ABOUT RICHARD BYRNE
Richard C Byrne is a certified professional coach, working with clients to increase their satisfaction and energy level in their relationship with money, and with other people, especially within families. He is a Certified Professional Coach and a member of the International Coaching Federation. For 14 years he was a mortgage underwriter, which included tax return analysis. More recently he has been a professional tax preparer. He also spent time as senior credit and housing counselor with Consumer Credit Counseling Services of the Mississippi Valley. He also holds the Master of Divinity degree for pastoral ministry and has been active in various church and community ministries. He is the father of five grown children, and grandfather of 6. He lives in St. Louis, MO.
We asked Richard a series of questions.
1. How long have you been a coach and where did you train ?
I trained at the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), becoming certified in 2016 as a professional coach and as master practitioner of the Energy Leadership Index (ELI). The ELI is an assessment tool that measures one’s energy level on a 7-point scale based on engagement with the world—from more self-absorbed to more collaborative and contributive. I use the ELI to show people I work with where they stand on that and to start discussion of what goals they’d like to set. It’s possible to do a second assessment after some period of the coaching process to measure one’s progress.
2. What was the biggest surprise you experienced about being trained as a coach ?
Two of them: First, that it began with my own attitudes and energy, and that I had to examine those in order to know how best to coach others. Second, how different coaching is from counseling or consulting or being an “expert” in anything, which brings us a less directive and more collaborative relationship with people we coach.
3. What led you to ICF St. Louis, and what are the benefits you receive by being a member?
My training emphasized ICF credentials and ICF membership as vital to having a great coaching practice, and so I looked into it while I was completing my training. I truly would not have gone on to attempt to build a coaching practice without the structure and support provided by the monthly meetings and the experienced coaches who hae encouraged me. The meetings provide information on all kinds of different techniques and practices, often with our participation in exercises as part of the presentation, plus contact with coaches with many different specialties.
4. Whom do you love to serve and why ?
I love coaching people who want to increase their energy and engagement with life, particularly as it relates to their financial life. Having struggled in that area myself, I want to work with others to find solutions in relationship to their families, businesses, and personal money management. My book, The Facts & Energy of Personal Finance, is a distillation of things I’ve learned in my previous career as a mortgage underwriter, and a consumer credit and housing counselor, and my current other employment as a tax adviser; plus what I’ve learned about increasing positive energy through coaching in any area of life.
I also serve as treasurer and a member of the leadership team of ICF St. Louis, as a way of giving back to the chapter for the benefits it has given me.
I’m also a singer and former board member of the Community Gospel Choir of St. Louis, a diverse group of singers whose mission is to break down barriers within the community through the power of music.
5. What one recommendation would you make to prospective coaches considering entering our profession ?
Get thorough professional training. You don’t “have to” in order to coach, since our profession is not highly regulated. You may be thinking “I already coach people. They really want to confide in me, and I can help them.” That’s a good indication that you may want to be a professional coach, but as in any other profession you still can benefit from proper training, which is well worth the investment of time and money. Research the various schools that are certified by ICF.
6. Who are some of the people in our profession who have influenced you very positively ?
My trainers and class presenters at iPEC, including Jenn Barley and Karen Sullivan, who coach about business development, and Melissa Maher, who was my personal coach. Also, one of our chapter’s regular presenters, Ben Dooley, who has a great sense of humor and a huge library of coaching techniques, and the highest ICF credentials. Some coaches who use meditation techniques, which is an interest of mine—Michael Kline and our own Vicki Atlas-Israel. My book editor and writing coach (also a life transition coach) Linda Senn. And all the members of our leadership team, especially Sandy Tomey and our past president, Nicki McCluskey.
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