When I mentioned this to my mother she said you could have said you have no issues at work and then let him respond. Genius! Why do I say the things I do!?!
I decided to give coaching another chance. I do get value out of being a secret fan (thanks Katie for reminding me of this term!).
Finding the right coach is like finding the right job, therapist, life partner. You have to take a leap and meet them, not think about it for years. Although you can make progress on your own (and some of us are great being on our own – you may still want to make friends or clients), you gain so much more from actual exchanging of thought. You have to go over and say ‘hi’. As an introvert, this takes me longer, in some scenarios than others. Even for extroverts it takes courage to say ‘I would like to learn more, can you coach me’. Nothing is wrong with you. In fact it is the opposite. Like asking for help, it is better to do it before you get to the point of screaming I NEED F**KING HELP NOW!!!!!!!
So after you’re researching and following coaches online how do you know who is right for you? Number one, you do not really know till you have that ah ha moment while communicating with them. I’m not saying this will happen with the first coach you talk to (see above, it didn’t work that way for me).
You can ask yourself questions like: What is it that you want to work on? What area of your life do you want to change? What thinking needs to be challenged? Who is sparking the most thought in you?
The last question may be the most relevant when deciding about which coach is best for your goals. You have to allow yourself to spend time interacting with these people to figure it out. If you are like me, not wanting to spend any or very little money at first, then you can do so by investing some time (though time is a currency too, we can discuss later). Respond to their posts on social media, sign up for their newsletters and hit reply!, listen to their podcasts. See who responds to you and how they respond and in what time frame. See if they have opportunities to meet with them. I didn’t spend any money meeting the coach in NYC for a quick introduction to coaching. So take advantage of a quick meetup. Just don’t expect to make a friend or immediate magical this is the coach for me moment. Though if any of that happens then that is a plus!
For me, I decided on talking to Nicolassa Galvez, Chingona Coach because I liked what she was posting, her website, her emails and the way she framed coaching. I signed up for her newsletter and received my welcome email. Plus one more. I did nothing. Actually I drafted a reply but never hit send…. secret fan powers! Then I sent an email through her Venting Box (check it out at the bottom of the website). Her response was perfect! Exclamations and all! Even consent not to reply. But I did. We corresponded a few times. Then I signed up for a free session. This time I showed up as my authentic self. Knowing this was a judgment free and confidential zone. I talked about my current work situation. I received great feedback on words I was using, how I shared context. It was interesting to reflect upon what was said. I left that session with a little nugget of wisdom. I highly suggest hiring her, if you align with her philosophies. If not, there are many others out there! So give them a reply, if they don’t respond or they do, but you do not feel this is the right fit, give yourself permission to move on to the next person. Or even not to get a coach. Perhaps coaching is not for you right now.
For those not connected to me on Linkedin, here is the additional text I wrote in response to Katie’s post: Thanks Kathryn Montbriand for hitting publish! I love reading about what other #contentcreators are thinking. And we are all cringing at times. I too was sad with the first few unsubscribes. Who were these people and why did they leave me! In hindsight it doesn’t matter. I’ve hit unsubscribe and it was never a personal attack. And number 6 made me smile. I am a secret fan. Sometimes it is because I never hit reply or send till that moment, several weeks or months later.
Now go read Katie’s post and respond here and there. Let us know your headline!
One response to “How talking to a coach made an impact in the first email exchange and choosing the right one for you”
Amy! I’m so glad you took up this challenge! I love how you put words to something so many people feel and experience (the hesitation and skepticism of letting someone in as a coach). It’s so important to find the right person.
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