The other day, I was doing a Peloton work out. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Peloton is a great way to have a guided workout without having to show up in person for a class.
The instructors set the pace, make suggestions, and push you to be the best “you”. At times, it can feel a little annoying to listen to the banter of the teacher. But since I started using it in January, I am sure I am working harder than I was on my own. And I’ve picked up a few phrases to help me in my own coaching work.
Yesterday, Denis Morton threw out a phrase that got me thinking. He stared into the camera and said “I make suggestions. You make decisions.”
While there is an element of my work that involves making suggestions to my clients, most of coaching is about asking good questions. (e.g. if clients are feeling stuck in their careers, unsure where to begin with their marketing, or uncertain how to get buy in from their partners or associates, I may act like a consultant). But most of the time, I’m asking probing questions and getting my clients to come up with the answers.
A professional coach can help an attorney clarify professional goals and create an action plan for reaching these goals. The coach then works with the lawyer to achieve these goals. A coach is a sounding board, a reality check, and a mentor. A coach provides support, validation, and resources. A coach holds you accountable and helps you move past roadblocks. An effective coach offers a highly customized service that considers your specific goals and your particular strengths and weaknesses.
But you are in the driver seat. It is on you to make the changes that will move you towards your goals. The theory is that if you own the changes yourself, they are more likely to stick.
Here are some resources to help you better understand what coaching is all about:
My interview on the 1958 Lawyer Podcast
My interview on the Legal Toolkit Podcast
My article in the ABA’s GP Solo