Sandy Smith Consulting and Coaching Logo
<< Back to Workroom

Practitioner mentoring

Many professions have formal systems by which newly trained members are guided during the beginning of their practices. I serve this role for new coaches and consultants.

What kinds of work do you do with new practitioners?

Each person launching a coaching or consulting practice brings a set of strengths. Inevitably there are also aspects of beginning a practice that are new to them. Potential discussions might include:

  • Establishing the focus (niche) for their practice
  • Determining best fit clients
  • Establishing services to be rendered
  • Practice marketing ideas
  • Building the necessary business processes
  • Establishing client tools
  • Determining fee structure
  • Identifying partners
  • Acting as sounding board to optimize service to clients
  • Establishing practitioner development plan

I'm considering making a career change into coaching and consulting. How can I determine whether this is a good fit for me?

Various tools are available to help you evaluate your compatibility from both competence and interest perspective. Most of the books on the coaching and consulting resource lists address this issue. The Handbook of Coaching (Hudson) and The Consultant's Calling (Bellman) are two examples. I would also recommend learning as much as you can about the actual work of coaching and consulting by talking with practitioners. If you plan to own your own business, this brings additional considerations. The Business of Consulting (Beich) and The Business of Coaching (Kelly) offer guidance about running a personal services business.

Sometimes it's hard for me to judge how I'm doing as a coach. Can you help me with an assessment?

I advocate two ways of judging the effectiveness of coaching: measuring results against goals and asking the client for feedback. I've provided PDF samples of a Coaching Evaluation and a Consulting Evaluation in the workroom. In addition to assessing effectiveness from the client's perspective, you may also want to assess how you are enjoying your work and how well it is supporting your needs.

What online resources do you recommend for coaches and organizational consultants?

The International Coach Federation ( and coaching schools such as the Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara ( have excellent resources for coaches. The Organizational Development Network ( has good resources for OD consultants. If you are a current client, you can also access the Practitioner Resources page in the workroom.

Content © 2003-2006, SK Smith Inc.     Design © 2003-2006, Centauria™ Web Design