If you’re stuck with something you’d like help with and no one else comes to mind, you might try a coach, and here’s why: Coaching developed to fill a need that wasn’t being met. Actually it developed to meet a number of needs that weren’t being met, and it’s still evolving.

If there’s something you want to work on, I bet there’s a coach who does it.

As the existing helping professions have grown and matured over the past century, redefining themselves, drawing lines and setting boundaries, there are still huge areas falling through the cracks. At the same time, our society has been changing so that formerly existing avenues for assistance and guidance have disappeared.

I think of when I first moved to the town I live. My former husband joined an established medical practice and we were accepted immediately into that community. All I had to do was pick up the phone and call one of the spouses when I needed a repairman, doctor, dentist, or sports league for the kids. I mean one that was good that I could trust. Trial and error I could accomplish on my own.

The choices were smaller, but it was also word-of-mouth, the surest way there is to assure satisfaction. “Word gets around,” as they say. I have myself, from time-to-time said, “You may not like his[her] personality, but I can assure you [s]he will do good work.”

What I did not have, that I missed and was somewhat filled by this occupational community, was a net of extended family with older, more experienced, and available, relatives I could turn to.

In the 00s, both of these may be missing from an individual’s life. You may have moved far from family, and to a place where you know few people. You may want advice, guidance, resources or direction in areas that don’t fall within existing services such as law, therapy or accounting.

One example is someone with ADHD. In some cases medication is recommended, and also therapy, but at least one medical association has come out in favor of coaching to fill in what’s missing.

When you read articles about coaching, I’m sure you hear the struggles to define the field. These will continue as it evolves. Coaching began with two divisions – personal life and business. (Sports coaching having long been in position). It has since split into many different areas. Niches and specialties are being formed that are all to the good of the public.

If you were seeking advice in a certain area, for instance, you might be looking for someone with certain credentials (academic or coaching or both), or you might want someone with direct experience and success in that area. Now there are choices.

A quick look on a search engine or a coaching site will show you the vast variety of coaching specialties. I challenge you next time you have a dilemma you’d like consultation on, to “think coaching.” Looking at the Top Tens at www.topten.org can also give you an idea.

Under Personal Development Basic, you may find “The Top Ten Things You Should Have in Your Personal Papers by the Time You’re 30.”

Under Smart Choices, “The Top 10 Things the Wise Vacationer Knows.”

Under Money, “The Top Ten Things to do with Your Tax Refund.”

Under Life Skills, “The Top 10 Ways to Increase Your Speed and Independence in Getting Information on the Internet.”

Under Recovery, “The Top Ten Ways to Stay Sober Over the Holidays.”

Under Emotional Healing, “The Top 10 Ways Managing Your Emotions Can Save Your Life When You're Facing Surgery.”

Under Marketing, "The Top Ten Mistakes to Avoid on Your Website."

Under Career, "The Top Ten Skills of Excellent CEOs."

A coach can help you, and a well-connected coach can connect you to someone else who can help you. I know coaches who teach computer, train you for real estate sales, help you market on the Internet, work with entrepreneurs, launch your ebook, are successful breast cancer survivors, specialize in potty training, teach emotional intelligence, know what to do about in-laws, are relationship coaches, weight loss coaches, ADHD coaches and bipolar coaches, are MFT licensed and work with couples on their marriages, communication coaches, mentor new coaches, work in multicultural issues, guide you in planning your retirement and many other life skills and areas of personal and professional development.

One of the best things about coaching is it lacks some of the restraints of it’s distant cousins, therapy and teaching. For instance, your coach is free to accompany you to a speaking engagement to critique your style, or to a business meeting to observe the interactions and give you invaluable feedback. He is free to accompany you to court to observe your spouse in a child custody case. He can also join you with your partner for a business lunch and negotiation.

Coaches work in all areas of personal and professional life, helping you develop in your many roles, to move forward, find your strengths and capitalize on them, increase your emotional intelligence, become more resilient, see yourself more clearly and function more effectively.

Just as importantly, your coach can assist in those “mosquito bite” things that can really slow your life down. I just found out in 4 days I have to have surgery on my foot. My son lives 600 miles away. My best friend is a lawyer and will be in Court that day. Everyone I know works! You can’t take a cab home anymore, they tell me, you must be “signed out” to someone. I have found ‘someone’ – a friend in sales who is always out and about – but had I not, I wouldn’t have hesitated to call my friend and coach who lives here in town. A coach is just one more person “in your corner” and there can hardly be too many of these! If she couldn’t have helped me, I know she would’ve known a way around this.

A coach can make your life easier. When you’re stuck, think coaching. Pretty soon it will be the FIRST place you turn!

Author's Bio: 

©Susan Dunn, MA, The EQ Coach, http://www.susandunn.cc. I offer coaching, distance learning courses, and ebooks around emotional intelligence for your continued personal and professional development. For free ezine, mailto:sdunn@susandunn.cc. For daily EQ tips, send blank email to EQ4U-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. I train and certify EQ coaches. Get in this field, dubbed “white hot” by the press, now, before it’s crowded, and offer your clients something of exceptional value. Start tomorrow, no residence requirement, global student body. Email for prospectus.