Coach Interview Series: Gretchen Hydo

by Brandon

Gretchen Hydo

Life and Business Coach

Our main objective here at the National Coach Academy is to enable aspiring coaches to reach their full professional potential. One of the most effective ways to educate students about the world of coaching is by offering them a window into the world of real, practicing coaches and showing them all the different ways coaches make a difference in the lives of their clients.

We hope today’s interview adds another insightful glimpse into the dynamic world of coaching.

Today we are interviewing Gretchen Hydo, owner of Gretchen Hydo International. Gretchen specializes in business, life, career, and coaches coaching. She is based in Los Angeles, California.

NCA: Let’s start off with some basics. Can you describe your coaching practice and the kinds of clients you typically work with?

Gretchen: My coaching practice is Gretchen Hydo International. The clients that I work with are typically going through a transition. Anyone who feels like they’ve done things right — they graduated, they probably have a house, they’ve had some good jobs, they have kids — but they still want something more.

I’m also known throughout Los Angeles as the “Coach’s’ Coach” as I help mentor other coaches. I help them launch businesses and provide coaching, as well. I do believe that every coach should have a coach.

Finally, I help people looking for a new career figure out their next steps.

NCA: I noticed on your website that you’re accredited by the ICF as a Master Certified Coach (MCC). Can you talk a little bit about what the MCC credential fully entails and the process of getting that credential? How would you say it has benefitted your career?

Gretchen: There is a coaching group called the International Coach Federation. They’re the largest governing board of coaches worldwide.

There are three different levels that they provide: Associate Certified Coach (ACC), Professional Certified Coach (PCC), and Master Certified Coach (MCC). As a Master Certified Coach, I received over 300 hours in coaching training. I had to coach clients for more than 2,500 hours. I had a mentor coach who listened to my coaching to help me become a better coach. Then I had to send in all of my documents and coach session recordings to the ICF and had 8 assessor Master Coaches listen to my recordings to make sure I was at the correct level to be called a Master Coach.

The ICF is looking to make sure that we can really help our clients with A-ha! moments and foster their growth and well-being. They’re looking for a deeper connection with clients, as well.

I believe in training because coaching is unique. It’s a partnership between the coach and the client. It’s not advice-giving. Coaching is all about helping the client get their own answers.

NCA: As you are helping your clients find their own answers, what would you say is the most rewarding part of that experience? And on the flip side of that, what is the most challenging aspect of the work that you do?

Gretchen: When you’re truly coaching with clients and you’re holding the space for them, you make it so that your clients have the ability to look within themselves and find their answers. That’s the thing that I like the most. That’s the most rewarding: helping your clients see something in them that has been painful or hard, or maybe they’ve been stuck and then helping them figure out a way to get past that. That’s the piece that I love.

When I was a newer coach, the hardest part was really, truly listening to what your clients are saying without coming up with a response before they’re done and asking good and provocative questions to help the client go deeper. I do remember that being a challenge in my earlier days.

That’s the most rewarding: helping your clients see something in them that has been painful or hard, or maybe they’ve been stuck and then helping them figure out a way to get past that. That’s the piece that I love.

NCA: You mention helping the client go deeper. Can you share one or two provocative questions that you’ve found help get to the heart of the client that you’re speaking to and that help move the conversation forward?

Gretchen: One of the questions that I like to ask when a client is having a hard time making a decision is “What’s the deal-breaker?” Helping a client to really think about what the deal-breaker is can help them to get centered enough to be able to say what their truth is. It can really cut through the minutiae of “Oh, maybe it’s this, maybe it’s that.” We all have something that’s a deal-breaker.

And on the flip side of that, when a client is struggling, I like to ask them, “What decision would take you to your highest value? How does what you’re thinking of doing line up with that?” That can help people get very, very centered.

NCA: I love those, thanks for sharing. Each conversation with a client is unique, but it’s nice to have questions to fall back on that help realign clients with their core values.

Another topic that I’ve found coaches are quite passionate about is mentorship. In your own journey to becoming a coach, can you think of a mentor who was the most vital to your success and in what ways did this mentor help you thrive in your career?

Gretchen: I have a few of them. One of them was Diana Long, my instructor at the Life Purpose Institute. She really helped me become a good coach. Another mentor, Sheri Boone, helped me become an excellent coach, as well. Steve Chandler — the godfather of coaches — really shaped the coaching industry and also taught me a lot about selling and how to initiate with clients in a way that feels authentic instead of creepy and needy.

All of those people, plus others along the way, have been great mentors to me. They have really helped me to build a thriving practice and to hone my skills so that I can deeply listen to my clients. When a person is suffering, they need to talk in order to get relief and all three of these coaches/mentors have helped me to be able to take that listening to a deeper level.

NCA: Again thinking back on your coaching journey, particularly that beginning stage, what is one piece of advice that you would give to somebody who is just starting their coaching career?

Gretchen: There’s two. The first one is: get certified. Go through a program that is accredited by the International Coach Federation because your confidence is going to soar. Coaching is always different than what you might think it is until you are certified.

The second thing would be to get your own coach. Coaches should have coaches. If you’re thinking of changing industries, it’s really important for you to experience what coaching is yourself so that you can see the breadth of the work that you’re going to be doing and giving to your own clients.

NCA: That’s one of my favorite aspects of coaching — even coaches need coaches. Thanks for your insight and for taking the time to speak with us.

Gretchen: Thank you!

Contact Information:

Gretchen Hydo
(818) 203-6060

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