Bright Consulting
146 Reserve Ave
Oberlin, OH 44074
P: (440) 864.0634
Bright Consulting
146 Reserve Ave, Oberlin, OH 44074 P: (440) 864.0634

“On Hiring a Coach: Information for Prospective Clients”

imageBy Patricia Bright, BCC, GPCC
Executive, Leadership, and Career Coach
President-Elect ICF Cleveland
August 29, 2013

When I say the word “coaching”, what words come to mind for you?

Well, if you have ever hired a coach, you are familiar with why coaching is so popular.  Here are some reasons why:

A 2012 International Coach Federation study found that:

  • 80 percent of individuals have experienced a positive change in self-esteem and self-confidence as a result of partnering with a professional coach.
  • Companies that have used professional coaching for business reasons have seen a median return on investment of 700 percent, or seven times their initial investment.
  • 96 percent of coaching clients indicated they would repeat the coaching process, given the same circumstances.

So, if you think that you may want to explore hiring a coach, let’s discuss what these findings may mean to you.

First, let’s define coaching.

The International Coach Federation defines coaching as: a partnership with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

It is important to know what coaching is not:

  • Coaching is not therapy or analysis.  Instead, a coach focuses the client on the future.
  • Coaching is not consulting or directing.  Instead, coaches ask questions that guide a client in discovery and awareness.

They say, it only takes one person to change your life.

For a moment, imagine with me … Imagine that you are dealing with a career transition:

  • Your current job is no longer fulfilling and you wonder if you have the energy to make a change.
  • Your job has been eliminated and you have lost your confidence to start a new job search.
  • Your business venture was not successful and you question if you have what it will take to invest in a new business again.

Imagine that you are feeling overwhelmed in your life:

  • You never seem to have enough time in your life for things that really matter.
  • You find that you have more and more conflict with others.
  • You feel that your confidence and self-esteem has eroded.
  • You feel “stuck” and wonder what you should do to help yourself.

Now imagine:

  • That you feel more connected with your strengths.
  • That you feel confident about a plan that will guide you to a new future.
  • That you feel a sense of inner peace.
  • That you feel balance in your life.
  • That you feel excited about your life and about the future.

Coaching can help you experience these things with a step-by-step process that is customized to target your individual situation, based on your personal or business needs.

Here are comments from clients regarding their experience with one-on-one coaching:

  • “I felt that you really heard me.”
  • “I feel that I have new insight.  I am excited about new possibilities.”
  • “I feel connected with my ‘core’.”

A coach is someone with whom you feel you can easily relate and create a powerful partnership.

Here are some questions you may want to ask prospective coaches:

  • What is your coaching experience?
  • Do you hold an ICF Credential?
  • What is your coaching specialty?
  • What is your specific process for coaching?
  • What are some of your coaching success stories?

If you want to make a change, explore new options, work through a transition and reduce confusion while enhancing your success, consider seeking the services of a professional coach.

It only takes one person to change your life.  And when you have found the right coach, you will know that you have made the right decision.

Patricia Bright is the Owner of Bright Consulting, a Human Development Company.  She works with successful leaders and executives that desire enhanced performance or need to navigate challenges during transition.

Read more about the 2012 International Coach Federation Coaching Study.

Visit the International Coach Federation.
Visit the ICF Cleveland Chapter.

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The Power of Coaching

transformation-2“Transformation feels as if some basic architecture is being remodeled rather than just new furniture being put in the house or moved from room to room. There is some deep structural change . . . that alters the backbone of existence.” — Dan Siegel

In my role as a professional coach, guiding the client toward an awareness of their deeper self is both a privilege and a moment of magic. The experience and journey into awareness promotes insight and learning. When a client experiences this moment of magic, it can be a moment of contact that leads to transformation.

Choosing among potential solutions without a deep analysis of the desired goals is a common way that people find a choice for their desired outcomes. In coaching, however, the process of identifying the goal — the discovery of the resistances that prevent goal achievement as well as the real passion — are essential in the process.

In that kind of exploration, a client becomes engulfed in what is important.

At that moment, in that “space”, a client is not choosing among potential solutions for his or her life, they are seeing a clear path — a light — toward a new direction. Moments like these can be life altering and can lead to deep structural change. The pull of that experience makes going back to the former state less acceptable or unacceptable. And real change is born.

