We interviewed Josh Dietrich, a full-time executive coach on how his journey started, where it is today and what advice he has for aspiring executive coaches.
Let’s dive into it 👇🏽
I spent 30 years delivering software solutions for higher education. During this time, I held leadership roles across engineering, sales, and product management, leading teams as large as 500 distributed globally.
Throughout my career, I embraced mentoring and coaching, collaborating with leaders across every area of the business. Last year, I decided to follow my passion and launch my own executive coaching practice to serve leaders in higher education and technology companies.
Today, I work with leaders across all areas of a business — from engineering to marketing.
I’m pursuing my Ontological Coaching Certification with the Newfield Network and an ICF credential. My program began in September and runs through June 2022. The program has greatly exceeded my expectations and I offer my highest recommendation.
Most of my clients are sponsored by their employers. These are six-month engagements. Each engagement includes an Everything DiSC assessment to understand communication style. We regularly come back to this tool to work through communication challenges.
I conduct a series of 360 Feedback interviews which I compile into an anonymized report back to the coachee. I encourage the coachee to craft a leadership statement and set goals for what they want to achieve in our time together. We have fortnightly coaching sessions throughout the six-month engagement where the coachee drives the coaching territory.
Life coaching clients follow a similar pattern but do not include a DiSC assessment or 360 feedback interviews.
I ask my coachees to define the coaching territory, so each session begins with me asking the coachee what they want out of our time together.
As an ontological coach, I work with the coachee to understand their "Way of Being." How are they seeing the challenge in front of them, and what questions can I ask to help generate an ontological shift - a change in their perspective that unlocks new learning and growth.
Our sessions are filled with a lot of exploration.
At times we'll cover an area where mentoring is more appropriate than coaching, and if I think that will serve, I'll ask the coachee's permission to put my mentor hat on and share my own best practices for leadership techniques like delegation, personal productivity, people management, etc.
Most of my clients meet with me fortnightly (every two weeks) and we have hour-long sessions. A few of my life coaching clients meet monthly.
I'm currently working with 20 coachees, and that is probably my ideal coaching load. Most of our interactions are limited to our coaching sessions, however I invite them to message me anytime on the Practice platform and I respond proactively when they do. I love the iOS app because it makes it very easy to be responsive.
Sponsored coaching by an employer has two tiers – one for VP and above and a second for Director and below.
Life coaching can be bought in blocks of four one-hour sessions. The second and third blocks are at discounted rates, and beyond 12 sessions, we move to hourly on a per-session basis at my lowest rate.
To date, all my business has come from word of mouth.
I stay connected with my network, publish a weekly blog to LinkedIn and Facebook, and supply a quarterly business update to all clients and prospects.
I’d be delighted to continue at the volume and cadence I’m supporting today – I continue to work my network to ensure a healthy pipeline of opportunities. I have a handful of coaches I’d consider pulling into my practice if I reach a level of demand that it makes sense to do so.
Grow your network! Make sure you are connected via LinkedIn to everyone you know and build the habit of regularly connecting with anyone new you meet. All my business has come from within my network or referrals from my network.
Always be your authentic self; now, and as you move to coaching.
The single-most important competency in a coaching relationship is trust. When someone is ready for a coach, they are going to look to the people they know and trust. Be worthy of that trust.
Legal is the least exciting part of a coaching business. But it's important.
We worked with our lawyers to create coaching contract templates, free for any coach to use. Plus, a couple of sample agreements.
Let us know where to send it: