08 Jul 2010


This past week has been fascinating in terms of learning how the media works. It is not so much having something written about me, that has been done and it is always fun to see a book review about “Don’t Bring It to Work” or an article like the one in The Wall Street Journal a month ago.


That is so different from what has happened this week. I was asked to do an interview with radaronline.com. It is not the usual place you will find me. However, there I was talking with a reporter about one of the participants in our Total Leadership Connections program.


This, in itself is rare. I do not talk about clients. Some have been so pleased with the program they want to give endorsements and I am truly grateful. However, having Jon Gosselin in the leadership program got the attention of some reporters and there I was answering questions.


Now, answering questions is easy and fun; and the reporter, a good listener was interested and not just looking for slash and burn tidbits. However, seeing some of the responses from readers, having nameless, faceless people commenting on what was said, much of it unpleasant; that’s strange. Not for Jon who has learned to take the storm of comments in stride. There are camps of Gosselin followers and it is like opposing sides at a football game, cheering and booing. 


The one that caught my attention was in the New York Post. The gal who wrote the article has been a comedienne on Saturday Night Live and I found the comments funny, until I realized she was talking about me. Yikes! Someone was making fun of me in print; that is a whole new game.


I must admit, in the great scheme of things, it was all pretty benign. However, I was observing my reactions to see what plugged me in. I was surprised that being called a life coach really bothered me; like someone giving me a nickname I had not requested.


 I see myself as an executive coach with business clients and the subset would be what I am doing with Jon, which is leadership coaching. I believe each of us has the potential to be of service, to make a contribution in a unique and creative way; to lead a life that is exemplary.


I believe we all need to learn the deeper skills of how to lead, be it in the family, in the workplace, and in the community; that is where Jon and I connect. He is searching for meaning, for ways to grow past the tough year he has experienced since his divorce. He is willing to find the patterns that held him back and transform them to their healthy opposites.


My passion is leadership, the psychology behind what makes us able to do the right thing, to be a visionary, explorer, integrator, and realizer: to see it, research it, put it together, and bring it into the world. I have studied long and hard to search for the foundational knowledge that can take anyone to a next level of responsible relating and leading.


Life coach is not my moniker. I help develop leadership skills. Our programs are a form of strength training for individuals to take emotional intelligence and from that foundation learn to be pattern aware. As Dan Pink suggests in “A Whole New Mind” the work of 21st Century leaders is to become pattern aware.


In any case, seeing my name in all kinds of places with life coach attached is really pretty insignificant. I talked with a friend last evening who said “What difference does it really make? So long as you are staying true to what you believe and help people break through the behavior patterns that no longer support their lives at home and at work you are doing your job.”


Guess there is always a lesson to learn. I just learned that I am still too attached to how I am perceived, a little too much ego, I’m sad to say.


So, what do I teach as a coach? I teach the power of the truth, the importance of seeing that everything is connected, and not to take yourself too seriously. I hope I can be a good coach for Jon as he proceeds on his journey of exploration.  


Life coach, leadership coach, whatever!

4 Responses to What Do Coaches Coach?
  1. As I read this post, I was fearing you would somehow dismiss life coaching’s value, and was pleasantly surprised that you took a different approach. I am a life coach, helping people get unstuck, start moving forward toward their dreams. I can see how what you do is different, but the life coach moniker does fit, since leadership in business is also leadership in life.

    I would hate to see the coaching profession break into rival factions (think religion), each trying to prove they are better than the other. Instead, I see that I can learn from coaches like yourself – leadership is a key component to life coaching, after all. And I look forward to checking out your book.
    .-= Mary@polymathlifecoaching´s last blog ..Are You in Traction =-.

  2. This is a question that often comes up when you are first looking at getting a call together that involves more than just you as a coach & your client. Why in coaching may you want to have more than the client and coach on the call?
    .-= Aiping Wang´s last blog ..Sarah T =-.

  3. Life coach or executive Coach, you do what you can to protect your brand, then focus on delivering your best service to your clients. Media attention (well-intentioned or misguided) are just part of the territory that success brings. One learning that could come out from these experiences is that next time you are interviewed; to make sure “executive coach” is used instead of “life coach” =).
    .-= Nicole@Life Coaching Courses´s last blog ..Life Coaching A-Z – Coaches in Business – The Business Plan =-.

  4. I think that it’s a matter of semantics. Somehow the moniker Life Coach as become negative, at least among people I know. Back when we called it mentoring it seemed less offensive somehow. I am not a professional life coach but many people call me and get intense “coaching” from me as a result of my experience with relationships and grief. But now I find myself in need of financial success coaching, an area which I don’t do well. I check back here with your blog as frequently as I can and appreciate your articles.
    .-= Gwen@couples costumes´s last blog ..TV and Movie Couples Halloween Costumes =-.

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