Coaching assumes that we are powerful, smart, knowledgeable people who have a challenge that confounds us. And the role of the coach is to guide the process that can lead to transformation.

Patricia Bright

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Don’t Give Up!

“The moment you are ready to quit is usually the moment right before the miracle happens.”

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Solitude and the Soul

“To make the right choices in life, you have to get in touch with your soul. To do this, you need to experience solitude, which most people are afraid of, because in the silence you hear the truth and know the solutions.”

Deepak Chopra

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Narcissism in the Age of Emotional Intelligence

We are experiencing an organizational awakening.  In an effort to enhance organizational culture through self awareness and self-management strategies, relationships are being strengthened in organizations. We are experiencing a cultural shift that values accountability of behavior. And, although we are a long way from claiming success, it is apparent that our sensitivities — and the “bar”. — have been raised.

Curiously, my awareness of a parallel behavior — narcissistic behavior in the workplace — has been heightened. The cause of this awareness is unknown to me. Perhaps narcissistic behavior has been on the rise in human behavior. Perhaps it has become more obvious against the backdrop effort of enhance emotional intelligence.

In his book, “Emotional Equations: Simple Truths for Creating Happiness + Success”, Chip Conley gives us some insight into this condition:

Narcissism = (Self Esteem)2 X Entitlement

Chip Conley writes that “Narcissism isn’t an emotion, but it is a condition – like workaholism – that stands at the intersection of many other emotions, some well-regarded (confidence and magnetic optimism) and some derided (vanity and aggressiveness).

Common qualities and emotions of narcissists:

  • Obviously self-focused in interpersonal exchanges (they can’t stop talking about themselves)
  • Feeling superior (they consider themselves better than others, sometimes because they exaggerate their talents or achievements)
  • Preoccupied with fantasies that focus on unlimited success, power, intelligence, beauty, or love
  • Envious (they often envy others or believe that others are envious of them and are acutely aware of how they stack up in the pecking order of whatever group they’re in)
  • Feeling entitled (they believe they are entitled to special treatment and will sometimes bend the rules to obtain it)
  • Overly sensitive (they can be easily hurt but don’t readily show it or even consciously feel it, yet can have a tendency toward rage when they sense danger to their carefully constructed façade and world)
  • Lacking empathy (and/or having a fear of intimacy and problems in sustaining satisfying relationships as a result)
  • Unwilling to take responsibility (for their role in an unfortunate situation; very adept at shifting blame)
  • Vulnerable to shame (more than guilt because they are more outer-directed than inner-directed, but it takes them quite a bit to get them to the point of shame).”

What can we do to create workplace balance when narcissistic behavior presents itself as a barrier to relationship building? Perhaps a good first start is to analyze the equation that Chip Conley gives us and to begin to restore normal levels of self esteem through feedback designed to increase self awareness.


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Intent and Impact

Intent and Impact. Two words that offer us pathways to deeper understanding of ourselves and of others.

Sometimes we find ourselves disappointed with an outcome of an interaction or a conversation. There was not closure and feelings remain unresolved. Or just that queezy feeling that something was not right.

We intend to do things — consciously or unconsciously — in interactions with others. We intend to be sensitive. We intend to listen. We intend to communicate our thoughts and feelings. Sometimes the impact — the outcome — doesn’t turn out the way we thought it would. And sometimes the impact is oblivious to us and we may never have the chance to correct a misunderstanding.

Thinking about what we intend to do is an important first step. Here are three things you can do to become aware of your intentions:

1. Ask yourself, “What do I really want this person to know and understand?
2. What choices or different ways can I communicate my intentions?
3. How do I want this person to feel after this conversation or interaction?

Knowing the choices and choosing according to our values will surely convey our truest intentions.


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Uncommon Valor

January 28, 2012

This week, Gabrielle Giffords resigned her seat from the House of Representatives.  She served Arizona for almost five years until the tragic shooting in Tuscon in January 2010 that took the lives of six people and injured thirteen.  Gabrielle Giffords life has changed forever when she received a gunshot wound to the brain at close range by a deranged gunman.  She and the Tusconians that met her that fateful Saturday were exercising their right to assembly in a meet-and-greet opportunity with an elected official.

In the excrutiating months that followed the shooting, Gabrielle’s recovery was symbolic of her professional life — it was filled with singular focus and exceptional dedication to her goals, driven by solid principles.

