The following article was printed in "The Bulletin" - Bend Oregon

Professional coaches: Outside ear can be good sounding board

Published: February 1, 2004 By Cathy Carroll, The Bulletin

Rockland Dunn is opening a branch of Summit Mortgage in Bend next week — a risk he doubts he would have taken had he not had a coach. "I was missing direction," said Dunn, 30. "I was taking on as much work as I could and it wasn't getting me where I wanted to go." That was six months ago, when he called Ann Golden Egle, a certified professional coach in Bend . She had him list his priorities and pitfalls and set his professional and personal goals. "I was seeking the big picture," Dunn said. "I would set goals but I was never held accountable. I was letting things slip and letting time getting away." Dunn is among a growing number of workers from entrepreneurs to chief executive officers who are tapping coaches to further their careers.

According to Judy Feld, immediate past president of the International Coach Federation (ICF), the organization has about 7,000 members, up from 1,500 three years ago. Fees typically range from $250 to $600 per month for weekly 30-minute phone sessions and unlimited e-mail correspondence. Central Oregon seems to have more than its share of coaches. Andrea Sigetich, a coach in Bend who formed an area chapter of ICF three years ago, said the group has 18 members. There are about 10,000 to 15,000 trained coaches worldwide. For instance, by comparison, Sigetich said Salt Lake City had four coaches when she moved from there four years ago.

"The profession allows you to work from a home office, and people come to Bend for the lifestyle," she said. Sigetich, 50, has been doing management and leadership development for 25 years and has owned her own business for the last seven years. She has a bachelor's degree in business, a master's in human resources management and became a master certified coach through the Coach Training Institute of San Raphael, Calif. There are fewer than 400 master certified coaches worldwide, she added.

Her biggest client is FedEx. Other Fortune 100 companies include Novell, Fidelity Investments and Advanced Micro Devices. "I've had a CEO client for a number of years and he used me as a sounding board," Sigetich said. "He wanted someone outside the organization to try ideas on because everyone in the organization is invested in the organization. "He hired me shortly after he was promoted to CEO and I've seen him move from an unsure, not-totally-confident CEO to someone who is just so powerful, creates vision, creates action. He keeps showing up on the cover of magazines for his trade's organization as a real leader." Sigetich said she has gotten more work lately because of the weak economy. Organizations have cut their large-scale training and development but retained private coaches like Sigetich.

"Since part of my business is leadership management training and the other part is coaching, as leadership training got thin, coaching became a way an organization could get development for a key leader with high potential when they couldn't afford the training route. "Coaching, however, is different from management consulting. When consulting, Sigetich will recommend what she thinks is best to do in a given situation. "As a coach, at times I have to bite my tongue," she said. "I might have a suggestion but I am helping them discover their own solutions."

Steve Bogdanoff, president of Isis Affiliates, an educational consultancy in Bend , tapped Sigetich's expertise about a year ago, one year into the startup. "She has the ability to ask questions that go well beyond superficial business," Bogdanoff said. "Such as, ‘Which of these decisions are most difficult for you to make and why, and how will that self-knowledge affect how you think strategically in the next six months.'It's about going deep inside yourself rather than whether to send out a (promotional sales) postcard or a letter.

Barbara Malcom, owner of Impressive Events in Bend , said Egle was key in helping her accelerate her plan to start her own business. Egle helped her articulate what she wanted during her annual review while she was working as an event planner for the Bend Area Chamber of Commerce. "She breaks it down to how it can happen, step by step," Malcom said. She got a "ten-fold" return on her investment and deducted the cost from her income tax as a business education expense. Sigetich's husband, coach Beryl Rullman, 66, of Bend , spent 30 years as executive director of national, state and local nonprofits before attending CTI. He specializes in coaching nonprofit professionals. "There's always something that's bugging us," Rullman said. "Our work relationships, our own attitude. Most of us think we're incompetent. We all have doubts. Coaching has potential to help anyone find the resources and capabilities we never dreamed of. "Kids turn into more whole or wholesome kids," he added. "Almost anybody who's willing to be honest with themselves and commit to trying can be supported by coaching."

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