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Thursday, February 23, 2006


Choosing a Coach (or other professional)

Thanks to the trollish comment of Mr. Morris for sparking today's post. Also, I think it's a helpful followup to my last post!

First of all, determine what the problem is to the best of your ability. Even if you can't pin it down exactly, just write down the things that are driving you crazy. Identify any and all categories of professional that might be able to help. You wouldn't go to a dentist for a foot problem, but you might go to a podiatrist for input on your back problem.

Once you have a list, ask around; local associations related to the issue, social workers, school counselors, doctors, friends, family, anyone you can trust. This is the number one way most people use to find services, and there's a good reason - a recommendation takes some of the stress out of the process. However, no-one is living your life; recommendations that are right for them may be wrong for you. Complement your word-of-mouth search with contacting professional associations, trying google searches for websites of likely people, and checking the Yellow Pages.

Now you must find The Right One from this vast and confusing array of people. My advice will always be - Go With Your Gut. Set up introductory appointments by phone or in person. It's a bit like dating - you'll get a first impression of a person that will tell you a lot, and you should trust that feeling. Like dating, it can be frustrating and exhausing and you will probably go through stages of feeling that you'll never find The Right One. Prepare yourself for a long haul.

Gifted people are more likely than most to realize the limitations of qualifications and degrees. While these things protect you in some important ways and show a dedication to professional learning, they can't tell you whether this person is the right fit for you. In my opinion, finding the fit is more important than any letters after someone's name. Many will disagree with me; all I will say is that they may have another agenda. Trust your gut.

Here's the vital point - once you have decided to begin work with someone, always remember that you are the client. You have to power to ask for what you want and fire someone who is not delivering. This is your time. However, if you aren't getting what you expected, it's your responsibility to speak up and let the professional you are employing know about it. You will learn a lot about them by their reaction! A good professional will adjust to your requests, or recommend someone else if they can't give you what you need.

Good luck! I welcome your feedback.

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I am glad I could be of some inspiration to you.

We have similar goals: to help people. I seek to enlighten people and help them overcome their stupidity. While I do this for free, you do have to earn a living with your magic.

I am honored to be mentioned in your blog. You have actually inspired me to write a post, however at the moment, I’m not feeling to well… You see, I’ve got this cold. I am going to try and visit the optometrist tomorrow to see if they can prescribe some antibiotics that will help me kick this sickness. Look for a post praising you by Sunday, as getting enough sleep for my day job prevents me from writing it tonight.

Hugs and kisses,

Mr. Morris
Ask Morris

p.s. are you that good looking in real life? Your picture is awesome!
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