Kate Dewhirst: “Why I Coach”

Posted: 05/29/2017

Kate DewhirstWritten by Kate Dewhirst, lawyer at Kate Dewhirst Health Law and volunteer Coach and Advisor for the Law Society’s Coach and Advisor Network (CAN).

Everyone needs a coach.  Everyone. And frankly, especially lawyers.

I decided to join the Coach and Advisor Network because it is one way I can contribute to the profession.

I recently had an epiphany that time has marched on and I am now a senior member of the bar. (How did that happen?) I have wisdom and experience that is relevant in a coaching context.

Since I have been the recipient of coaching throughout my legal career, I know the benefits and I wanted to support the Law Society in this community service.

What I didn’t expect were the personal benefits.

CAN provides in depth training for its coaches and advisors.  I have developed new skills that are translatable to my own legal work and other coaching work I do.

I have met talented, interesting lawyers through this program including other coaches and advisors as well as the lawyers I coach.

I have also benefited in my own practice and identified creative solutions to problems I share with the people I coach.

And the work itself is gratifying.  I have worked with lawyers who are dealing with interpersonal discord, crises of confidence and questions about their business future. Coaching gives them a framework within which to capture the thoughts taking up room in their heads, space to identify solutions and options to obstacles, and accountability for action.

It’s sometimes tough to witness their individual struggles.  And it is also a privilege to witness them working through complex issues to discover a path they had not seen as a way forward.

The Law Society’s Coach and Advisor Network provides lawyers and paralegals with access to shorter-term, outcome-oriented relationships with Coaches and Advisors drawn from the professions. To learn more, visit lsuc.on.ca/coachandadvisor/.