“The first thing that I do when I’m coaching someone in this position is to really explore what it is that they want. What’s the legacy that they want to leave in that particular job?” explained career coach Jim Merrell of Ross-Merrell Associates. “What are their specific goals? What are some recurring challenges? What are things in their current position that they’re ‘tolerating,’ and what would success look like?”
Explore This IssueNovember 2010
Once you’ve defined your successful shift, Merrell said, the next step is to “close the gap” between where you are now and where you want to be and to understand how to ensure success in your new role. A good coach, Merrell said, doesn’t have to be an expert in the field.
“One of the tenets of coaching is that the client has the answers, although he may not realize it. We take you through the process of exploration and discovery so that you can identify those answers.”
And some physicians don’t see the need for coaching. “My career coaches were my prior chairs,” Dr. Levine said.
“If someone is in search of guidance, you need to go out and get it. Most people are really willing to spend time sharing their knowledge, experience and perspective with you, but they’re not going to voluntarily search out mentees,” Dr. Pensak said.