Executive and Professional Coaching - Issue 050
- Message from the Director
- News and Notes
- Feature Article
- Coaching Integrity in Business
- Research Corner
- Coach’s Notebook
- Student Corner
It’s fall and the campus is abuzz with new students and faculty. Our coaching program and MS degree programs are also humming with new students and faculty. As predicted in the last newsletter, our fall coaching cohort is our largest yet with 42 students. Furthermore, we had many additional applicants to whom we were able to make our spring cohort available.
Our MS degree program with a concentration in Healthcare Organization Leadership is now being delivered to a new client organization: Texas Health Resources (THR). THR is one of the largest healthcare systems in the DFW area. We are proud to offer our educational excellence to that organization. I know this newsletter is focused on coaching, but I wanted to mention this program as well, because it demonstrates our commitment to excellence and is also a validation of our success in branching out into new areas.
Thanks to our entire faculty, coaching and otherwise, and to our excellent students who make this the best program of its kind in the country (IMHO).
That’s it for now. We welcome your comments and suggestions for future articles.
Robert Hicks, PhD
Director, Organizational Behavior & Coaching Program
University of Texas at Dallas
“Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved.”
― William Jennings Bryan
By Judy Feld, MCC
Assoc. Director, ACTP Graduate Certificate Coaching Program
University of Texas at Dallas
Naveen Jindal School of Management
New Credentials, Information Session, Faculty News
We are proud of the Executive and Professional Coaching Program at UT Dallas and proud of all of our graduates. Recent graduates from our twelfth cohort are already joining the ranks of ICF credentialed coaches. Our earlier cohorts also continue an impressive record of professional development. In addition, our special ACC program for Western Governors University (WGU) has a stream of participants completing their work and joining the ranks of ACC credentialed coaches. We want to congratulate the following coaches who have received a new ICF credential, and continue to be involved in the UT Dallas community:
Francesca Spinelli, PCC, Cohort 7A; August 2012
Chafi Acero, ACC, WGU; August 2012
Alberto Flores, ACC, WGU; August 2012
Reigan Knotts, ACC, WGU; August 2012
Amy Lauritsen, ACC, WGU; August 2012
Casilyn Lewis, ACC, WGU; August 2012
Rebecca Melton, ACC, WGU; August 2012
Cora Peterson, ACC, WGU; August 2012
Hilary Poor, ACC, WGU; August 2012
Master’s Degrees Conferred
Congratulations to the following Summer 2012 graduates of Organizational Behavior and Coaching Program. All were awarded the Master of Science in Management and Administrative Sciences degree; concentration in Organizational Behavior and Coaching. Official commencement services will be held December 7th and 8th.
Robert E. Lee
Next Information Session for Spring Cohort and Master’s Program
The Executive and Professional Coaching Program is thriving at UT Dallas and we continue to look toward the future. We are accepting applications for Cohort 10B, to begin in March. The Master’s Degree Program is in its third year and is open for new student applications.
You are invited to join an interactive group Information Session with an overview and Q&A on both programs, including options for each. Our next information session is scheduled for Thursday, November 1st at 5:30 p.m. U.S. Central time. It will be conducted on a group teleconference line so you can call from anywhere in the world. If you are interested in attending, send an e-mail to email@example.com with "Information Session" in the subject line. Please include your full name and location in your e-mail. We will add your name to the reservation list and send you the call details. You may also register at the Coaching website
Faculty News: Congratulations to Caroline Miller!On September 9th Caroline Miller received an award from the Good News Network for her work in the field of positive psychology. The award was presented at a banquet during a 2 1/2 hour cruise on the Potomac River alongside Washington, D.C. Under the banner, "Good News Goes to Washington", Caroline, who is a go-to source for positive outcomes research for reporters at the Washington Post, was toasted as a 2012 honorary Good News Ambassador. Caroline teaches Positive Psychology and Coaching in the Executive and Professional Coaching Program at UT Dallas.
Judy Feld, MCC, was the 2003 ICF President. She has been a full-time executive and professional coach since 1995 and is the co-founder of the Executive and Professional Coaching Program in the School of Management at the University of Texas at Dallas http://jsom.utdallas.edu/coaching. She teaches “Foundations and Structures of Coaching”; “The Business of Coaching”; and “Strategic Alliances for Coaches.” Feld is the co-author of SmartMatch Alliances http://www.coachnet.com/info/resources-smartmatch.html and a mentor to innovative coaches www.coachnet.com.
