Who Needs Coaching?

The ICF defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. The process of coaching often unlocks previously untapped sources of imagination, productivity and leadership.”

We all have goals that we’d like to achieve, personal or professional challenges that we would like to overcome or times when we can feel “stuck” or stymied. Partnering with a coach can change your life, improve your planning and process, and make you feel “free” in your decision-making, setting you on a path to personal and professional success and fulfilment. Coaching can also provide you will an accountability partner in your journey.

Students: coaching can provide a supportive relationship for graduate students to enhance their development as scholars, focusing on their goals, development or way of accomplishing things.

Postdocs: coaching can help with tricky professional situations, feeling unsure about next steps, career exploration or self-motivation. Coaching can also help with interview preparation or professional development.

Faculty: coaching is a proven personal and professional development solution for faculty to excel as a scholar, take charge of their career, balance competing demands and achieve success aligned with personal and professional goals. Faculty might struggle with carving out time for writing among busy schedules, honing their teaching skills, planning/managing their research endeavors, or prioritizing competing requests on their time. Sometimes, even despite academic success, faculty can feel “stuck” and can be affected by career burnout.

Staff: coaching can help those working in an academic environment reach their potential, while dealing with challenging, deadline driven environments and multiple competing priorities. Coaching academic staff can help the individual meet or exceed the expectations of their role and contribute positively to the workplace.


As defined by the code of ethics of the International Coaching Federation (ICF), I cannot coach anyone with whom I may have a conflict of interest. This could include friends, family, current employees, or other types of conflicts. I would be happy to refer these folks to one of my many talented colleagues.

Coaching might also not be ideal for you if you’re looking for advice, these tend to be more aligned with mentoring from a peer or more experienced mentor and/or consultation from a subject matter expert. Coaching is not about giving advice but is a relationship between client and coach where the client drives the answers from within. Therapy tends to focus more on the client’s past, while coaching focuses squarely on the present and future.

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