If you are interested in coaching, I suggest you ask yourself: Who inspires me or interests me? Who has a quality of life that I would like to have for myself? How can I learn from that person? As you identify such a person, I encourage you to study with him or her informally or formally. Be a mentee.
When I started my law practice, I was in a small government agency. All of us were recent law school graduates. One day, a paralegal came through the door, assigned to work with us. Bettsy was 40 years old! Because she was so old, we didn’t know what to talk to her about, nor did we know what she could do for us as a paralegal.
Eventually, we decided to send her to a public meeting, telling her: “Go and determine whether there is a quorum at the meeting and report what action was taken.” When she returned to the office, we assembled in the conference room, and she gave her report. Before she did, she talked about the mood at the public meeting and she identified the leaders who were there. She talked about how people influenced each other, and she identified the “hidden” agendas at the meeting.
I was dazzled that that she could see so much at that public meeting and describe it so well. I decided that I was going to be, in some way, her mentee. I would simply observe her doing work, interacting with people, and living life. Eventually, Bettsy left state employment. At age 70, she earned her Ph.D. with distinction from the University of Pennsylvania. After nearly 50 years, Bettsy remains a close friend and my teacher. I am gratedul that when in my twenties I noticed that Bettsy had a quality of life that I wanted to cultivate for myself.
There are also, of course, wonderful resources to read, depending upon your interests:
- Frederic Hudson, a deep resource in the field of adult development, founder of the Hudson Institute of Coaching and an impactful teacher in my life. https://hudsoninstitute.com
- Richard Strozzi Heckler, who integrates the body, the mind, and the spirit in leadership work and founded the Strozzi Institute. He has deeply informed me. http://www.strozziinstitute.com/
- Parker Palmer is an educator, a deep and wonderful resource. http://www.couragerenewal.org/parker