Coaching is not for everyone. No one coach is good for everybody or can enable all the good that a person may need to achieve. Baseball players have batting coaches and catching coaches and running coaches and other kinds of coaches as needed. If you have embraced coaching as part of your development process, you know that you do better if you select the right coach for the right accomplishment at the right time. There is business coaching, leadership coaching, life coaching, career coaching…the list goes on. What do you need?
Use these suggestions and guidelines to help you decide if you are ready to start coaching:
- There is a difference between being “doctored” and being “coached.” If you’re in counseling, you get a diagnosis and the process is primarily remedial. If you’re in coaching, no diagnosis is needed and the process begins with you just as you are, moving you along to where you want to be, using what you already have to get there. A good coach will make suggestions, give you new information and teach you skills that enable your peak performance.
- Are you an “SOS” person? If so you’re probably a good candidate for coaching because people who are “Sick Of Struggling” with their status quo are ready to make changes. There is a difference between contemplating change and making changes. Contemplation is a phase that most of us go through but does not need coaching. When you’re ready for strategic action that will make things better for you, you’re ready for coaching.
- Some people settle for what they have, believing there is no alternative. If nothing else, a good coach is going to challenge your static, flat-world view and remind you that you do have choices. Of course, there are always consequences, both good and bad, with any choice we make, including settling.
- Fundamental law of success in any part of life is that’s we learn how to make great things happen. This is true whether it’s learning to move from crawling to running or move from Main Street to Wall Street or from unhappy and miserable to content. We are not born great. We developed greatness. To learn and develop, we need a teacher, a mentor, a coach. Left to our own devices, few of us can really pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps. What you want to accomplish now in your life will tell you what kind of coaching you need.
More stuff to consider to decide if coaching is for you:
1. Can you take instruction even if at first it seems odd or not what you expected?
2. Do you have the time to put into a project that is coached? Meaningful changes in human behavior takes at least six months of focus and concentrated effort.
3. Can you tolerate being outside your comfort zones? A comfort zone forms around anything we do for any length of time. Comfortable zones are comfortable because we’re familiar with what’s in them. That has nothing to do with whether or not our comfort zone is good for us or gives what we want. We usually resist getting out of comfort zones.
4. Does good self-care appeal to you, not just physically but in all ways? Success at any goal requires you to be fit and in good shape.
Word of caution: don’t start a project with a coach you’re not able or prepared to finish. That’s like stopping major surgery halfway through the operation. Not a good idea to start coaching half-hearted.