Entrepreneurship is my journal that several coaches suggested I write, not only for myself, but for them. “The lessons of heart wisdom are for everyone,” they said. So, here goes…. if you like the lessons or find them helpful, please comment and let me know.
When a web site or a relationship fall apart, do you listen to the Pragmatic Voice, or the Challenger Voice
My friends and I felt good and celebrated surviving the emotional, chaotic energies of 2012. Boy, we should have waited until 2013 to celebrate. Because 15 days into the new year, when the web sites disappeared like an earthquake swallowing a home, my heart broke.
The easiest solution was to turn my back on the whole entrepreneurship mess, walk away, and figure out another way to earn a living. And I had to do it quickly. But that was too easy, and I am a neat person and can’t leave a mess behind me. I would always wonder What if?
When the What if? questions start rolling through the mind, they take the form of a personal voice I call The Challenger: “But what if you DID start over? What if you had new ideas for entrepreneurship? How fast could you make it happen with the right support?” The Challenger was trying to inspire me again.
“Not a problem,” said Pragmatic Voice: “When we have new ideas, we will use them, When a tech support person shows up who will work for free, I’ll interview them.” Ah, voice number 2 is so obviously pragmatic, and kind of kills the joy of being creative and entrepreneurial.
“That’s okay,” Pragmatic said, “You can think this second voice of yours is a killjoy. But one day you will thank me because this whole web of creativity you opened never stops flowing, and you focus it well when you do focus it, but …. you now need to listen to my common sense, pragmatism for new entrepreneurship ideas?”
I hate it when I lecture myself, but I accepted all of the inner wisdom voices a long time ago, because if I didn’t, the inner wisdom nags until I pay attention.
If all in my outer world of entrepreneurship is a reflection of my inner world, then I need a safe place, and to feel safe. I don’t like to make important life decisions from a place of fear. Like the Bengal cat who hangs out for a while, I do things on my time, my intuitive time. Like many sensitive people, the internal timing does manifest when the foundations are right. Sometimes, my creative downloads may take a year to manifest.
Yes, pragmatic voice is right. When I exert my entrepreneurial will into my world, and I am not aligned with the heart feeling about the project, something does go wrong, When I do not listen to the gut level intuition, the organ for assimilating life, walking my talk, something goes wrong. I did that in 2012, thinking my entrepreneurship foundations were solid, running into snags, facing personality issues with my team members, and I stayed the course.
if only you has listened to me, heard me. Like a baby who stops crying when her needs are met, my heart stopped trying to get me to feel out the situation. Instead, I pushed so hard, that my heart energy cracked wide open, vulnerable tears flowed. Surprisingly the tears were of relief. The tears meant that crazy cycle of over-extending self in time, energy and focus was over. 2017 is the year to take one step at a time, insuring that I feel great about each step on the new path of entrepreneurship.
Do you listen to your heart feelings and voice?
When you listen, do you take action or turnaway?
Do you hear the Challenger?
Or do you hear the Pragmatist?
© 2017 Dr. Caron Goode, Founder of ACPI.
Wouldn’t the world be an incredibly effective place if we viewed each other as competent and knowing? Perhaps this ideal behind the parent coaching movement is the appropriate mindset and intention to help parents fulfill their roles consciously and parent effectively.
In parent coaching, the underlying assumption is that the client is well and resourceful and can handle his or her life. In psychotherapy, the assumption is to treat the symptoms and underlying causes. Both coaching and also psychotherapy or counseling can play a role in our lives depending upon our abilities to manage our emotions and our realities.
For example, a client may enter psychotherapy because he gets into fights at work with his supervisors. After a few sessions in which he brings up his past and talks about his parents, the client realizes that he is repeating problems he had with his parents with his boss. In fact, he realizes that he has deliberately chosen a boss who reminds him of his father.
If this same client were to hire a coach, the coach would ask empowering questions and challenge his thinking about handling the boss issues. A coach does not delve into a client’s past, but focuses on the present time, issue or goal.
Many coaches do have a background as therapists and are thrilled to switch from the model of fixing symptoms to empowering others to move ahead with life. I was a licensed therapist, and I like coaching better. In coaching, the client is whole, resourceful, and ready for change. Yet, the model in therapy is that the client is broken.
In coaching, the WHY is not important! Coaches deal with the HOW. Coaches intervene all the time with advice, encouragement and expertise!
As Coach Brandenburg said, “As a therapist, I used to only listen and never give my opinion. Sometimes I felt as if I could be replaced by a mannequin.”
“Therapy is about looking backwards. Coaching is about working with today. We deal with what is now”.
