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When Coaching Works Best

When Coaching Works Best

Hi! I’m Courtney Kaplan. I’m a coach, writer, and advisor to leaders and executives. Before coaching, I built and lead a Design Program Management team as a Director at Facebook. It was a discipline I started from scratch at a time of enormous growth at Facebook. It was like going through lifetimes in a few years. Over 20 years in design combined with real-world leadership experience lets me partner with you to get curious and make positive changes in your life and leadership.

Who is the ideal coaching client?’

As I’ve started my practice, people frequently ask me what kind of people I”m hoping to work with women?  Managers? Moms? Men or women? Who is the ideal client?  For me, that person is not defined by gender or profession or any status or label you could affix.

The ideal client is someone ready to generate new results in their lives.

This means they have a willingness to consider a new point of view, and be open to new ideas or new ways of being. That’s it. Those clients are investing time and money to build something new and they see results quickly.

Many of us tolerate certain areas of our lives.  We defend what we are tolerating because “That’s the way it is”. We have any number of justifications or rules for why “it’s so real”. But in fact, there are few things in the world that are “truth”. 

Gravity, for example, is something we all have to live with. Laws of physics and science matter.  But most other parameters have much more variability and flexibility and interpretation than we usually allow ourselves to consider.

why do we settle into tolerating?

We each come into our lives and start being influenced by the culture and beliefs around us. The language we learn shapes our worldview. Our family history and family values are added to the mix all at such an early age we don’t see those as negotiable but just “the way the world is”.  And, frankly, there’s nothing wrong with that as long as it's working for you. 

At some point, most of us encounter a breakdown. Something in life goes sideways. Or it becomes evident there are things we’d like to change in our lives. Yet, as we try to change it, we continually get the same results. 

My pattern

For me, I remember this happening in my late twenties. Why was it that I kept finding myself in the same relationships? Why was it that with each job I found some new challenges, but in many ways the job seemed awfully similar to the last place? Why was I always broke and exhausted? 

I thought my twenties were a time to build the life I wanted. Instead I seemed to be going in circles. I was working hard. I was committed to my goals but they seemed to become a moving target while my mistakes were becoming a well-known song with many similar verses.

I remember telling my first coach, “I don’t get it, the more I try to change, the more things stay the same. I can see the cycles now but i don’t know how to get out of it.” What I thought were a series of failed jobs, failed relationships are actually starting to look like a pattern. My pattern.

I was terrified to tell her this because I assumed it would reflect badly on me and reveal how I simply didn’t measure up. Me. My pattern. My problem. My failure to figure it out on my own. This was my life because this was all I was able to create and all I was deserving of. 

Caught in a story

In fact, directing blame at myself as an individual is a larger pattern in our modern society. We’re taught that if we’re having problems, it’s a problem with you as a person when actually there’s a lot of history, culture, bias and beliefs that go into forging your point of view. 

My job as a coach is to support you in shifting your story. I help my clients build a new point of view that will expand the possibilities in their lives. We can take a look at the assessments you’ve made that may be limiting what you’d like to create in your life. We separate the facts from beliefs that look like facts but are actually opinions. I bring a spirit of lightness and humor to this process because it is delicate territory.

Practical partnership

I’m not about bringing a forced “think positive, manifest your reality” approach. I spent over twenty years working in design and technology as a manager, leader and coach. I understand practical realities of work, parenting, life. And I know we have more options than we realize. Partnering to uncover assumptions and blindspots can create big shifts.

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