Is it summer where you are?

It finally got hot here, and I think it's hot in other parts of the northern hemisphere, too. If you're happy in the heat, enjoy! And if not, I hope your life is rich with air conditioned spaces.

Read on to find out why I don't give advice any more, get an update on my training, and discover whether your career is peaking.

What does this picture have to do with coaching? I don't know -- it's hot here and I thought this looked cool and refreshing. Nice, right?

Here's what you should do: don't give advice

On one of the first days of the very first week of my coaching training at the Adler Graduate Professional School, the facilitator told us that coaches don't give advice. Advice is not part of coaching.

I admit, I was shook. I think a lot of my classmates were, too. We had heard from other people, "You give such good advice! You should be a coach!" (I used to have an Unsolicited Advice category in my blog.) But it soon became clear that advice is often not the best support we have to offer.

The thing is, advice is usually too much about the advisor. It doesn't really matter what I would do in your situation, but all my advice tells you is just that: what I would do, what I did, what I think is a good idea. My advice reflects my values, my priorities, and my available resources.

But I am not you; my values, my experience, and my motivations are all different. There is some tiny chance that my advice will apply to your situation, but it's statistically unlikely.

Another thing about advice is that it's often not needed. How many times have you sat with a friend who wanted advice, patiently waited as they explained the situation... and then talked themselves all the way around to a solution without you saying a word? (In software development this is called rubber duck debugging.) If you had butted in with your hot take, your friend might never have come to their solution — which is almost certainly going to be more relevant than whatever you might have come up with.

Erica Jong said, "Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer, but wish we didn't." That's a bit of a grim take — the solution we're searching for isn't necessarily the one we dread, but there often is a barrier between you and your solution. If it's not dread, it might be fear, or insecurity, or a conflict in values.

And that is where I come in as coach: First, in asking the right questions to get you to the solution that's probably in there somewhere (or at least, to get you closer to it). And second, to help you figure out what's really coming between you and your solution.

Training is over! I'm trained!

If you are following along at home you'll know that last week was my last week of training at  Adler Graduate Professional School. I'm now officially trained!

But I have a long way to go. Like most things worth doing, the learning is just the first step. Now it's time to practice, screw up (not too much, I hope), reflect, improve, and practice some more. Next week I start the eight-month practicum which will lead to my certification as an Adler Trained Coach and an ICF Accredited Certified Coach (whoo, certification!)

I am thrilled to say that I'm putting together a good roster of diverse clients for my practicum. I'm still offering a pay-what-you-can rate through July and August to encourage the curious and the under-resourced to give coaching a try.

As I said before, if the timing isn't right for you, but you know someone who might be interested in coaching, please pass my name to them. (I can work with clients all over the world.) I'm particularly interested in working with researchers, software developers, musicians and creative entrepreneurs.

Fun and Interesting

  • An extended meditation on the arc of a career and how to be useful (and therefore feel fulfilled) as you age. This article includes the nugget that people tend to peak in their career around 20 years after it begins. Since I have never seriously committed myself to anything for more than seven years, that presents the delicious possibility that my peak is ahead of me! Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think (The Atlantic)
  • I like Adam Kurtz's relaxed, self-deprecating style. Here are his reminders to himself about How to Stay Calm (DesignSponge)
  • If you self-identify as a smart person you've probably come across Carol Dweck's writing on mindset. But did you know she's chic as hell? Here she is talking about her research in a Google talk: Carol Dweck: "The Growth Mindset" (YouTube)

Thank you for reading this far!

If you like what you read, hit reply and let me know, or hit forward and let someone else know. If you have questions or comments, hit reply and let me know. If you have seen something interesting out there, hit reply and let me know. Are you seeing a trend here? If so... hit reply and let me know! I look forward to hearing from you. ❤️

Copyright © 2019 Amy Rhoda Brown Coaching, All rights reserved.

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