Polarities Coaching: A Tool for Coaching in Complexity
Ann V. Deaton, PhD, PCC, The Bounce Collective, Ann@WeCanBounce.com
For every problem, there is a simple solution. And it’s wrong.
We live in the both/and. We breathe in; we breathe out. Choosing one or the other is not an option. Without both the intake of breath and its outflow, our lives are unsustainable. We cannot choose between the poles of inhaling and exhaling. Breathing is not a problem to be solved, an either/or choice. Breathing is a polarity that must be managed, and we do it seamlessly every day and every minute of our lives.
The necessity of a both/and approach applies to most of the challenges our coaching clients bring to us as well. Clients often long for the simplicity and clarity of an either/or approach, and they bring to coaching issues that they believe (and hope) are problems to be solved. Clients anticipate that coaching will help them arrive at the best solution to their challenge. Yet the complexity of many of life’s questions doesn’t lend itself to just a single answer. Many difficult situations arise precisely because there are two competing values, or poles, and we need to honor both instead of choosing one over the other. These situations are known as Polarities, and sometimes also referred to as paradoxes, dilemmas, or tensions.
Polarities are interdependent pairs that need one another over time to create positive and sustainable results. Fortunately or unfortunately, polarities are unavoidable, indestructible, and unsolvable (Johnson, 1992). The wonderful thing about this is that your clients will have endless opportunities to deal with their enduring polarities, and to improve how they are managing them.
Some common polarities that arise in coaching are those of Self and Other; Stability and Change; Short-term and Long-term; and Action and Reflection. What makes these polarities? Let’s look at each one and notice: If I focus only on Other and lose my sense of Self, I ultimately have nothing to offer to the Other. A CEO can’t run her company choosing only constant Change without also embracing some aspects of Stability. When I focus only on the short-term and neglect the long-term, my business generates enough income right now but we fail to build the deeper relationships needed to generate ongoing referrals and a sustainable income stream. A client who is all Action and no Reflection doesn’t learn from his mistakes; one who chooses only Reflection and delays Action doesn’t move forward in a powerful way.
You can see how each of the above situations demands both/and thinking and an approach that honors these competing values. And I suspect that even if you have never heard of polarities before you recognize that you already know a great deal about them. As a coach, you often partner with your clients to manage the competing values that are important in their lives and work. You are already doing polarities coaching to some extent, and I’d like to suggest some additional tools for your toolbox.
The first of the tools I’d like to offer is simply your awareness of the distinction between a problem to be solved and a polarity to be managed. Not everything is a polarity. Some of the issues your clients bring to coaching are problems to be solved, such as: Should I change jobs or stay with my current employer? What do I include on the agenda for my staff retreat? Should I terminate
this problem employee? In these situations, there is a solution and an endpoint. So one distinction is that problems are solvable, while polarities are ongoing. A second distinction is that when a true polarity exists, the two poles are interdependent; they require one another to be sustainable. Just like our breathing example above, one without the other will not suffice. These two qualities of polarities, their ongoingness and the interdependence of the poles, will help you to recognize when a polarity exists.
The second tool I’d like to suggest is the method of using a polarities map to help a client to see both poles clearly. This enables them to expand their perspective on the benefit provided by each pole, and the potential downside if they focus only on one pole while neglecting the other. This polarity mapping structure was developed by Barry Johnson and is shared in Foundations of Polarity Thinking and Intro to Polarity Thinking training offered by Polarity Partnerships. A completed map is provided below with the example of the polarity of Action and Reflection to illustrate how a polarities map helps to expand the client’s perspective, as well as linking an understanding of the poles to potential action steps. As the infinity loop in the map illustrates, effective management of both poles will involve a back and forth flow such that when one pole is being overused, the coachee will quickly recognize that she is sliding into the downside of that pole and will move to the opposite pole.
How can you use polarities more in your coaching? At their simplest, the steps are to work with your client to:
- Recognize that a polarity exists.
- Name both poles with neutral to positive labels.
- Identify the higher purpose that managing the polarity well will help the client to reach, and the deeper fear about what will happen if they manage it poorly.
- Follow the infinity loop as you fill in the map with your client, starting with the upside of their preferred pole, then the downside of the non-preferred pole, followed by the upside of that pole, and finally the downside of their own preferred pole.
- Identify early warning signs that the client is overly focused on one pole, and action steps to move to the other.
