In my work as a coach, I’ve worked with nearly every level of employee from new hire to CEO and CFO. In nearly every case, I’ve found the people to be hard working and eager to improve. They all want respect for a job well done and they desire to get along well with the other employees and their customers.

I’ve found that the role of coach can serve in many capacities and that there are definite ways to be more successful. If the coach is an outside consultant, they have many advantages. They don’t have to answer to anyone within the company and so they are more than likely going to be honest about their feedback. If they’re employed by the company, they still have to play the political game that goes on in some companies. If a coach is employed by the company, then often times the coach is employed by the leader instead of being a partner to them. I’ve been on both sides of the coin, and I’ve decided that it’s far better to be hired as a consultant than as a long term employee.

I’ve also found that a combination of working in person and on the phone is more of an advantage. Even after working on the phone for years with people on and off, there is always an advantage of meeting face to face. So much about a person shows up in their body language, and in their mannerisms. The clients have a better idea of who the coach is and the coach has a better understanding of the client. After the face to face initial meeting, regular phone calls are great to keep the relationship going.

The coach can service their client in many ways. If a coach has an expertise in business, then writing articles and sending information on that particular subject is always of help to the clients. The role of mentor does happen within the context of the coaching relationship sometimes, because the client often does ask for advice or help. Some coaches state clearly that they don’t give advice whatsoever. As an expert in the field, I don’t think that is reasonable, or always the best answer. I’ve seen coaches ask clients the same question dozens of ways, and if the client doesn’t know the answer and wants the quick one, some advice from the coach is truly appreciated. Additionally, sometimes the brainstorm process between the coach and client helps stimulate other thought from the client. I never hesitate to offer suggestions, advice or ideas if the time is right.

In order to keep the busy client engaged, regular email check in’s work wonders. They might be on the road traveling but a quick line of encouragement is always appreciated by the client. I’ve sent cards, books, motivational quotes, articles, business leads, ideas for projects, or quick brainstorms I had outside of the calls or meetings. I’ve always been thanked for these additional items that I’ve added to my coaching.

Confidentiality is key within the coaching relationship. Often times, the client uses the coach to brainstorm ideas that they want to use at the company, and they practice with the coach before hand. I’ve coached numerous clients before they’ve entered big meetings or before they’ve spoken before their companies. It’s good to remind the client that all of the conversations are 100% confidential. This way, they’ll continue to open up as the relationship progresses.

I’ve worked with my clients in the areas of self esteem, leadership, branding themselves within the organization, becoming bolder, public relations in their industries, creating raving fans out of their clients, increasing their client base, creating ideas of projects to pitch, their image, their clothes, conversation skills, and maneuvering their way politically in their company. I haven’t met anyone yet who doesn’t want to be secure in their job and well liked. It’s key to every human being. And the key for the coach is to continually express to their clients, the strengths that the coach identifies and reminds him or her to be authentic to who they are as a person.

The role of coach is an honor. You get to know the clients incredibly well and it’s a thrill to see them develop professionally and personally. And when others in the organization start to see the growth and the changes in the client, that’s when they start taking notice. And that’s usually when other clients come knocking at the door!