1-1 Coaching

Personal guidance in your local government career from a local government professional.

Coaches can help you chart a path in local government, find information you need, and guide you to the answers that are right for you to difficult career questions. Coaching offers value for people at any stage in their careers by providing coachees with the opportunity to see their situation and opportunities from a fresh perspective.

Coaching sessions can take on many forms. Some are casual, informal networking and check-ins. Other pairs set up a more formal relationship and continue over time. You also may choose to get perspectives from more than one coach. See the ABCs of 1-1 Coaching.


Visit CoachConnect to create a profile. Use your ICMA login credentials (member or non-member) to login. You will receive an email after you are vetted by ICMA or our State Association Coaching Partners and your profile has been approved. We encourage ICMA State Association Coaching Partners to nominate additional volunteer coaches for CoachConnect. Please send nominations to ICMACoaching@donmaruska.com.




There are three ways to find a coach:
1. Tap your personal network or ask someone in your ICMA State Association to suggest a coach for you.
2. Visit CoachConnect. You will need to use your ICMA login credentials (member or non-member) and create a Player profile to get started. You can search by keywords and by state to connect with ICMA approved coaches ready and eager to help.
3. Tap the ICMA Senior Advisors in a state of interest to help you find a match and perhaps offer a warm introduction for you. You can find them through the state association websites.

How do I contact a coach?

CoachConnect will broker the initial exchange by email, but both parties will then follow-up directly for scheduling. You can contact them directly via phone (recommended) or email.



These PDFs and videos will help you get started on your coaching journey. 


Do I need to be a member of ICMA to participate in 1-1 Coaching?

No. Due to the generosity of the sponsors and partners for the ICMA Coaching Program and volunteer coaches, you do not need to be a member. Since ICMA membership has many benefits, we encourage you to consider joining.

What's the difference between a coach, a catalyst, and a mentor?

Some people use "coach" and "mentor" interchangeably. In the ICMA Coaching Program, we use the term "coach" to refer to someone who is helping others find the answers for themselves. This fits well with the interests of aspiring professionals to gain insights from others but blaze their own trails. A catalyst is a type of coach who accelerates action and precipitates results for others without becoming consumed in the process. A catalyst keeps the player in charge of his or her choices. In contrast, mentors often refer to people who teach others and guide them in how to do things. This works well when there is a specific body of knowledge that someone wishes to learn. So, a coach and a mentor are tools for different purposes. You'll probably want one or more of both and who they are will likely evolve over your career.

How often and over what period of time should a coach and player meet?

This is up to the coach and player. Some meet initially in-person or over the phone and then have occasional check-ins. Some make other arrangements. It's up to your mutual decision. You can decide to start and stop a coaching relationship as you see fit. See ABCs of 1-1 Coaching

How many coaches should I have?

Just as top sports players have multiple coaches (one overall, another for a particular skill, etc.), you may wish to have more than one coach. You might have one coach who helps you as you navigate your overall career. This might be an ongoing relationship of several months or more with occasional check-ins. You might have another coach (perhaps even one suggested by your career coach) for a targeted time to help you address a special need or insights about a particular subject or situation.

Please send any further inquiries or feedback to Don Maruska at ICMACoaching@donmaruska.com.