Coaches Strengthen Your Performance

Return to main page


Even if you're a seasoned veteran, coaches can be a valuable resource, accelerating your progress and keeping you focused on goals. A coach doesn't need to be an expert in your industry. In fact, it may even be a benefit if an adviser is unfamiliar with your particular market niche.

Granted, dispensing advice without first-hand knowledge of an industry may sound suspect. Yet it's possible because the fundamentals of coaching remain constant, regardless of what a student is trying to achieve, says Deb Giffen of Learn Inc. in Mount Laurel, N.J., who has coached high achievers in numerous industries.

Coaches don't necessarily tout a degree or license. They provide direction much as a mentor might, except that the process is more formal. A few tips before signing up:

  • Interview three to five coaches.
  • Thoroughly check credentials.
  • Note if the coach either has achieved your goal or has coached others who have.
  • Get references — and call them.

Using a career coach to your best advantage remains a devise-it-yourself proposition. Marilyn Moats Kennedy, author of numerous books on career management, advises that you and your coach establish tangible goals that you can realistically achieve. "Don't try for 100% improvement," she advises. "A 15% improvement is the difference between a mediocre player and a star."

Writer: Jeff Davidson is the executive director of Breathing Space Institute, located in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Related Articles

On the Agenda: Meetings that Work

Retaining a Family’s Shared Goals

Strategic Plan Vital to Managing Growth

Balancing Act

Extreme Measures — When No Plan Is the Best Plan



Building and Inspiring an Organization

Articles in our Entrepreneur’s Resource Center appeared in print and online newsletters published previously by the foundation. More than 1,000 articles can be found in the categories below, addressing timeless challenges faced by entrepreneurs of all types.