5 Questions

5 questions with Kim Cantrell: Life, leadership and career coach

What is the role of a life, leadership and career coach?

My first exposure to coaching was in 2011 during my Master's program at Columbus State University.

I became fascinated by the power of coaching and began to implement it at work. The more I used the skills, the more I could see myself as a professional coach.

That dream became reality last summer. The International Coach Federation defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

As a coach, I listen intently to people and ask powerful questions that help them create actions.

The entire purpose of coaching is to help the client tap into what they know, yet may be unable to verbalize. I provide encouragement, support, and most importantly, accountability.

Is it easier to coach men or women?

The gender does not make a difference.

What makes the difference in coaching is the commitment level. A person chooses a coach because they possess a desire to change something in their life but may feel stuck.

They are already committed and they look to a coach to help them uncover the options, flesh out the plan, and hold them accountable for the action steps.

I have been blessed over the last 10 months to work with a range of people with a diverse set of goals.

These range from clients with short-term goals, such as going back to school or changing jobs, to those with long term goals of leadership growth.

I seem to attract clients that are looking for transformational change, which is fun and exciting.

What do you believe is the biggest growth opportunity that leaders face today?

We know from experience and from data that emotional intelligence -- or how intelligent we are in identifying and using our emotions every day -- has the most impact on success in a career.

We cannot change our IQ or personality, but we can change our emotional intelligence.

It takes self-awareness and a willingness to change behavior.

The challenge is that we don't learn these soft skills in school, and at work we focus on the core job requirements. We promote people who have mastered the core job requirements, yet as a leader, it is the soft skills that will ensure success.

I am a member of the Columbus Coaching Collaborative and our goal is to help leaders develop these critical soft skills.

Our current program is a three-month long, small-group coaching experience for women leaders to identify and build these skills.

As a Columbus State University graduate, what do you think about the university expansion?

I am a true local -- born, raised, and stayed. I graduated from Columbus High School and began college in 1988 at Columbus College.

By the time I completed my baccalaureate degree, the school was a state accredited university.

I am incredibly proud of all of the growth that CSU is experiencing.

When I became a graduate student in 2011, it was amazing to walk a campus twice its original size, and to see the mixture of new buildings, early buildings and remodeled buildings.

We are extremely fortunate to have CSU as such a growing community asset.

What is the best-kept secret in the Chattahoochee Valley?

What may have been a best-kept secret a few years ago is now only a secret if you live with blinders on. Uptown Columbus is an incredible place to work, play and live.

It makes me proud to live in a city whose leaders had a vision for revitalization, found best practices to embrace, welcomed anyone who wanted to assist, and stayed the course to make that vision a reality.

So much of what we enjoy in Uptown is a result of what we learned from other cities.

Now, it is our turn to be a shining example for other communities.

Age: 44Job: Life, Leadership and Career Coach; Founder of 2 Impact LLC, a coaching and consulting organization; www.2impactlife.comHometown: ColumbusCurrent home: ColumbusFamily: Husband: Mac, married 24 years; Children: Alec, 22 and Emily, 18Education: BBA in accounting and masters in organizational leadership (servant leadership concentration), both from Columbus State UniversityFavorite book: I love to read, so it’s hard to have a favorite. Currently I am reading “Monday Morning Choices” by David CottrellFavorite movie: “Twister.” I have no idea why, but every time it comes on I can’t stop watching it.Favorite restaurant: Downstairs at The LoftFavorite quote: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” — Harry TrumanFavorite song: I have no idea. I like so many different kinds of music.Best concert attended: Dave Matthews Band