BUSINESS COACHING: A KEY TO BALANCE AND SUCCESS Dee Helfgott, M.P.A. If you’re like so many others, there are times when you feel that your life is out of control and the word “balance” applies only to your checkbook (if you’re lucky), not to your life! Or you’re bursting with ideas for business opportunities or career transitions, but having a difficult time focusing. Or, you know exactly what you need to do, but you’re facing obstacles or distractions and you’re just not doing it! Sound familiar? If so, you might consider joining an ever-increasing number of people who are working with a coach. Your coach helps you clarify your professional and personal vision and goals; channel your talents and energies into ongoing effective action; work through or remove obstacles and distractions; increase your financial well-being; and make changes to achieve a more balanced and fulfilled life…in other words, get positive results! So what is this phenomena? Beyond being the current buzz word in the business world, coaching, as defined by the Professional and Personal Coaches Association, (PCP) is: “An ongoing relationship which focuses on the client taking action toward the realization of their vision, goals or desires. Coaching uses a process of inquiry and personal discovery to build the client’s level of awareness and responsibility, and provides the client with structure, support and feedback.” Laura Whitworth, Director of The Coaches Training Institute, predicts that, “Coaching, in the next decade, will change the world and impact almost everyone, in that it will change the paradigm in which people look at their lives and the way they live their lives. Coaches are part mentor, cheerleader, anchor and catalyst for change. Thomas Leonard, founder of Coach University, says, “What having a personal trainer is to your body, having a personal coach can be to your mind.” Unlike family members and friends, coaches are able to be more direct and serve as objective sounding boards for their clients. The ideal coach is a good listener, intuitive, and patient; offers encouragement; and has integrity and credibility. Coming from a variety of disciplines, coaches are often business, management or marketing consultants; executives; clergy, attorneys and accountants; therapists and other health professionals. The coaching model uses the process of non-judgmental inquiry, rather than instruction, as its core tool. Coaching sessions typically begin with a 2 to 3 hour intake procedure, followed by four one-half hour telecoaching sessions a month. Clients remain with coaches on an average of 9 to 12 months. Knowing that changes don’t occur overnight, many coaches ask clients for at least a 3 to 6 month commitment. Fees range from about $150-$500 per month. While some coaches specialize in working with specific groups, such as entrepreneurs, people in transition, parents; or particular industries like entertainment or technology; others remain generalists. Some coaches provide in-house corporate coaching programs for managers, training them to use the coaching model with their staff. Coaching offers individual or corporate clients a powerful tool for maximizing performance and bringing more balance into their lives. This dynamic partnership between client and coach provides both partners a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. For further information or questions about coaching, please call Dee Helfgott at (310) 839-0638 or e-mail CoachDHA@AOL.com. Helfgott is a business and professional coach, helping clients clarify goals, move forward to reach those goals and bring balance into their lives. She is a speaker and author of NETWORK SMART!