Co-coaching is a technique that can help you improve your search for employment. Maybe you’re not sure exactly what type of job your skills are suitable for. Or you don’t really know how to go about finding a job. Or you just need someone to help you evaluate the options.
Practicing co-coaching will give you an opportunity to learn more about yourself and help you gain the confidence to confront the challenges you will face. But you need a partner.
The technique is so effective that even some professional life and career coaches use it. They choose someone they know as their co-coach and work with each other on a regular basis either in person or on the phone.
So follow their example and find someone to work with you, coaching you as you coach them. You should schedule sessions on a regular basis – every other week would probably be often enough.
Each session should last for about an hour, with one person asking questions and coaching for about 30 minutes, and then the other takes over. It doesn’t have to be just two people, however. It can also be a group of three or four.
Marty Nemko recommends co-coaching for certain job seekers
And career coach and author Marty Nemko is a big proponent of the practice.
He advises choosing a friend who knows you fairly well and who you think would be a good listener and non-judgmental. You want someone to hear you out, encourage you and give you confidence.
The first thing for you and your friend to do is to watch a set of videos of training sessions on co-coaching that Nemko conducted at the San Francisco Public Library. They are not long and will give you a much better idea of how to go about the process
You can assess them through the following links:
Part one Part two Part three Part four
Co-coaching empowers people
Co-coaching is working to help your partner change their life. Nemko says you have to encourage disagreement. And the more honest you can be, the more the coach can help you. The goal of the coach is to help you decide what you really want to do and how to go about doing it.
You empower the other person. Nod as they talk and say “mm, mm” to encourage them. Ask them further questions as they speak. And above all else, make sure that what is said during the session remains confidential.
Nemko recommends beginning the session by bringing up issues or challenges your partner might be having with their job search – or problems that are keeping them from looking. And then you can say, “Tell me something more about the problem.”
And then ask them, “What have you tried in the past? Has it worked for you?
After they reply, you can give them some ideas and ask them what do you think?” Nemko recommends.
Keep asking those questions
Then you can begin to ask other questions.
Here are a few examples of what types of questions that Nemko and others recommend you might ask to help people build their confidence and consider various options.
What do you do well?
What are your best skills? What are the top three and why do you think they’re the best?
What skills would you like to be focusing on in your next job?
Where do you think you should look for work?
How will you go about it?
For example, do you think you’ll get your next job from someone you know or someone you don’t know?
An important part of the process is giving advice
Then you can give advice. For example, Have you ever looked into an apprenticeship program? Do you think you might like that?
What type of trade do you think you would like to pursue? Based on what you’ve said you might want to consider carpentry or sheet metal worker.
Tell me what steps you plan to take to start out?
And then a final question can be, “What other actions do you plan to take with what you learned today?
It might be a good idea to take notes, so that in your next co-coaching session you can come back to some of the things your partner mentioned. And also take notes on what you learned and what you plan to do about it.
So be adventurous and try co-coaching. It’s a unique tool that can help you learn how to achieve your goals. And for some people, this experience could also offer new insights into jobs that they never considered before.