Q&A Blog

Ask me anything, I'll answer.

Justin Asks...

I have no idea what "coaching" means. You just go to places and give a pep talk?

I get this question a lot. I think just going places and giving a pep talk might be more like cheerleading. Which I am more than happy to do if anyone wishes to hire me for such a thing. Along the same line as, "What is coaching?" I also hear, "What’s the difference between a consultant and a coach?"

Here's the short answer: 

When I’m consulting, I’m helping a client create a product. It’s like, “Hey, I can fix/design that for you.” or “Let’s workshop this and solve some problems!”

When I’m coaching, I’m working with teams and/or individuals on the process of changing behaviors. We explore challenges and goals, and come up with the best choices for them based on where they are at and their vision for their future. I don't do the work for them, I guide, inspire, listen, encourage and advise.

My coaching in greater detail:

This service offering was born from the pretty standard UX consulting arrangement, which I still do offer. What I found time and again in most engagements was that there were deeper challenges to work through than just getting said product out the door. Communication challenges within teams, across teams and departments, there were challenges with processes and understanding, professional development challenges, team-cohesion challenges, and in many cases I’d end up addressing many of those challenges as a part of the engagement just to get to the actual consulting/product makin' part. And wouldn’t you know it, I LOVED the people part. Even more than making the products in most instances because I am genuinely interested in the health and well-being of the people making these products. I've been studying coaching for longer than most people realize, exactly because of my human interest and my desire to make business and products more "human." I think in our iOS world, folks think of me as "a designer." That's OK, but I've actually got a whole lot of other experience to offer.

I’ve heard different Chefs say that what you’re feeling, your mood and spirit, cooks right into the food you're making. The same applies to artists, designers and developers for the things we make. If the team making the products is not happy and healthy, the products will reflect that. Thusly, corporate coaching focuses toward building-up and strengthening teams, their communication, practices and behaviors. I offer tools, skills and perspective in addressing challenges and growing from them.

My coaching engagements are designed to help people create positive change and forward momentum in their lives. For some clients, the positive change they most want may be in the realm of personal goals such as financial management, time management, work-life balance, stress reduction, simplification, health, overall “Life Design” stuff.

Other clients may be more interested in professional or business goals such as developing a personal brand, improving leadership skills, getting a promotion, starting a business, charging more, etc. I work with my individual clients to help them live a better, richer life - regardless of their type of goals. 

Please let me know if this answered your question! And thank you for asking.  :)