What is your personal development plan for this year? How will you get better? What will you do this year so that you can say on December 31st, “I am a better person today than I was a year ago.”? If you don’t have a plan, I encourage you to develop one this month. If you do have a plan, are you on target to achieve the results that you want?

Managing Yourself:
Are You Ready for a Coach?

The world of work is changing, and fast. Having a successful career means continual learning and adapting to rapidly evolving environments.

You can’t do it alone. Coaching yourself is like the blind leading the blind: You can’t know what you don’t know.

Coaching occurs all the time within an organization as a management or leadership style. But what we are referring to here is coaching from an executive coach who is professionally trained and hired externally, and whose sole job is to provide development opportunities.

No universal certification guarantees quality or qualifications. Former outplacement specialists, therapists, psychologists, HR specialists and motivational speakers have transformed themselves into executive coaches. Some have undergone rigorous coach training programs, and some are talented and highly intuitive people without formal instruction.

While coaches were originally assigned to those experiencing difficulties or in danger of derailment, there is now wider acceptance of hiring coaches for even the most successful managers. Organizations recognize that people can grow and change. Having a coach assigned to you often signals career advancement.

Who Needs a Coach?

A coach can be most useful at particular career points:
1. You are being promoted to a management or leadership position that requires new skills.

2. You lack fulfillment in your present position and are considering a career change, within the same company or externally.

3. You are experiencing stress and may be on the road to burnout.

4. You want to improve your ability to manage and influence others by understanding how to navigate office politics.

5. You want to learn better “people skills.”

6. You want to improve your emotional intelligence and learn to better manage your inner experiences so you can manage others more effectively.

7. You are dealing with global issues: long-distance responsibilities or actual relocation.

8. You are experiencing diversity challenges that you’d like to handle better.

9. The strengths and talents you brought to your job are not the ones that will guarantee future career success.

Choosing a Coach

The No. 1 quality anyone should look for in a coach is rapport. A client needs to be able to trust the coach and feel comfortable working at a level where real change can happen. The relationship with your coach is the key. Most coaches offer free, no-strings-attached sample coaching sessions. Take them up on the offer. To make the most of these calls, bring a specific 'issue' to discuss - the more specific the better - and actively engage in the coaching process.

This is actually one of the best parts of choosing a coach. Where else can you try-before-you-buy like this? Can you go to a restaurant and sample the fare without paying? Can you 'borrow' some new clothes from a department store an walk out without paying for them? Will a taxicab driver take you somewhere for free so you can test out his traffic-handling skills? No. No. No. But with coaching, sample sessions are a big yes, Yes, YES! So do a number of them before selecting who you want to work with on an ongoing basis.

The most important thing is that you truly connect with the person assisting you. Look for someone you can speak with openly, who is not judgmental, and is only there for your success. Talking with others who have used coaches might also be helpful, as long as those people can clearly communicate what was good or bad about their own experience with coaching, and why. Contacting professional associations with members who offer coaching is another excellent avenue to obtain information on possible coaching providers

Final Thoughts:

If you would like to get in touch with what part of your life may need some work, go to my web site and click on Assessments and take the Sphere of Life Assessment. If as a result, you discover some part of your life is out of balance, take a big step and hire a coach. Thanks for your time and your support. If you know someone else who would enjoy receiving this newsletter, please feel free to forward this to others and encourage them to sign up on my web site for a monthly subscription. Let me know how I can help you.

Coach Jerry


The highest compliment you can give us is to refer your family and friends.

Jerry Pinney

For the last twenty years Jerry has been president of his own firm. He has spent his career helping small business organizations grow and succeed. He has a passion for success that he shares with his clients. His current focus is providing executive and personal coaching to persons who are interested in improving their effectiveness and their ability to be successful. He is a facilitator for peer advisory groups with The Alternative Board and is a Certified One Page Plan Consultant. Jerry has facilitated planning retreats and planning sessions for many organizations.

Jerry’s experience includes serving as Vice-president of Marketing for IGA staff office, Vice-president of membership for the National Grocers Association, Sr. Vice-president of procurement for Shurfine International and the Managing Director of The Zenon Hansen Foundation.

Jerry is an Eagle Scout. He lives in Chicago with his wife Terri. Jerry spends his volunteer time as a coach and consultant for The Executive Service Corps of Chicago, an organization committed to help the non-profits in the community improve.

Jerry Pinney & Associates
102 East 32nd Street
Chicago, IL,
phone: 312-842-4577,
fax: 312-842-4705

e-mail me by clicking here

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