- Coach the way you always do. As Kathy Anderson notes in her book Polarity Coaching,
Polarity Coaching uses the same powerful questions and visioning of traditional coaching; in addition, it provides a structure for the client to walk through his or her story in a collective fashion that will uncover values and fears, as well as develop action steps and early warnings. (p. xi)
How can you learn more? The resource list below should get you started. My favorite source is still Barry Johnson’s original book on polarities, Polarities Management, as well as the training (both online and in person) that he and Polarity Partnerships offer. Michael Welp provides a simple version of the polarities map on his web site that you can use as a structure for yourself and your clients as you begin to experiment with polarities. Kathy Anderson’s book on polarities coaching provides numerous case studies of using polarities with coaching clients that will help you grow your ability to see polarities and manage them in your coaching. And both the Beach & Joyce and Glunk & Follini articles offer additional perspective and wisdom as well as examples of the impact of this coaching tool. Most of all, I encourage you to notice the polarities that come up for you in your own lives and consciously work to discover the both/and when you find that you are dealing with the same issue over and over again. Chances are it’s a polarity—unsolvable, unavoidable, and indestructible. To get the positive and sustainable results you want in your own life and work, learn to manage polarities well.
Anderson, K. (2010) Polarity Coaching. Amherst, MA: HRD Press.
Beach, P. & Joyce, J. (2009) Escape From Flatland: Using Polarity Management to Coach Organizational Leaders from a Higher Perspective. International Journal of Coaching in Organizations, 7(2), 64-83.
Glunk, U. & Follini, B. (2011) Polarities in executive coaching, Journal of Management Development, 30 (2), 222-230.
Johnson, B. (1992) Polarity Management: Identifying and Managing Unsolvable Problems. Amherst, MA: HRD Press.
Kayser, C. (nd) Polarity Coaching. www.xperienceit.com/coaching/polarity-coaching/
Polarity Partnerships. www.PolarityPartnerships.com
Welp, M. Polarity Mapping Worksheet, http://www.equalvoice.com/links.htm
About the Author
Ann V. Deaton, PhD, PCC: Ann earned her PhD in Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin and her coaching certification through the Newfield Network. After working as a clinical psychologist in her first career, Ann began her first business, DaVinci Resources, in 2003 to provide leadership coaching and team development. In 2009, she partnered in founding The Bounce Collective leadership development company (Bounce). Ann is co-creator of Bounce’s Leaders as Learners corporate-community reciprocal learning leadership experience and the Extraordinary Women Leaders program at the Center for Corporate Education at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her work focuses on developing leaders and teams to bring their best to work and life every day.
ICF Code of Ethics
When to Terminate the Client Relationship, Part 3
A Series of Articles based on Ethics FAQs
(Note: Send your Ethics questions for clarification to Vicki@excellentcoach.com , and please include the number of the ethics code relating to your question.)
As a follow-up to the previous ethics column concerning when to terminate a client in which the 20th Code was referenced, a UTD student requested some additional discussion.
The 20th Code is the following: I will encourage the client or sponsor to make a change if I believe the client or sponsor would be better served by another coach or by another resource.
The scenario discussed was as follows:
- What if my client wants specific information of a consultative nature, and I have some ideas and expertise that might be helpful? May I share my ideas with my client?
As a follow-up to the previous ethics column concerning when to terminate a client in which the 20th Code was referenced, a UTD student requested some additional discussion. With permission to include the letter, here are the questions from the student:
“My question concerns the first scenario and what we are being taught in our classes. While I agree that we should / could encourage the client to consider where they may go for help or expertise my question is: What if the client knows about your particular expertise in this area? What do you do if the client says something like ‘I know you have a background in this area. It’s one of the reasons I came to you. Please! Just help me – tell me what I could do?’
“In our class, we are very clear about our role as coach. But we are also taught that if we DO choose to step out of the coaching role and into the consulting role we can do so IF we make clear to the client that we are doing just that. We can say something like “OK, I am going to step away as your coach for a minute and put my consulting hat on. Is that OK with you?”
“I would love to hear your thoughts on how to balance the grey with what we are being taught in class!”
Judith W Henry
If a client has a request for information and you have the answer, then, instead of having them look for the answer elsewhere, the coach can simply provide it. These types of questions and answers are generally factual in nature, and can be found in an outside resource.
If the client, however, is looking for your OPINION or judgment as an expert, then giving it to him/her is the gray area. Only you can answer your question, ultimately; however, here are some ideas that might inform your answer.
