ASK COACH KATE
How coaching works, and what you can expect from the coaching experience
What is coaching?
Coaching is a partnership between the coach and client that’s designed to help the client get more of what they want (or less of what they don’t!). As a coach, I’m 100% focused on my clients – 100% on their side. I help my clients see things from a different perspective, and I’m an accountability partner for them as they get stuff done.
Who is your typical client?
Most of my clients are leaders in their organizations. Mostly for-profit, but I have some non-profit folks, too. Most are mid- to senior-level managers, and most are women and/or people of color and/or LGBTQ. All of my clients are strong performers, and many of them have just been promoted, or are readying themselves for promotion or for moving to a new company.
Is there anybody who isn’t a fit for coaching?
Absolutely! If someone isn’t ready for big changes, or if they can’t make the time to do the work, or aren’t willing to focus, they won’t be a good fit for coaching. Sometimes, it’s about timing, and sometimes, it’s about the person. We almost always figure it out before we start working together, though!
What do your clients typically work on?
Oh, gosh, lots of different things! Some want to define who they are as leaders, some need time management or prioritization help, some want to super-charge their performance, some are focusing on their leadership presence (how they show up), some are looking to make job or career changes, and some need help negotiating their salary offers. It all depends on what the client is interested in.
What kinds of results do your clients get?
Of course, it depends on what they’re focusing on. I’ve had clients who earned higher performance ratings, negotiated bigger pay packages, prepared themselves for promotions, received better 360-degree feedback, and built stronger leadership identity and presence.
Clients also tell me about their other results that aren’t as quantifiable (but really important!), like having greater clarity, being more relaxed, being more creative (how cool is that?), having better work-life balance, and being more fulfilled in their lives.
What’s really fun is to hear other people talking about the great things my clients are doing – especially when they don’t know we’ve been working together.
Is coaching confidential?
Yes! Even when an organization pays for a client’s coaching, all coaching conversations are confidential. The only times I share information with others are when the client specifically asks me to or if there’s a legal requirement (which would be super-rare; it’s never happened to any coach I know).
Why and how did you get into coaching?
I’ve been coaching informally for my whole career – my passion is helping others achieve. A friend, who’s also a coach, recommended that I add to what I love with formal training. From my first class, I was hooked! As I saw the results my clients were getting with my coaching, I knew it was the best way to use my talents.
What makes your practice so special?
The biggest thing that sets my practice apart is the combination of how I care about my clients and my deep experience and perspective. My gift is that I’m able to see the very best – the highest potential – in my clients. And I help them stay on track to achieve their goals.
TIME MANAGEMENT& WORK-LIFE BALANCE
Questions about how to manage time & life better
This time of year is so completely swamped. How do I manage work and home and have time to give back to my community, too?
It’s tough to balance work and home obligations! Here are my best tips for getting better at your transitions between work and home. And many of my clients tell me that volunteering with friends or family members creates wonderful memories. And if you align your volunteerism with your Principles (what you stand for), it’ll be even more fulfilling!
I'm so dang tired all the time, and I feel like I'm not getting as much done as I should at work OR at home. Help!
You are SO not alone! Almost all of my clients share this issue. My biggest tips are in 2 blog posts: 3 Simple Strategies to Make the Time for Things That Matter, and Maximize Your Productivity by Managing Your Work-Life Transitions. Hope they help!
I'm overwhelmed. So overwhelmed.
If you’re like most of my leadership coaching clients, a big source of overwhelm is a lack of clarity.
When you’re not crystal clear about what matters most, it’s easy for other stuff to get in the way. The tyranny of the urgent, for instance.
If you want someone in your corner to help you work through the specifics of your situation, send me an email. I’d love to help!
Questions about how to be more productive and develop professionally
I'm not loving work right now -- they want me to do stuff that I'm good at, but I don't really like it. I want to do something new. Help!
Many of my clients come to me with exactly this issue. I’d recommend that you get super-clear on both your Principles (what you stand for) and your Superpowers (what you’re great at), both of which are key elements in your Personal Brand. When you can articulate your Personal Brand well, you’ll be better positioned to ask for — and get — more of what matters to you!
I've been doing the same job for a long time now, and I'm starting to get bored. What can I do while I'm still in this job (I'm looking for a new one) that will make things more exciting?
My best tip for making any job more exciting and fulfilling is to find ways to grow and develop while you’re doing it. Because whether you’re brand new to a job, or you’ve been doing it forever, you need to develop yourself.
Make sure you have a great development plan, and enlist the help of your manager, mentor, or coach. It’ll get lots less boring!
I'm feeling scattered. How can I pull things together?
With the pace of business today, it’s no small wonder! The first, best thing you can do is to figure out what really matters. To you.
Where do I find joy when things suck at work?
It’s not easy sometimes, right? The mindset shift of wanting to look on the bright side is an awesome start.
Also, try noticing the little things. This focus on the small (from the scent of hand cream, to a great song, to the juiciness of a tangerine) helped me recover from a catastrophic car accident years ago. Looking at the big picture back then was too hard!
And if you need some ideas on ways to bring more joy into your day, check out “Joyful,” by Ingrid Fetell Lee.
Good luck to you!
How do I show up strong at networking events?
Love this question! I advise my clients to pay attention to the Before (how do you want to project your personal brand?), During (how can you serve people by doing what you do best?), and After (how will you follow up?).
By being prepared in advance, it’s easier to show up as authentic and true to who you really are. You’ll feel a ton more relaxed, too! Check out this post, too.
I'm super-prepared for my big presentation, so why is that voice in my head saying "DON'T DO IT!!"?
I call that pesky voice in your head your “saboteur.” And the closer you get to doing something important/risky/ awesome, the louder that voice gets. It’s perfectly normal!
Here are some tips for dealing with it so you can move forward.