MBA, MCC, CSP, is
an NSA Board member and
author of Communicating
with IMPACT. He has
taught/coached over two
generations of leaders
and their organizations to
use his IMPACT process
to communicate with
clarity, lead more effectively, present with
power, and improve results. He is one of a
few people in the world to have the highest
earned designations in both the speaking and
coaching professions. PatrickDonadio.com
BY PATRICK DONADIO, MBA, MCC, CSP
How you can help your customers as a coach
Visit the International
Coach Federation website
for information on local
chapters and resources for
As a kid, you probably had at least one coach who helped you become stronger, faster, or better on the field, in the pool, or on the court. But, if you remember, they didn’t
do the hard work for you. Their job was to help you find the best
within yourself. The same is true for professional coaches. Here’s
how you can play that inspirational role for your clients.
Q: What is coaching?
A: The International Coach Federation (ICF) defines coaching
as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative
process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. Professional coaching focuses on setting goals,
creating outcomes, and managing personal change. Coaching is
about developing, not fixing.
Q: How does coaching differ from speaking, training,
A: In speaking and consulting, you are the expert with the answers.
Coaching focuses on helping the client uncover the answers for
themselves with you as their guide. The client is the expert and
the coach believes every client is creative, resourceful, and whole.
Q: How do I get started shifting my
presentation into a coaching package?
A: Review your current materials and look
for key concepts or “modules” that can stand
alone as a coaching session or solution to your
client’s problem. To convert those modules
to a coaching package, develop questions to
elicit information for each module and design
homework assignments for the client to work
on between sessions to continue the learning.
Once you have your base program,
customize it for each client. Start with an
assessment to identify specific results the
client is seeking, plus interviews with your
coachee and their manager, peers, subordinates, and customers.
Q: What are your top five coaching tips?
A: Here’s what I recommend:
¢Focus on attitude, behaviors, and skills to
help your client achieve their results.
¢Use questions to help your client explore
and learn more. Let them uncover the
answers before you help them.
¢Set aside your own agenda and focus fully
on the client. Be patient and listen first!
¢ Coaching is a process. Continue to discover
roadblocks, beliefs, and skill needs of the
coachee as they progress through the learning process. Be prepared to adjust.
¢Help them see it when they get it!
Communicate progress to the client (and his
or her manager). ■