Frequently Asked Questions

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Why work with a coach?

A lawyer coach can help you get to where you want to be faster than you would get there on your own. I can help you with:


Mindset


  • Mindset marks both the beginning and the end. To achieve anything, you must believe that it's possible. You must become the kind of person who acts on that belief until the goal is realized.
  • Real transformation is achieved when you have altered your mindset.


Professional Growth


  • You have recently been promoted to a leadership position and you want to be intentional about developing an effective leadership style, managing your increase in responsibilities and being accepted and respected by others in your new role.
  • You are capable of taking on more responsibility and you want to climb in rank, but you find yourself shying away from growth opportunities when they present. 
  • You want to grow your practice and you need to build relationships but you don't know how or where to start.
  • You want to develop your own signature style instead of playing to others' expectations, but you need help getting clear on what that style is and how you will implement it in practice.


Career Direction


  • You question the broader direction of your career but you are too busy putting out fires to focus on a long-term strategy. 
  • You have reached a plateau in your career and you want a thought partner who will challenge you to re-evaluate your game plan in relation to your values, stretch outside your comfort zone and help you track progress as you move forward.
  • You want to move up in your firm, start your own practice or pursue a big goal, but the prospect is overwhelming and you don't know where to start.
  • Your personal circumstances and priorities have evolved over time and you no longer "fit" your current position. 


Balance


  • You are pulled in so many directions, at work and at home, that you no longer feel like you can perform to your standards in any of them.
  • Your relationships have suffered outside of work, to the point of crisis. You want to understand what boundaries might look like and how you could build and enforce them.


Sometimes you just need to speak with someone in complete confidence who has no skin in the game and whose sole focus is on you and your best outcome.

You know you have it in you to thrive, but you feel stuck. Partner with a professional coach and leverage your greatest asset: you. 


See also Coaching Services For Lawyers.

What is a coaching relationship?

The coaching relationship is founded on our mutual interest in achieving a common goal: your success, however you define it. Our relationship is based on trust, integrity, hard work and mutual accountability. Your goals are big, challenging and important. You deserve to work with a lawyer coach with both backbone and flexibility who has complete faith in your capacity to succeed and the resolve to see you through to your desired outcome.

How do coaching sessions work?

Each coaching session consists of a structured conversation. It may be in-person, over the phone or by videoconference. Our first session sets the agenda for our coaching relationship. We discuss your background, why you are interested in coaching and what you want to get out of it. From there, we work out a framework for our sessions, including the duration and frequency. Coaching relationships typically last between three and six months, depending on the nature and scope of your objectives. Sessions are typically scheduled bi-weekly with each one lasting between 30 and 60 minutes. Emails and phone calls are welcome between sessions. In each session, we focus on a particular piece of your broader goals, examine its significance and develop specific action steps for you to take to move you forward. You may be provided with resources or "homework." After each coaching session you should have increased clarity about the direction you are taking and a specific plan for action.

I have a mentor. Is that enough?

Mentors are wonderful allies and relationships with mentors should absolutely be sought out and fostered. Mentors and coaches have much in common, including an interest in supporting you and helping you succeed. However, there are a few key differences between your relationship with a mentor and your relationship with a coach:


  • Mentoring is often about providing advice based on the experience of a more senior member of the profession. While a coach may share resources, experiences and offer alternative options, a coach is unlikely to give advice or tell you what you should do. 
  • Mentors may have a proven track record as lawyers; however, they may have no formal training in how to coach others for success. An executive coach has completed formal training and learned specific skills to support you in making decisions and taking action in alignment with your goals, beliefs and motivations.
  • Mentoring is a reciprocal relationship in a broader professional and social context and one where you may be trying to make a favourable impression. In contrast, a coaching relationship is a safe harbour in which the focus is entirely on you. You don't need to impress your coach. For best results, you just need to be you.
  • Mentoring may or may not be impartial and confidential. With a coach, you will have both.

In sum, a coaching relationship complements your existing professional and support networks. It is up to you to decide, based on your objectives and existing resources, whether or not coaching would be of benefit to you.

I am interested in coaching. But am I ready?

Lawyers like to be prepared. But waiting until you are "ready" to make changes in your professional or personal life may mean missing out on opportunities or suffering through the status quo longer than necessary. Five sage words (not my own): Start Before You're Ready.

Contact me and learn more.

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