Attorney Coaching Overview
Coaching can have powerful impact in a number of areas of an attorney’s career and life, from becoming a more effective leader of an organization or practice, to sifting through career options, to establishing new habits for greater productivity and greater work/life balance.
The International Coaching Federation defines coaching as:
“partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”
The coaching process begins with establishing a strictly confidential relationship in which the coach and the client must be willing to be open, honest, courageous and committed. The attorney client and the coach explore, identify, sharpen and hone exactly what the client desires to achieve as the end result.
An important part of the goal setting process is uncovering together the client’s underpinning values for why those particular goals are important. Once clearly defined goals are identified, a plan is created outlining measurable milestones along the road to success. This becomes the map to guide the client as we navigate over, around and through the obstacles that eventually appear. Skillful coaching helps to diminish the impact of these distractions by exploring new territory of learning and incorporating insights for taking new action, while keeping on a steady course toward maximizing opportunities.
It is worth highlighting that “professional” coaching, as with executives or attorney-clients, does not imply “impersonal”. Quite to the contrary, professional coaching, done right, is highly personal, for it seeks to mine from the individual that essence of a person’s unique self which drives one’s passion for success: one’s heart.
The key element of the above definition coaching, and of truly profound coaching, is the word "inspires", as from latin inspirare - to breathe (life) into. Stripped of the armor and trappings of professional attorney life, inspired coaching addresses the essential person and breathes life into their core motives and heartfelt desires to achieve what they choose to attain. For sustained change, growth and success, coaching requires that the client take new actions, have new conversations, and stay motivated. And, yes, it may get very personal.