Coaching (like public relations) is about relationship building

Even coaches have coaches. I’ve gone through three different coaches in the last four years, each building on my knowledge and experiences. And providing the guidance I needed when I was willing to do the work.

My first coach helped me sort out a revelation about career goals. As a career coach she helped me find perspective. I went in to her with a vision of what I didn’t want to do–the job I had. I did all kinds of things to figure this out- even surveyed 50 of my friends, 25 of whom responded anonymously, about what THEY thought I should do. I still chuckle at the friend who thought I should be a pastry chef–I didn’t even cook at the time, let alone want to bake intricate desserts!

My coach and I did another exercise and I came up with this set of concentric circles (with a nod to the Olympic rings and the aspirations of reaching gold). I had these two circles of family/friends and me as the foundation with career options across the top. I’d put myself in for self care. Thought that was smart and lived up to my values. Put family (which to me includes friends) beside me, which is the way I roll. And across the top were my skills-ish.

Through the relation building and getting to know my needs, my coach brought me to something I had not though about. I put me dead center. Then at the base is my family and friends. I added a life partner–still hasn’t happened, but doesn’t mean I’m not looking. That creates a triangle-the most stable foundation there is. At least my engineering nephew tells me that. Then to either SIDE of my FOUNDATION are aspiration: empower others and financial stability. When I translated these circles into a life statement it became: Do something I love which empowers others and make a damn good living while I’m at it.

The process didn’t tell me what that was supposed to be. I found a different coach to tell me that later. But what I learned from this process of using a coach included:

  • Coaching is about relationships, just like public relations. You build trust, you have two way communication and best interest for all at the core.
  • You must engage regularly. Public relations and coaching can’t be done in a day.
  • Coaching can only give you what you are ready to get out of it. During the course of the sessions, one of the options in my career path was to go into business for myself. 4 years ago that seemed ridiculous and something I didn’t have the temperament for. HA! Public relations can only provide an opportunity. If you have NOT targeted the right audience, ready to connect to all you have to offer, you won’t get the desired result.
  • Coaching takes work–you have to want to learn and be willing to do the work. It’s homeschooling. Public relations also takes work and a willingness to learn.

My coach took me as far as I wanted to go. It was worth the investment and gave me perspective of my direction. Public relations is worth the investment (even if that just translates into time) and provides perspective on your clients and the relationship you want with them.


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