This myth – you need to have worked in a particular sector before you can coach in it – is often held by people who want a coach yet feel nervous about coaches who haven’t worked in their particular sector. It has been said to me often enough over the years when I’ve spoken to prospective clients in non-profits, government departments, local government, quasi-government and private sector. What I’ve found over the years is that regardless of the sector managers, team leaders and supervisors are in, many of the issues they face are the same i.e. people management, constant change, time management, lack of operating systems, operating within severe resource constraints, lack of feedback or support, losing perspective, confidence or heart, self care or boundaries. The differences across the sectors tend to be in the language or terms used to describe particular functions and processes within organisations. You don’t need to have been a teacher to coach principals or deputy principals; you don’t need to have been an engineer to coach business owners on improving areas within their engineering business. What you do need however, is an awareness of the different sectors and their general characteristics; research skills, so you can find out what you need to know about clients’ organisations; and coaching skills, so you can support and guide clients to find their own answers.