Hey, blog readers! After Thanksgiving I met with professional coach Curt Canada. Curt’s business is called Adapting2Change; located in Washington, DC. I shared my book with him and Curt told me about what he does. He kindly shared some insightful information with me for this interview, which I wanted to post. Enjoy!
(By the way, if you have some something cool and unique to talk about, contact me about being considered for an interview. Thanks!)
Laura: Why did you become a coach?
Curt Canada, coaching healthier relationships and careers
Curt: It seemed to be right time. I’ve always loved helping others but am not one for labeling or giving my self a title. When a person thinks of a coach, thoughts quickly shift to sports, performance, new energy, and hard work in the moment but with a process towards accomplishment of a goal beginning with a plan. I actually noticed in a piece of professional literature around 2003 this new area of helping others change behaviors in a shorter period of time in both their personal and professional lives. This change brought about tangible results and was cost effective for both the client and coach. I jumped on board with a teaching and training group soliciting professional psychologists, therapists, social workers and counselors with professional training and client-based practices already in their portfolio. It made sense for me to integrate this methodology for helping others who desired to make significant change within their lives using a collaborative process. As a trained social worker both at the bachelors and masters level becoming a coach brought about new insights not only for my clients but also for me.
Laura: What is your background?
Curt: My background consists of a focus on human behavior and our surrounding environments. I hold a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in social work with a strong emphasis in family and marital therapy. There is a love and attraction towards understanding how teams and groups of people live and work together. There is s a focus on individual successes and challenges; how each person seems to meander through life and its experiences and transitions. I am also a trained elementary school teacher at the masters level. I have earned postgraduate training in leadership development and life and career coaching. I come from a rural coal mining family of fifteen in West Virginia. I have experienced personal and professional life challenges, which has helped me tremendously though difficult moments.
Laura: What type of coach are you?
Curt: I see great potential in everyone. I would like to think of myself as a coach for someone who, if given the time, will hear and be here for you. I am somewhat like a doctor who wants and desires to get to the crux of what bothering you. I work as an external coach in the area of career and life focusing primarily on client challenges that crop up surprisingly in the moment involving another person, friend, colleague, team or organization. If you were to pin me down as to what type of coach am I, I would say that my work is in career and leadership development primarily. I, in turn, coach relationships specifically in the areas of communication, separation and divorce. I work with clients ready to make or bring about a change in a behavior that inhibits them from being, doing and achieving their desired new goal. My clients are ready for and simply embrace this new place or quest to enhance their lives or to gain purpose and clarity with a life challenge or transition. My clients seek personal development and increased team performance. The client may be transitioning through a relationship challenge, a sudden separation and divorce or an illness. Wellness is a strong component in my overall coaching process. Getting my client or seeing them healthy is significant. The big question for my clients has to do with what can and will you do during the coaching engagement in and beyond a coaching session to obtain your desired outcomes. Client assessments are used in the beginning of the coaching process as a means of getting to know my client and to facilitate the coaching process.
Laura: Relationship info is out there almost everywhere everyday. How do you know? Whom do you trust?
Curt: I really can’t answer this question for you and will say that there are a great amount of self-help articles that are beneficial for you. If what you are being challenged with in your relationship is ongoing, and it is tough to work through or to move on, then do seek a professional opinion with a trained person in the behavioral sciences. I suggest seeking someone who is professionally sound and can identify with where you are. Books and literature on the subject may help. It wouldn’t hurt to find a professional coach who can listen with and for you. All work begins with you and with you in mind.
Laura: Why would a person hire a relationship coach instead of talking to a friend, working with a matchmaker or different professional?
Curt: I would be willing to answer this question during a coaching consultation because the nature of the question is so broad. A conversation gives me the chance to question my client as to where they are and where they seek to be or the behavior they wish to change. Potential clients are at different places when seeking any type of coaching. A true professional trained coach will be able to assess where the client is and their readiness to enter into a coaching engagement. Friends and matchmakers are helpful with what they do. Whether they are able to help you is something to be left with you. I want you happy and healthy first as you begin to tackle what’s hindering you from being your best person or partner in a relationship.
Laura: What happens when one person desires to see a relationship coach but the other person doesn’t?
Curt: You can’t make someone do something they don’t want. However sometimes when we choose to help ourselves, new insight is gained. It could be that something surprisingly unknown to you will surface over the time of seeing a professional coach to better your life. You will find things perhaps about you that you will throw away. You may find new tools to share with the other person. You may simply find that you and the other person are at different places. Your getting help despite his/her reluctance may bring you much closer. You will find perhaps the key to your happiness and most importantly find you again.
Laura: How much would you say a relationship is about taking care of yourself versus focusing on the other person?
Curt: We can never know too much about ourselves. We must first listen to our inner self and our body. The power lies in our confidence and innate power to communicate this to and with that other person authentically and simplistically. There is much to be gained here if we can allow ourselves to take that next step. Most of what happens to us and in our relationships begins with how we communicate our needs, desires, wants, aspirations and things the other other person doesn’t know about. It lies in our loving who we are no matter the circumstances.
Laura: How do relationships connect to health and wellbeing?
Curt: If we are about what we think and how we think about ourselves, others, and our ever-so changing surrounding environments, then health is at the forefront of growth and development. Warding off potential illnesses that are related to unfulfilled desires and goals begins with our relationship(s). Nurturing, praising and cheering each other; loving each other physically and emotionally are so paramount. We thrive for acceptance and conversation with that special one. This energy carries into or social and professional lives also. We are going to have moments of doubt, pain, sadness, anxiety, and perhaps depression and feeling unworthiness. That other person or persons as in friends, family and colleagues make a huge difference in getting through the tough moments that can alter our wellbeing and health.
Laura: If you could offer a single piece of advice what would it be?
Curt: Find and seek whatever it is that when you feel empty will fill your vase again. Don’t ever look back. It’s in front of you.
Laura: You have a blog: http://www.adapting2change.me. Is there a particular topic you enjoy talking about?
Curt: I like inspiring others at there most difficult times and when there seems like there is no solution in sight. In addition listening with and for that other person!
Curt: Meeting someone new each day. I do play tennis and love gardening and reading a good book. Building things and conversations and connecting people!
Thank you, Curt!