ing out that coaching still pays her bills.
“I’ve seen major transformations.” Far
from Lurlene denting her credibility
with colleagues, “I’m getting support
from them,” she says. “When they see
me doing something as wacky
as this, it gives them permission
not to be so stiff. I feel like, if
we didn’t take ourselves so seri-
ously, it would be better for our
The profession does have its
problems, she acknowledges.
“Listen, sometimes it seems
like baloney to me, too.”
According to Fortgang,
coaching is only as effective as the per-
son being coached is receptive. “I’m
willing to talk to a total skeptic,” she
says, “but it’s not going to work if you go
into it believing it’s not going to work.”
THAT MAY BE WHY Sibley and the oth-
ers were ultimately unable to start me
down the road to clearing the clutter
from my overstuffed life.
Maplewood-based Tony Calabrese
and Saddle River-based David Mathew
Prior, my next t wo coaches, asked searching questions and presented solid ideas;
both recommended a tool called the
Wheel of Life, a sort of personal inventory.
“It’s a simple wheel you basically fill
out, where you rate your level of satisfac-
tion in a variety of different areas on a
scale of 1 to 10,” explained Calabrese, an
amiable guy I met at a local Whole Foods
café for an hour-long session. I was to
take the graph home and assign a num-
ber to fields such as “career” and “fun
and recreation.” Once graphed, I would
be better able to figure out where I might
be investing too much time. Priorities
could be shifted, quality of life improved.
Prior, a results-driven MBA
who specializes in executive
coaching, e-mailed me detailed
instructions on how to make the
most of the Wheel of Life. He also sent a thorough recap of our
two hour-long phone sessions
with “actions to take”—like “
being more present” at home.
Coaches four and five, Scotch
Plains-based Donna Gerhauser,
with whom I met in a conference room
at the Madison Public Library, and ICF
New Jersey president Andrea Harvey,
who phone-coached me, were excellent
listeners. Sympathetic, too. Both had left
corporate jobs to become coaches. For
both, wanting to spend more time with
their own kids loomed large in the decision to coach; the flexible hours made it
Life coaching isn’t cheap.
The typical fee is about
$150 an hour; and “lasting
change” can require years
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