… Jill Herman
Coaches review a client’s strengths and focus on them. The medical/psychological establishment focuses on problems and pathology. We look at wellness and not what is broken. If a coach finds a true pathology, the coach refers that person to a psychologist or other appropriate specialist. Troubled persons with long-standing problems may not think rationally and that is why coaches refer them.
In coaching, the model is that the client is whole and wants to achieve goals. He is open to advice and discussion, and looking to the future, not the past.
The first coaching session with a client can be up to an hour or two, or even longer if you conduct the Intake Session as your first scheduled meeting. You have to get to know one another on two levels:
- the sharing information level and
- the deeper intuitive level.
What is the client seeking: resolve, newness, skills, a mindset, a specific goal, or to solve a problem?
How does the client describe an issue such as participating in it or being a victim of the problem?
As you listen and coach, what are your feelings and thoughts? Review them to ensure you are connecting with your client.
How willing is the client to move ahead as well as dive deeper?
Your Coaching Role
As a coach, you will have a set of ground rules. For example, you might ask for a three-month commitment or require a 24-hours cancellation notice.
Your first session with your client requires setting the standard and the tone for all the sessions. Why does the first impression become important for all future sessions? Your customer’s trust, comfort level, inspiration, enthusiasm, and motivation will indicate the comfort level in confiding and engaging in the conversation with you.
You are in charge of setting the format of the session–how you start and conclude, as well as using probing questions. As the coach, you have to focus the content of the meeting. You could offer a free initial consultation to explore a client’s coaching needs. The initial session could be from 45 to 90 minutes.
Your goal as a parent coach is to explain what you do, the liability factors, and expectations. The parent-coach alliance includes asking questions, listening, reflecting, and defining goals or expectations together.
The Client’s Role
On the other hand, the client brings the content, the dialogue, to the coaching session. The client leads the way to the more pressing matters to discuss or that require coaching.
When customers answer your questions, they could reveal personal desires, problems, or goals. A free first session is an excellent selling tool. The client’s risk is small compared to the tremendous benefits to find out how coaching can support the client’s efforts.
Use the second meeting to complete any agenda items from the previous meeting. Continue to build a positive rapport with your client and enhance their comfort level.
Both coach and client, within two practical sessions, can complete these tasks:
1. Explain the coaching process which includes reviewing and agreeing to the terms of the coach-client contract or agreement.
2. Take care of business issues: payments, how to make payments, time commitments, and the protocol for the sessions.
2. The client focuses on coaching goals or achievements, or processes like problem-solving, or exploring core temperaments. In other words, what does your client want?
3. Establishing rapport is best done by knowing your customer’s core temperament. Part of the coaching role is to shift your attention and communication to their particular temperament(s) and establish a positive rapport.
4. Determine how you and the client communicate.
5. Determine a client’s intentions.
6. Confirm in writing or verbally that the customer demonstrates willingness, commitment, time, and agrees to actions while you schedule coaching.
As a parent-family coach or coach for special needs families, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to help parents in similar situations find clarity, hope, and greater functionality in their family. With your help and guidance, parents will
- find their center of gravity,
- push past their feelings of inadequacy and overwhelm,
- begin restoring regulation and resilience in their children with behavioral disorders through securing the child-parent relationship.
One agency director informed me that she regularly uses my daughter’s case for training of her new case managers and therapists. It does not give a parent the warm fuzzies to hear repeatedly from mental health professionals, whom you look to for help, that your child’s case is the most difficult one they have ever seen.
These sentiments are my personal reflections and a parent, a parenting coach, and a training professional. The sentiments also match the experiences of some of the parents you will coach…parents, who struggle to move forward after facing the reality of one or more diagnoses like ADHD, Autism, Conduct disorder, or Bipolar disorder. The effects on the family are the same. This is how a parent enters the world of mental health and special needs…a world where terminology is confusing and diagnoses sound like the unending combinations of an alphabet soup. If care is not taken, a parent or teacher might begin to refer to the child by the labels of their diagnosis, and see in the child’s behaviors, both positive and negative, only as symptoms of the same. As months or years of struggle pass, parents don’t differentiate which part of the behavior belongs to their child’s temperament, and which part is a symptom of the diagnosed condition. Amid the onslaught of doctors, neurologists, medical tests, and therapists elucidating the deficits in their child’s development, parents easily lose sight of the child and concentrate on what they see most, the disorganized and dysregulated behavior. The question that brings this home is simple:
Which child do you see…one with special needs or one who is just plain special?
Twice we prepared to send our young daughter to long-term residential on the strong advice of doctors and psychiatric nurses working with our daughter. The first time she was four years old. The second time she was nearly seven.
Ultimately, we decided it was not something we could live with, nor did we believe it was in the best interest of our daughter.