Sometimes life events lead to unintended consequences.  Gabby’s painful and seemingly impossible challenges were not only about determination at all odds to survive and carve a new future.  Her life, for us, became a clear example of leadership and quiet grace.

In the 25 minute ceremony this week, Congress found itself united in solidarity as they created a fitting tribute to their colleague.  It was said of her, “She brought the word dignity to new heights because of her courage.”  Gabby, with class and grace, graciously attended to other’s expressions of emotion and tears.  Her professionalism was palpable and the journalists, who used words like “extraordinary” to describe the ceremony were struck by the uncommon ability Gabrielle Giffords’ had to bring both parties together in sincere solidarity.

Gabrielle Giffords behavior is the essence of valor.  Valor is uncommon, but a signifying trait of an exceptional leader.  Valor is defined in the Mirriam-Webster Dictionary as: “strength of mind or spirit that enables a person to encounter danger with firmness : personal bravery”.  As I watched the Congress pay tribute to her impact on their individual lives and the august body in which they worked, she remained tearless and selfless.  Her attentions were focused on THEM, not on her own feelings or thoughts.  She was cheering them on with her single fist raised upwards, bidding them to fight for the American people in their work.  She was bolstering their strength to work tirelessly on, as she has done to recover her body and her spirit after being shot.  We can never know how hard it was, but we know how resolute she was to recover and we know how resolute she is to model her work for the ultimate principles that bind the human experience.  She appealed to the better, stronger spirit in each of us to do good work and to fight on for principles of justice.

We owe her a deep debt of gratitude for her enduring model of leadership to us.  It is a gift to us.

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Discovering Inspiration

My brother has a friend that accomplished the “impossible” this past weekend.  Jill, a mother of five children and a recent widow, found sheer determination and true grit as she fought to compete in an International IRONMAN competition.  Some of us can conceive of perhaps achieving some small part of this grueling competition — the 2.4 mi. swim • 112 mi. bike • 26.2 mi. run, but it is painful to think of 9-13 or more hours of continuous exercise.  As I followed Jill’s stats online, I was overjoyed when I saw that she not only finished — but placed very well!

Jill’s determination to achieve this goal gave me pause.  Have I known anyone else in my own life that has achieved something monumental?  Have I achieved an IRONMAN in my own life?  The answer did not come to me quickly, but when I considered achievements that seemed at the onset as insurmountable, a floodgate of thoughts came to me.  Ordinary people, everyday, often achieve goals that seem impossible.  Leaders that guide teams to great successes during periods of confusion and conflict.  Teams that achieve exponential results through uncommon cooperation and synergy.  Inspiration is around us, every day, in quiet moments.  Inspiration is the driving force during those short nights and dark mornings of solitary effort to achieve a goal over days, weeks, months of determined effort.  Ordinary people with extraordinary dreams that work in quiet ways to achieve the impossible.  Inspiration.

Are you a force for inspiration in your work and in your community?  Are you a model for achieving goals that seem insurmountable?  Inspire yourself to achieve something remarkable.  Be a force for inspiration in other’s lives.

Focus on what is important, but not urgent, in your life:

  1. Ask yourself, “What do I REALLY want?”
  2. Ask yourself, “What am I doing everyday/every week to make this dream happen?”
  3. Remember the inspiration during the dark and difficult parts of the journey.

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No Man Left Behind

It is a motto of the U.S. Marine Corps and the Army Rangers: “Leave No Man Behind”. It means that when you are in “harm’s way”, you will not be alone, that you are a part of something larger than yourself, and that your brothers are with you. It means that we are not successful until every man is accounted for and brought home. As a proud mother of a U.S. Marine, this motto was my constant comfort when my son was deployed and in harm’s way.

We witnessed this solidarity of purpose this week as we watched the leadership of Chile — all the engineers, the specialists, the politicians, the families, and most importantly the 33 entombed miners — demonstrate the best example of human excellence and teamwork. They left no man behind. And they celebrated each rebirth with care and compassion, waiting for each man to return to the earth.

It was an inspiration to the human heart and to the spirit of nations around the globe.

We will eagerly wait to learn more about how the miners’ focused leadership can teach us more about how to lead with purpose and to improve the quality of life for our workplaces and relationships.

Now and in the days ahead, the whole world salutes the leadership and solidarity of Chile. Viva Chile! Viva Chile! We celebrate your success in bringing the 33 miners back to life and we are humbled by your leadership, your courage, and your fortitude.


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