You might ask yourself these questions:
- Is the answer my opinion or belief (consulting/judgment/observation-feedback), or is it a fact? If it is a fact, then giving the answer is simply saving the client the time.
- If my client hires me because I have expertise in an area, is consulting referenced in the coaching contract? If so, when the “consulting” issue arises, there are guidelines in place. If there is no consulting provision, then the contract could be amended to include certain consultation.
- Do I, as coach, know of resources such as books, courses or other professionals that might spur the client’s thinking or give the client new information, without relying on the coach?
- If a client only needs new information, consulting, training or teaching, then ethically the coach must consider terminating the coaching contract, as there would be another professional, consultant, or resource that would fit the client better than coaching.
- Is there opportunity for discovery for the client, when giving answers would stop the process? Have I explored “limiting beliefs” with the client, to see what might be blocking new ways of thinking and behaving, rather than jumping to the conclusion that the client lacks information? When the client seems stuck, and cannot move forward, there is generally a limiting belief or blind spot.
- Does stepping into consulting result in more and more dependency on me by the client? Are my sessions becoming more consultative than coaching?
- Is consulting with the coaching client fulfilling some need the coach has to be the one with the answers? Remember, most coaches have been successful in other professional areas, and have become “experts.” It is difficult for the coach to “give up” being seen as expert, and instead be simply a partner in exploration. However, to do so is a higher level of coaching, and is of greater long-range benefit to the client.
It is so much easier to “tell” the client something than go through the process of discovery through coaching conversations. That is why throwing in consulting, and putting on the ‘hat”, so to speak, is a slippery slope. Sometimes the “consulting hat” is a euphemism for the coach being frustrated, or wanting the easy way out without helping the client transform his/her thinking. How wonderful and empowering it is when the client spontaneously “discovers” more effective behaviors because of new awareness and insight.
Bio: VICKI ESCUDE, M.A., MCC, Mentor Coach, is a pioneer in the coaching profession, promoting the professionalism of coaching to several areas of the country for over 15 years. She was among the first coach educators for UTD, Success Unlimited Network®, LLC (SUN), and Strategic Executive Coaching Alliance (SECA). Escudé served on the Board of Directors for the ICF, and was Board Liaison to the Ethics Committee. She has subsequently been a member of the Ethics Committee for several years, and was on the subcommittee to develop the ICF Ethics’ FAQs. Escudé has an active executive coaching and corporate coach training and mentoring practice, and is author of several coaching books: Getting Everything You Want! Coaching for Mastery; Create Your Day with Intention in English, Portuguese and Spanish, and the Fast-Track Leader series published by Get-to-the-Point Books.
By Francine Campone, Ed.D., MCC
Measuring Authenticity as a Coaching Outcome
How can a coach measure coaching outcomes? This is a topic of great interest to many coaches, especially those who seek to provide evidence of their impact. A number of valid instruments are available in the marketplace for coaches to use in measuring changes in specific dimensions: for example, emotional intelligence, communication skills, team functioning and similar goal-oriented outcomes. Susing, Green and Grant , however, are interested in a valid measure of a central construct in leadership coaching. Specifically, the authors propose that a valid measure of authenticity is relevant to the development of leadership and to furthering understanding of underlying psychological processes in effecting positive change.
Susing et al. present three justifications for a valid measure of authenticity: reducing reliance on idiosyncratic outcome measures (such as a specific skill set); allowing meaningful comparisons across different research studies; and furthering the understanding of the psychological processes supporting positive change in coaching. They offer a persuasive case for authenticity as a central construct in the development of leadership. I found their discussion of the concept of authenticity particularly useful insofar as this is a term that is widely used in discussions of leadership and in self-defined coaching goals but it is not as frequently defined. The review of the literature of authenticity begins by noting the historical roots of the concept in philosophy and psychology and proceeds to anchor the construct in the context of coaching. While the preponderance of references to authenticity in coaching focus on the authenticity of the coaching practitioner, the importance of authenticity in the coach-client relationship points to both participants in the engagement.
