John M. Collins Jr., founder and president of the Forensic Foundations Group, explains professional coaching, what it is, and the positive impact it has on clients. John was trained by the College of Executive Coaching.
Coaches help us to become exceptional. They hold us accountable. They help us set goals. Even the greatest athletes in the world need coaches. Why? Many of us often find ourselves so immersed in the intense day-to-day challenges of our jobs and personal lives that we slowly lose the ability to see how we fit in the overall picture. When this happens, we struggle to summon the energy and focus we need to set realistic goals and hold ourselves accountable to them. In other words, we lose ground. Each of us is the creator of our own future, but, from time to time, we can accelerate and refine our progress when we have an advocate and thought partner (coach) who keeps us focused.
What is a Professional Coach?A coach is a specialized professional who has been trained to work with high-potential clients in helping them think clearly about their current state of affairs, identify realistic and meaningful goals, and remain focused on achieving those goals.
Generally speaking, there are three kinds of coaching that benefit clients:
Individual Personal and Professional - structured guidance for individuals to help them professionally, personally, or both. It doesn't matter what the goals are or how big or small they may be. Personal mentors are coaches who teach and motivate clients to hold themselves accountable for their own development. Mentors also teach clients to gain more insight about their performance and how it can be improved.
Executive Development - for clients in executive leadership positions or those aspiring to become executive leaders. Executive coaching tends to focus more intensively on emotional intelligence and the refined personal attributes and skills needed to function effectively in executive positions. It may involve working with people in high-pressure, high-stakes positions who need clarity and self-awareness as they seek to create new opportunities for themselves and their organizations.
Group Sessions - Mentoring and coaching can be done in small groups of people having similar goals and aspirations - or perhaps they are simply striving to improve themselves or become more effective at the things that are important to them. Group sessions are less personalized, but they are less expensive, giving clients the opportunity to learn from peers and share their thoughts and ideas with others.
Coaching is not Therapy
Therapy is often a necessary and integral part of a person's recovery from a difficult life situation or illness. Mentoring and coaching, however, are not therapy. Here's why.
In psychotherapy sessions, a practitioner works with a client to help him or her overcome a challenge that is preventing them from functioning at a normal level. Mentoring and coaching, on the other hand, are for people aspiring to levels of achievement that are beyond normal - even extraordinary.
Therapy, in other words, is about healing. Mentoring is about gaining clarity. Coaching is about achievement.
John M. Collins Jr. practiced as a scientist and administrator over a successful career spanning over 20 years. He is trained as a Professional Coach through the College of Executive Coaching and is formally certified as a Senior Certified Professional through Society for Human Resource Management. His professional focus is on the development of professional and leadership talent in the forensic laboratory sciences.
Our practice accommodates both individual and group sessions. Anyone can benefit from good mentoring and coaching and the only requirement is that you have goals - or want to create goals for yourself, your team, or your organization.Engagements typically last a minimum of three months, or may last over a year. Half-hour to one-hour sessions are scheduled every one to two weeks, depending on the client's objectives.
For all clients, however, we incorporate strategies for managing stress and pressure on the job so that their success is not hampered by the intensity of their work environment. Most of our clients, but not all, are employed in high-stress, high-pressure workplaces of some sort.