People come to coaching for any number of reasons. To give you a feel for how some typical coaching relationships work, and benefit the client, we have summarized a few examples.

These are real stories, (reported by Steve Mitten) altered in name only to respect the privacy of the clients. Story 1 concerns a career and life coaching situation, Story 2 is about business coaching. Story 3 is about executive coaching. And Story 4 involves work with a new coach.

Client Story 1 - More satisfaction in career and life.

Rebecca was an energetic 32 year old, who wanted to feel passionate about what she did. She came to coaching to better understand and hone her strengths and weaknesses, and develop a greater sense of direction and purpose in life.

When she started coaching, she was working for a small entrepreneurial company that didn't appreciate her. Rebecca was working long hours and going well out of her way to keep this business moving ahead, in the face of incompetent management and infighting between the main shareholders. Through her heroic efforts, the company was making progress, yet she was not getting the recognition or rewards she deserved. Her level of satisfaction with her life was low, and at a deeper level she was beginning to sense that this was not the job for her.

In our coaching work we were able to identify the most important areas of her life, the things that made her come more fully alive. What Rebecca really loved was to build and create and make a difference. She also had a strong independent streak and really valued her freedom. She was a people person and an enthusiastic leader with high integrity. When she cared about a project she could throw herself into it with incredible enthusiasm.

Recognizing that in her current position she was not enjoying the freedom, creativity, and balance she needed to feel happy, and not really feeling that she was making a difference in her job, Rebecca began a process to find and transition into more satisfying work.

It took a few months to get everything lined up and make the move. The weekly coaching calls helped to keep her focused, and moving past the various obstacles and concerns she faced. But soon Rebecca found herself in a position she had helped create with a non-profit, where her creativity and leadership was put to great use. Also, she was able to organize her life to fit in more regular exercise and leisure time with her friends and family. Her stress level went down, and her level of fulfillment went way up.

Even though our coaching work ended a year ago, I still keep in touch with Rebecca. She is moving strongly ahead with her life and career, has some great new relationships, and has managed to fit in some pretty amazing vacations. She still has regular challenges in her life, however with a clear sense of who she is, and what makes her happy, she is able to make great decisions that keep her on track to where she is going. Rebecca's comments on the coaching;

"You helped me look at my life differently and find out what really were with me as I made some of the best changes in my life. Thanks Steve, I now know who I am, and where I am going."

Client Story 2 - I want to grow this business.. and have a life.

Peter was a typical entrepreneur. He had worked long and hard to build up a professional practice as a financial advisor that paid the bills nicely. Yet 15 years into his career, and with a family, he found he was running out of steam. While his business was stable, he had lost any sense of accomplishment. And he was having a hard time finding the satisfaction he once enjoyed. Peter had hit a plateau, and he was having a hard time breaking through.

The focus of our work was to find the areas of his job he really enjoyed doing, as well as those areas that contributed the most to his success. Through our work, Peter found that he really liked working with his clients, and when he spent more time with his clients, his practice grew. So we worked to find the ways to help him delegate more of the administrative work - which he hated - and find the structure to help him get out to see his clients more.

Looking at his strengths and weaknesses, Peter discovered that while he was very strong technically, he would benefit from developing even stronger people skills. So we spent some time developing better listening, communication, trust-building and empathy skills, which helped in his business and private life.

We also spent some time getting Peter back in better physical condition and establishing better balance in his life. Within a year, his business had grown by 30%. Peter felt like he was in better control of his life and was enjoying spending less time at work, and more time with his family, boat and golf clubs.

About our coaching work, Peter commented;
"Life changing....this is incredibly valuable to me."
Client Story 3 - Leadership and soft skills.

Michael was a successful senior executive for a well known software multinational. He had enjoyed steady advancement through the company ranks, and believed he was being groomed for senior management. Michael came to coaching at the suggestion of his OD team, to further develop his management and leadership skills.

Michael came from the numbers side of the business. And with a sharp intellect and high self-confidence, he could quickly understand a situation, implement a solution and achieve the objective. However, as he moved up the management ladder he found these skills weren't enough to have the impact he wanted.

More and more, Michael found that he needed to build the skills associated with connecting with and getting extraordinary results out of people. Michael wanted to understand and master the nuances of leadership.

Early in our coaching Michael came to see that his introverted "leave me alone and I will come up with a brilliant solution" approach was doing little to empower his team and build a culture where he could leverage his skills.

Through our coaching, Michael developed the interpersonal skills (coaching, empathy, trust building, etc.) to build far more productive and enjoyable relationships with the key members of his team. Over a four month period his knowledge and practice of the competencies of leadership grew to a stage where he was spending 80% of his time empowering and raising the bar for his team.

The bottom line of our work was that Michael was enjoying himself more, and his business group was outperforming other divisions. On other fronts Michael was able to significantly reduce his stress level through the establishment of a weekly exercise program. And he also developed a habit of scheduling in "perspective" or quiet time to keep the big picture in focus. He found these two additions to his weekly routine to be very rewarding.

About our coaching work, Michael said
"Extremely valuable.... I look forward to our weekly talks. They help me keep the focus and perspective I need."
Client Story 4 - I want to be a coach.

Jody had spent 10 years in the "rat race" and was feeling like she needed a big change. A friend had told her about coaching, and after a quick tour of the Internet, she found my site and gave me a call.

In our first complementary conversation, she asked many questions about the coaching profession, training schools, the business aspects etc., and I encouraged her to complete her research, and think about it.

She did, and a few days later she called and told me she wanted to work with me.

In our first few sessions she got a good feel for how coaching works. We were able to spend time looking at Jody's values, the important areas of her life that gave her the most satisfaction. From this she realized that she loved to work with people. She also realized that independence and flexibility was really important to her, as she was moving closer to starting a family. Within two weeks she was sure she wanted to become a coach.

We next spent some time finding the best training option for Jody, taking into account her learning style, location, and type of coaching she was drawn towards.

Within a month she had sampled a few schooling options, made her decision and completed her first 3-day coaching skills course from an ICF accredited school. She was ready to begin to build her practice. We next spent a few weeks dealing with the logistics of setting up her practice and evaluating the most productive ways of marketing herself. Jody was enthusiastic about coaching but a little reserved. It was important for her to find a way of developing clients that felt authentic for her, and was a good fit for her personality.

Soon she had her first client. Within another month she had 2 others. And as her training advanced, and her skills and competency grew, she became more and more successful at attracting clients.

Seven months into the process Jody was ready to say goodbye to the Rat Race, and complete the transition into coaching. With far more time on her hand, she was able to increase her marketing efforts.

Thirteen months after our first call, Jody was a certified coach, with a full practice, working from her home office, and loving it. Of our coaching work she said
"Steve, I don't know how to thank you. When I look at the changes I've made over the last year, I have to pinch myself to make sure I am not dreaming. I love the freedom and meaning coaching has brought into my life."
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