The authors’ definition of authenticity draws from various definitions in the literature. They define the construct as “a congruence between behavior and emotional expression on one hand, and conscious awareness of physiological states, emotions or cognitions on the other…unconstrained by external influences.” (p.18)
The challenge remains of how to measure such an elusive construct. The article’s authors unfold the development of Authenticity Scale by Wood, Linley, Malty, Baliousis and de Joseph (p.19). This entailed identifying three key factors in the definitions of authenticity: self-alienation, authentic living and accepting external influence. From these, a 25-item pool was developed to address each of these factors and was tested with a random sampling of 200 undergraduate students. Participants also took measures of anxiety, stress and happiness. Wood et al. performed a multifactor analysis finding positive correlations between authentic living and happiness and negative correlations between authentic living and stress and anxiety. The original 25 item pool was reduced to 12 based on these correlations, resulting in a second version of the scale which was again tested in subsequent studies which “provide the first direct test of several theoretical models that view authenticity as integral to well-being.” (p.19).
The authors of this article, however, are concerned with the relationship between authenticity and optimal functioning. To that end, they infer that “the optimal functioning of a leader is very similar to the optimal functioning of an individual with respect to that individual’s relationship with others.” (p.19) To extend the usability of Wood’s Authenticity Scale, Susing et al. adapted the items on the individual self-rating instrument to create a peer-rating version which is offered as a complementary tool for use in leadership coaching. The peer-rated version invites respondents to assess a leader on the same items as the leader is self-assessing, using the Wood scale. For example, the self-rating scale asks the leader to indicate the degree to which the following statement describes him or her: I don’t know how I really feel inside. The peer-rating version asks the respondent to identify the degree to which the following statement describes a particular leader: They don’t know how they really feel inside.
Susing et al. propose that using both scales extends the functionality of The Authenticity Scale in a coaching context. The final section of the article offers support for this, citing several studies which link authenticity with optimal job performance. In particular, self-awareness and self-regulation are prerequisites for authenticity and a fundamental concept of coaching which underpin the notion of client self-directness. Self-concordance is linked to persistence and achievement of goals as well as higher levels of well-being.
Francine Campone, Ed.D., MCC, coaches mature professionals to reinvent their lives by reinventing their work. She is a leader in the coaching research community and deeply committed to the development of reflective coaches in practice. Francine teaches evidence-based coaching and coaching research practices for UTD and enjoys a wonderful life in Denver, Colorado beyond her activities in the coaching field.
I. Susing, Suzy Green and A.M. Grant. The potential use of the Authenticity Scale as an outcome measure in executive coaching. The Coaching Psychologist. V. 7, no. 1. June 2011.
Don’t Be A Crisis-Magnet! ©
by Judy Feld
When I begin working with corporate managers or entrepreneurs, some will tell me they are always in "crisis-mode". In troubled times crises are sometime referred to as inevitable. It’s time to take a general, big-picture look at possible origins of crises…and find ways to prevent them and challenge some long-held assumptions.
How do we get to the point of crisis?
One way is to ignore warning signals. We may receive gentle, subtle clues…or we might get "heavy blow with a blunt instrument" clues. Any student of human nature knows that from time to time smart people may ignore all kinds of clues.
Some organizations–large and small–build in the ability and the habits of ignoring warning signals. Instead they rely on crisis management…and in some cases have gotten very good at it. Some individuals follow that same path…by failing to notice the incubation of crises and failing to incorporate alternative scenarios into their decision-making. "Problems" may be potentially damaging if they are not solved, but when they escalate into crises they may threaten the existence of the organization (or family unit, if on a personal level). Sometimes people ignore warnings of a problem when these warnings come from outside their organization. Sometimes organizations pay attention to the problems that can be easily identified, and ignore the other problems that may be lurking. The best way to stay out of this situation is to heed those early warnings or clues.
I use a coaching model with my clients that follows the progression:
*We receive many messages that arrive in the form of clues, inklings, new information, and/or insights. The message may be telling us to grow or change in some way.
*What happens if you don’t heed the message (or don’t treat it as an opportunity?)
You are now given a lesson. How much do you enjoy what we euphemistically call "learning experiences"? You may not like the lesson, but it will increase your awareness.
*What happens if you don’t learn the lesson?
It turns into a problem. When this happens with great frequency you realize that you have turned into a master problem-solver rather than someone who does what it takes to avoid having problems. Take a look at whether you invite problems…because you solve them so well.
*What happens if you can’t solve the problem?
It turns into a crisis…and crises are not good for your well-being.
So heed the messages you receive and enjoy a greater degree of balance, ease, effortlessness and joy!
Who likes problems and crises?
Another way of asking this same question is to identify some possible perceived "rewards" that might result from ignoring messages and escalating situations all the way to crises:
- "Good problem-solvers" need problems to solve so that they can exercise their talents. So they make sure they get them…and continue to solve them. It’s a big adjustment to learn to be problem-free.
