When I really think about it, I began my journey as a coach when I was about 11. It was 1976. My family and I had moved to Sutter Creek from San Pablo, California. These communities could not have been more different from one another, and I was a bit of an exotic creature. I knew things! Most of my new friends were born in one of the smallest counties in the country, with a total of fewer than 5,000 people at that time. I was born and raised in a much more urban and diverse community in the Bay Area. My friends were always coming to me for advice and guidance. And not much has really changed for me in that way, except for everything.
The Power of Listening
The power of coaching comes more from our ability to listen rather than to talk; from empowering people not with the “right” answers or advice, but with insightful questions and reflection. As one of my mentors said, “Your clients really do have the answers.” But I do have some wisdom that comes with age and experience. I bring that wisdom to bear in my coaching relationships and conversations with my clients.
I have carved out a career as a professional communicator and leader over the last 30 years that enables me to understand how miscommunication, lack of personal insight, and fear of change play into the unhappiness some of us experience in our work and careers.
Focus on Relationships
I have been married for 26 years, and know how rewarding and difficult and maddening and fulfilling marriage can be. And I believe deeply most of us choose our partner from a place of love and joy, and if we have wandered from that foundation, we just want to find that again. For most of us that is completely possible with a little trust and intention.
And, finally, I have been a parent for almost 25 years and bring to my coaching of parents and their adolescent children a deep empathy for the sorrows and joys that our most important relationship can bring into our lives.