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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
- 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
- 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
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
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
What online resources do you recommend for coaches
and organizational consultants?
The International Coach Federation (www.coachfederation.com)
and coaching schools such as the Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara
have excellent resources for coaches. The Organizational Development
has good resources for OD consultants. If you are a current client,
you can also access the Practitioner
Resources page in the workroom.