- "Indispensable" business owners or managers need to keep proving their worth.
- Some entrepreneurs are such unrelenting optimists they will ignore all but the devastating crises that threaten their businesses.
- People who run on adrenaline continue to create, allow to happen, or respond to situations that allow them to keep manufacturing adrenaline as fuel for their machines.
How and why do we avoid problems and crises?
We want to avoid them because the continual need to respond to problems and crises provides an inefficient and ineffective way to run our lives and businesses. While crisis management can sometimes be fun (for some people) it leads to high levels of stress, a disrupted personal life, exhaustion, and sometimes the failure of projects.
What can you do to avoid problems and crises? I hope these suggestions help:
- Learn quickly and often from your environment,events, people and experiences.
- Fine-tune your personal filters and antennae so you hear "early-warning messages".
- Notice if and how you might contribute to a problem.
- From Deepak Chopra: "Silence is the great teacher, and to learn its lessons you must pay attention to it."
From "Moses on Management: 50 Leadership Lessons from the Greatest Manager of All Time" by David Barron:
" If Moses had not noticed something that was off the beaten path and
turned aside to see what it was, he might have missed his shot at
revelation….Moses could have walked right past it. He didn’t. He turned
off his path and went to learn more about it. He was curious rather than
fearful; he noticed his surroundings as opposed to sleepwalking through
them. His experience at the burning bush serves as a model for
entrepreneurs and managers of all stripes." (page 166).
Copyright 2000, 2009 by Judith F. Feld–All Rights Reserved
Judy Feld launched her coaching business in 1995, after twenty years of corporate experience in technical, marketing, management and executive roles. In her private coaching Judy serves managers, business owners and professional people, including career changers, CIOs and other technology leaders, scientists and executive women. As a former vice-president of a major airline company, Judy leverages her corporate experience with her clients, including Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, and entrepreneurial businesses. Judy is a Master Certified Coach, a Certified Mentor Coach, a 1993 graduate of Leadership America, and was 2003 president of the International Coach Federation. She is also the co-founder, training director and on the faculty at the University of Texas at Dallas School of Management Executive Coaching program. You can find additional resources and articles at her website http://CoachNet.com .
With clear thinking, I help leaders in situations of importance.
Ever heard of Marketing Ball? How do you get yourself to first base with a potential client, then second, third and home? You get to first base with one simple sentence about the solutions you offer. If the client is interested, they will ask a second question. Something like: “Really? How do you do that?” And you are now on second base!
I am an internal coach and as such I have the potential of a client pool. But potential does not equate with confirmed clients without some internal marketing. It’s not quite the same as external marketing, but building an internal coaching practice is challenging in its own way. Internal coaches must know who they are and what they do. Internal coaches need a vision just as much as external coaches. My vision is my ‘first base hit.’ This is what I do – with clear thinking, I help leaders in situations of importance. And I thought I knew how to do that fairly well. I have been an internal coach for 5 years, certified through another organization. I have been comfortable with my coaching process, have a list of ‘satisfied clients’ and am a true believer in the value coaching brings to an organization. But I was keen to learn more. To push myself beyond what I have traditionally done. UTD appealed to me for a variety of reasons – most of which were logistics. They were totally on-line. They had classes in the evening. The course was covered in a reasonable amount of time. The faculty brought strong credentials to the program.
What I have found, now that I am approximately half way through, is that my reasons for staying go far beyond the logistics. Every week I learn something new – about coaching, about me. I continue to stretch my coaching muscles and while I have to admit that at times they feel a little sore, my clients are the beneficiaries of my workouts. I am building new skills in questioning and listening. I’ve broadened my knowledge of the theory of coaching as well as the implementation of a good ‘coaching practices.’ I know more about myself, where my own strengths and weaknesses can impact my coaching. And I have been exposed to such a wide variety of coaches through my classmates that I am constantly challenged to see the process through their eyes – from their perspectives. Has my vision changed? No. Actually my experience through UTD has affirmed the ‘rightness’ of my vision for my own coaching practice. But I believe I am better prepared now, when someone asks me “Really? How do you do that?” to get all the way around the bases!
Judith Henry has an extensive background in Organizational Development. In both internal and external capacities, she has supported leaders in their personal and professional growth through coaching, consulting and training. Her passion for seeing leaders find their true strengths keeps her own desire to learn more about coaching and consulting alive and vibrant. She is a Cohort 9B student in the UT Dallas Executive and Professional Coaching Program.