Coach Interview Series: Rob Lohman

by Brandon

Rob Lohman

Addiction Recovery 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 Rob Lohman. Rob is an Addiction Recovery Coach based in Littleton, Colorado.

NCA: Can you describe your coaching practice and the kinds of clients you typically work with?

Rob: The name of my practice is Lifted from the Rut. That’s what I like to do — help pull people out of their ruts in life. I meet people where they are and try to bring out of them where they want to go and come up with a road map to do that.

I’ve kind of been through the ringer in my own life, so I can connect with people on a lot of different levels. Addiction and recovery is one of my areas of focus. Also, people that want to dive into more of their Christian faith and their recovery is another path I will go down with people if they want to open up that door.

I also do a lot of career coaching, too. I used to be a college career counselor back in the day, so I help a lot of people with career direction, career testing–trying to open their eyes to a more broad horizon than they are used to. I like to gear towards the professionals, also. I actually do professional Christian coaching for executives–help get them unstuck from where they might be in their business, or their life.

NCA: How did you initially get interested in coaching and what kind of degree or certifications did you need to complete, if any?

Rob: I’ve had mentors and coaches in my own life and realizing the need and importance for that is one of the big reasons I wanted to get into coaching. I got sober in 2001 to alcohol and drug addiction. In my own recovery, I had to stop using coaches and mentors as I just got too busy in my life, and I ended up having a major mental breakdown in year 11 of my own recovery, which took me down a very interesting path of incarceration and to figure out who I was again.

Coming out of that, I just realized the huge importance for having a coach and key people in my own life that I took the direction of starting my own business and getting trained to do recovery coaching and addiction interventions. I ended up getting trained through a group called The Addictions Academy out of Florida. Out of that, I became a Nationally Certified Intervention Professional and Nationally Certified Recovery Coach. That was in the end of 2015, so four years ago and since then, I have gone through other intervention training classes and also other recovery coaching classes. I am CCAR certified and I’m currently going through the Professional Christian Coaching Institute, so a similar certification for that.

NCA: From what I’m understanding, because you got busy and you kind of stopped, that’s when things spiraled for you, is that right?

Rob: Yes, because in earlier recovery, I wasn’t married. I didn’t have kids. I did not own my own business. As all those things came into my life, I got back into a fear-driven survival mode and didn’t make time for meetings or sessions or Bible studies. That was a big factor of me spiraling out of control.

NCA: What is the most rewarding part of your career and on the flip side, what is the most challenging aspect of the work that you do?

Rob: I think the most rewarding part is when you see a face light up when you’re coaching somebody that they kind of realize they had the answers inside of them all the time. And they get really excited about their future. I love watching people just find a new excitement for their future.

The most challenging part is working with clients that don’t want to do the work but you know they have so much potential inside of them. And then that moment happens when the light bulb comes off like “Oh my gosh!” and then they’re ready to go.

To give some coaches reading this a relief from their role as a coach: we don’t have to have the answers for the client. The answers are a lot of times inside of each person. They just don’t know how to access it.

NCA: Why do you think that happens — that a client goes out of their way to seek you out and once they’re in the relationship, they don’t want to do the work — why do you think that happens, typically?

Rob: I was talking to another colleague one time and we talked about how there’s a desire to change. When you make that phone call, you feel like you did a step for change. It’s kind of like a pressure relief. That “Oh, I called somebody, great!” and then they sign up with you and they know what to expect but they’re just so stuck in fear and paralysis that it’s going to take them a lot longer to get out of there. That’s their normal. It’s the chaos, the back and forth, the roller coaster. They eventually realize they can actually get out of the hamster cage anytime, but until that happens, for a lot of people, they can remain stuck and it might take longer.

But I try to encourage people and I let them know too, “I don’t want to waste your time or your money if you’re not willing to do the work.” And I don’t even know what that work is yet but there’s going to be some work to do and some soul searching. I start preparing for what to expect or unfold but the reward is so huge if you’ll just do the work, but they’ve never done it. A lot of my clients are on the path and they just need a little extra push or an extra encouragement to get them to the next level of their life.

To give some coaches reading this a relief from their role as a coach: we don’t have to have the answers for the client. The answers are a lot of times inside of each person. They just don’t know how to access it.

NCA: And it’s your job to help them access it and not necessarily tell them what that answer is, right?

Rob: Yes. It’s a mutual relationship. It’s not just me telling anybody what to do. When I started coaching, I was more in the advice-giving world. But through a lot of the training and the things I’ve done over the years, I realized it really is the concept of the co-active coaching, if you will. You actively engage in this together.

NCA: Can you think of a mentor who was the most vital to your success as a coach and in what ways did this mentor help you thrive in your career?

Rob: There’s two people that come to mind for me. One of my mentors, Jeff Krommendyk, he’s been a mentor through a lot of my life. He went through my prison sentence with me. He went through my marital struggles and all sorts of chaos in my life and he never shamed me. He never judged me. He just met me where I was and he challenged me, but he also always encouraged me and he was like, “You know Rob? You’ve just got so much potential inside of you.” And I knew that, it was just putting it into application. Jeff was and still is an amazing mentor in my life.

Another person named Don McReavy, he’s a pastoral counsel in my life and he’s really helped me clear out some of the clutter that has stood in my way from my faith perspective. Those two guys have been very instrumental.

And a current person in my life, his name is Todd Kemp. He’s actually a friend of mine but also the instructor of this Professional Christian Coaching Institute I’m going through. He’s really helped me realize what I was doing the beginning of my coaching career that I no longer do, but he’s really helped separate how I first got started and where I am now and it’s really been a night-and-day difference.

NCA: What is one piece of advice that you would give to somebody who is just starting out in their coaching career? They kind of don’t know how to move forward and maybe looking for some guidance. What’s one piece of advice you might give to somebody in that position?

Rob: Never stop learning.

The more time you spend with professionals in the field, the more tips you pick up and skills you can pick up. People are paying us to do our job and our job is to help them get unstuck and move forward in their life.

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