How do you know if a particular coach is the right fit for you? After doing your due diligence about credentials, experience, specialization, and testimonials, you want to have what I call a “meet-and-greet” conversation. Recently I experienced a really effective – even exemplary – interview by a prospective client. She put me through my paces, and I want to share with you the incisive, savvy questions she asked me (as well as my answers):
1. How did you come to coaching? I came to coaching women after spending 17 years as a women’s studies professor. Advising graduate students was my favorite part of being an academic. I particularly loved helping young scholars to clarify their research passions and to figure out how to plan their projects. But I eventually came to the point when I felt compelled to leave academia and bring my knowledge and my teaching skills into the real world.
2. What do you enjoy about coaching? Lots of things, but two in particular. First, I love the process: the deep dialogue. I love to be totally present, focusing all my attention on my client. It energizes me! Second, I love the results. Those moments when women take flight, when they fully claim their voice and their desire – there’s nothing like it. I feel like I’m changing the world, one empowered woman at a time.
3. What makes you unique? I think it’s my lifetime of inquiry into women’s lives. Well before I earned my PhD, I was asking questions about the ways that women are defined – and sometimes circumscribed — by our culture. When I competed in “original oratory” in the forensics club my senior year of high school, I gave a speech about the gender rituals I encountered during a summer abroad in Brasil. Coaching women isn’t my job. It’s my mission.