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. To help parents reach their personal or family goals, a coach must be able to develop a trusting and respectful relationship with the client. It is at 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 person has a unique coaching style, there are certain characteristics all good parent coaches share. They include: 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 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 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 are available to them. Coaches are continually working to find new approaches and solutions for their clients and themselves. They are always learning and interested in learning because parent coaching is a continuing education field. There are still ways to develop yourself and learn. 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.
Clarify Life Coaching
Recently, this coaching topic has been the target of a lot of jokes and demeaning cartoons. Many people have no realistic notion of what it is all about. Life coaching is more than assisting people to set and attain personal or professional goals.
As a life coach, my definition of life coaching is: catalyzing in others personally-desired changes they will make to create a lifestyle of their dreams…one that will work better for them.
In order to effectively do my job described above, I regularly make inquiries about the client. There is a difference between “questions” and “inquiries.” The former can be answered immediately after they are asked.
[tweetshare tweet=”Inquiries however, are designed to be thought about, deliberated upon and regularly reviewed by the client.” username=”parent_coach”]
Some of the best inquiries a qualified life coach can make are described below.
What would you like to gain by working with me as your life coach? In order to assist a client to attain their desired outcomes, it becomes important in life coaching to know what those outcomes are
How can you modify your thinking and behavior so that you increase the probability those outcomes occur? One definition of “insanity” is engaging in the same behavior over and over while thinking the outcomes will be different.
What new thinking habits, emotional habits, behavioral habits or social habits are you willing to develop that will increase the likelihood your lifestyle will be different three months (six months, a year, 10 years) from now? If you want to learn and practice new habits, you need to practice them regularly for at least 3-4 weeks in order to make them “unconscious.”
What can you think, do or say today that will give you practice at strengthening those chosen new habits that replace the old ones? You can never “unlearn” the habits that created your current lifestyle. You can only learn and strengthen new habits that will replace engaging in the old ones! Th.is is the heart of life coaching.
What are some new choices and decisions you can make that will move you toward creating and enjoying the outcomes/consequences you want to incorporate into your new lifestyle? Despite making mistakes and engaging in unskilled behaviors, you might as well risk making new choices that you will enjoy.
With what kind of people will you surround yourself to be supportive of you as you create this new lifestyle? No one ever accomplishes important lifestyle changes without the support of others…even if such support is indirect or out of your awareness.
What are your current strengths, talents and abilities you can use or strengthen that will assist you in attaining your desired outcomes? If you are still alive, you already have some personal abilities that are useful in creating a modified or new lifestyle.
What new habits will result in:
A lower stress level;
A new sense of accomplishment;
A positive redefinition of negative experiences;
An ability to focus internally and lessen your “reactivity;”
An increase in your awareness of the consequences of your choices;
A lessening of your fears and anxieties;
Developing beneficial and enjoyable social and interpersonal relationships;
Developing your happiness and enjoyment about being alive.
If you would like to explore the above inquiries, you just might want to receive assistance from a qualified and experienced life coach…despite all the jokes you may have heard.
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Dr. Thomas is a licensed clinical psychologist and certified life coach. He is on the faculty of the International University of Professional Studies. He is the co-author of the book, “Total Life Coaching: 50+ Life Lessons, Skills, and Techniques to Enhance Your Practice…and Your Life” (W. W. Norton, 2005). He leads seminars/workshops on: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy; Life Coaching; Business Coaching; Creativity; Academic Excellence; Creating High-Quality Relationships; Effective Communication; Effective Leadership and many others.
- Lloyd J. Thomas, Ph.D.
- 3421 Polk Circle West
- Wellington, CO 80549
Why would a parent coach or a family coach take particular care in defining the type of person who would be their best customer or client?
1: Relationship research suggests that if we are relatively healthy in mindset and emotionality, we attract people, who are similar to us in Emotional patterns, Cultural preferences, Levels of empathy
2. Also, core temperaments influence whom we meet with and coach. Are you the personality type that can be authentic with all four temperaments? Can you work with the types of person who
- Make excuses
- Cancel appointments
- Want to talk about it, and not do much about it
- Becomes angry at you rather than the issue
3. Likewise, our values influence the decisions we make about our business and ideal clients.
This values of your ideal client affects everything you do from setting fees to determining your coaching programs, which will offer solutions to their problems and value to living an inspired life.
4. Spend your time on the most valuable task to make your business successful by defining your ideal client.
- Age group
- Family status
- Lifestyle goals
To make this list real, a clever trick of successful authors is to write a story. Authors write about their ideal reader, and you write about the client who is most compatible with you. You give her a name, a couple of kids, a husband who just doesn’t get it, and a load of student loans. You know quite a bit about her, you think.
If you stop there, you may be missing a huge piece of the puzzle—and losing out on the best clients because of temperament incompatibility.
Temperament Style Mismatch
The topic is rarely considered in the “ideal client” equation, and it’s arguably the most important part: core temperament style.
If you’re bossy, sarcastic, fun-loving and loud, then a quiet, middle-aged mom who spends her time volunteering at the church is probably not a good fit for you. WHY?
- Natural exuberance may overwhelm the person.
- If a client needs to start with small steps, and you whiz to the finish line, you’ve left the client in the dust.
- Either he will be uncomfortable with your style, or you’ll be miserable trying to reign in your natural exuberance.
Drive Determines Success
Check in with your client about their drive to success.
Adaptive Supporter type clients are slower to take the initiative, although they always meet their goal. An achiever may be internally motivated but could move too fast and fail to plan adequately for meeting his goals. Both clients can be frustrating to coach unless you understand the core temperaments and what motivates each person to succeed.
Review your current and past coaching clients, and you’ll identify the disposition patterns of those you attract. Review:
What characteristics did your most enjoyable client bring to the table?
What time frame do you expect a customer to meet their goals?
Which client behavioral patterns are those you do not want to deal with?
How do you handle your disappointment?
How do you celebrate your client’s successes?
Compare your new potential clients to this ideal profile, and you’ll never again sign on with a less-than-perfect client.