It is your mission: to understand the unbelievable, heart-wrenching choices some parents face as part of everyday life. We believed we had tried everything to help change our daughter’s behavior. Nearing the edge of hope, we came to the realization that something had to give. It would either be our child, or us parents and we didn’t want it be either. However, this is not the end of the story…merely the beginning. Information from neuropsychology, trauma, attachment, and relationship, the same information you will learn in course, Coaching families with Special Needs, We discovered choices and options that allowed us to regain personal and family balance and hope for the future. We changed and improved our parenting skills, and developed a positive healthy plan to parent our daughter.
- Both negative and positive reactions, actions, and attitudes of caregivers significantly impact the child, and hinder or support the development of secure attachment.
- Environment, temperament, trauma and stress, is relative to reactive behavior, and internal organization and regulation.
- Parents can learn to manage, diminish, eliminate, and contain even the most severe behavior.
Finally, we had something to DO. We were no longer on the fringe of being powerless to help our daughter. We devoured and assimilated the information, because we had a lot to lose. We refused to cry uncle! We resolved to be committed! We did not hold back! We completely transformed our outlook, honed our philosophy, strategized our plan in every minute detail, and changed our lifestyle. It was not ever easy, but it was easier than what we had been doing and how we had been living for so long. Let me share who the unruly, dysregulated, and unattached little girl became. She became our mission possible.
Parent coaching has all the right stuff. As a career, it offers flexibility, personal satisfaction, and unlimited earning potential. It is also one of the fastest growing home based businesses today. This makes it ideal for parents, career switchers, and retirees, but is it right for you?
Parent coaches come from all walks of life. They are teachers and therapists. They are mothers, fathers, and grandparents. They are former corporate leaders and nine-to-five refugees. They have in common an intense desire to help parents get the most out of family life.
“Coaching is solution oriented,” says seasoned parent and lifestyle coach Natalie Gahrmann. “It is not someone just guessing. It is, ´Tell me about the problem, then tell me what you are going to do about it.´ If you don´t know what to do about it, I can help you with that, but don´t tell me there is nothing you can do about it and you are stuck here as a victim.”
Characteristics of a Good Parent Coaching
A successful coach/client partnership is built from the ground up, and is essential to the entire coaching process. In order to help parents reach their personal and familial goals, a coach must be able to develop a trusting and respectful relationship with their client. It is from this point that she can begin to chip away at the parent´s insecurity, which gives parents the confidence to handle problems and reach their desired goals.
“A parent coach is someone who partners with you to help you remove all your fears of parenting,” says veteran parent coach Peggy Alvarado. “They help you gain the confidence to raise the type of children you always wished them to be.”
Alvarado, a former software technology executive, believes that even though each individual has a unique coaching style, there are certain characteristics all good parent coaches share. They include:
Being a good listener. Parent coaching involves compassionate and insightful listeners. They listen for clues and solutions to problems that maybe even the client does not realize they know.
Inquisitiveness. Parent coaches must have an inquisitive nature. They need to be able to ask thoughtful questions that require action oriented answers. “It isn´t just about listening,” says Gahrmann. “It is also about being provocative and helping people get to a new place. I help people find their own solutions, and together we come up with the action to do that.”
Objectivity. Parent coaching is about maintaining objectivity when it comes to clients and their situations. Coaches are not friends who are called upon for unconditional support. They are people who you enlist to help you define your goals and help you devise an action plan to meet those goals. They are someone you depend on to see all the picture and support you in the decisions you make.
Assertiveness. Parent coaches must be assertive enough to challenge their clients and ask questions that demand answers. “There is a synergy that happens between people that helps come up with other solutions,” says Gahrmann. “Some people say I can do A or B, and they are often opposite ends of the spectrum, but if I say well what if you do this, the next thing you know, they have ten choices in front of them.”
Openness. Having an open nature is one of the greatest attributes any parent coach can have. Coaches are open minded in regards to people, situations, and themselves. Coaches must be open to all people in all stages of life, but they also are aware of their own individual strengths and weaknesses. They must realize that no one person can ever know everything or be the most non-judgmental or objective you can be.
Curiosity. Parent coaches are curious people and are interested in learning about their clients, their situations, and what resources and information is available to them. Coaches are constantly working to find new approaches and solutions for their clients and themselves. They are always learning and interested in learning because parent coaching is definitely a continuing education field. “One of the things that makes a great coach is realizing that because you are a coach today does not mean you are done and you can go on and not work on it,” says Alvarado. “There are always ways to develop yourself and become that much better.”
If you feel a calling to start a new profession as a trained and certified Parent Coach, visit parent-family coaching course page to understand how you can achieve this goal in six to nine months.