WHO NEEDS AN ACADEMIC COACH?
A misconception in academia is that seeking support signals remediation or a deficit. Conversely, in the business world, coaches are typically reserved for the highest achievers - e.g., executives. So in academia, faculty and researchers who are high-achieving, but who may be feeling overwhelmed with their workload, and believe that "there must be a better way to get this all done" ... are prime candidates for coaching. The goal of coaching is not to teach someone how to do their work, but to help them identify their goals and use their strengths to meet those goals. Additionally, periods of transitions (preparing for promotion, a new role/responsibility at work, a new family member) can be an important time to reflect and re-adjust work processes. There is always a "better way," but sometimes what that may look like (or how to get there) is less than clear.
HOW DO I KNOW THAT THE POSITIVE ACADEMIC IS THE RIGHT COACH FOR ME?
Coaching is all about the individual client -- their needs, style of work, personality etc. The growth or insight occurs mainly through conversation and reflection which requires trust and rapport between the client and coach. That said, I am certainly not the right coach for every individual. To find out if I would be a good coach for you, the best way is to have a "Discovery Discussion" and see if the conversation brings you new insight and promise.
HOW WOULD THIS WORK? HOW DO I MEET WITH A COACH? HOW OFTEN? FOR HOW LONG?
I set up a coaching on a monthly basis, with long term packages available. In one month, typically we would schedule 3 sessions (via Zoom or on the phone) for 50 minutes at mutually agreeable times. We would also communicate via email and other forms as needed (e.g., Google Docs). This format allows me to work with faculty across the country and allows faculty the flexibility for travel or working from various locations. Some academics find coaching most useful for a short time (1-3 months), while others view this as a useful long-term support. Additionally, for organizations, I also run workshops with follow-up coaching opportunities for participants who would like to learn more or make significant changes.
WHAT SORT OF SUPPORT DO YOU PROVIDE?
The type of support directly stems from the unique challenges. For example, a faculty member who has low research productivity because of their time spent teaching needs different support than a faculty member who has high productivity but is in persistent conflict with co-authors/collaborators. Through our work together, the first faculty member may develop policies for student communication, new strategies that minimize time spent grading, and active learning strategies in the class which require less prep than traditional lectures. Through conversation and reflection, the second faculty may gain insight as to the cause of the various conflicts, practice for constructive dialogue with co-authors and set up policies for future collaborations.