The older I get, the more I realize how little I know.
Between my wife and me, we have 5 coaches in our life right now, focusing on areas of personal and professional development and that’s just the ones we pay. On the surface, it may sound like we are people whose lives are a mess and need a lot of help. Fortunately, it’s the contrary. We have coaches because we are driven people who want to be the best person we possibly can in getting the most out of our careers, talents and passions.
Perhaps your life, business, career, and relationships, are already good, but you want it to be much, much better. Coaching isn’t a crisis intervention. Nor is it a substitute for psychotherapy, or advice from a professional, such as an attorney, accountant, or physician. If things are basically good, but you know they could be a lot better and you are ready for that to happen, it’s a great time for you to hire a coach.
For example, I am a good runner and can run a respectable marathon time running my own plan but I don’t believe I will reach my full potential without the guidance of an experienced coach. To be the best me, I need a little help and you may as well.
There are many types of coaches. There are traditional athletic coaches, executive coaches, life coaches, gardening coaches, nutrition coaches, and dating coaches, the list is endless. There are coaches for just about every aspect of life and hobby in the world. The one thing they have in common is they are all here to help you. Without a coach, you could be limiting your success. Coaches help you maximize your potential.
A majority of the most successful people in the world, including Olympic athletes, business leaders, and entertainers, have a coach. Top businesses discovered long ago that coaches help career-minded professionals increase their performance at work. That’s why they invest in coaching for their senior leaders and high potentials. You only need a coach if you have a personal commitment to improve!
Here are 15 ways a coach can help you be the best you:
- Clarify Goals: A coach will help turn vague hopes and dreams into achievable goals with a plan that includes the necessary steps to complete the goal.
- Accountability: Most people in your world don’t really care about your goals (they are too busy chasing their own), so they don’t hold you accountable. Stating intentions out loud and in writing to a coach who cares about you and will follow up with you is a powerful way to ensure you stick to your commitment.
- Identify Blind Spots: By sharing your aspirations and challenges with a coach, they can often detect key missing components, unintended consequences, or pitfalls you may not be aware of.
- Focus: Distractions kill even the best plans. Coaches’ help you stay on task when you deviate from your plan through clear communication and follow-up.
- Guidance: Coaches have experience in the area you are developing in. They can help you solve many of the challenges you face and answer questions you have regarding further development.
- Sounding Board: A coach allows you to have non-judgmental, one-sided conversation in safe environment to express yourself. Verbalizing the conversations you have in your head often relieves stress by validating your thoughts and feelings.
- Support: Sometimes you just need to vent your feelings to someone who is on your side, knowing your words will be kept confidential.
- Different Perspective: When you are in the heat of the game, you need a coach on the outskirts with a wider perspective of the whole field. A good coach will enable you to come up with a fresh approach to a problem. Sometimes we allow emotion to blur our vision and sway our decision, but a coach does not have that emotional attachment and will give you an objective point of view. A coach plays the role of the devil’s advocate.
- Tell It Like It Is: You love it when people agree with your thoughts, ideas and actions. It is natural to be surrounded with YES people but occasionally we need NO people in our life to show us how bad our decisions and actions may be. A coach is not afraid to be blunt and tell you the truth, even if it is not what you want to hear.
- Recognize The Gaps: You know where you want to go, just not how to get there or you have started on your way to achieving a goal but are unaware of shortfalls or challenges you will face along the way. A coach can help you identify these gaps and devise a plan to close the gaps.
- Challenge You: A coach often sees our potential far beyond what we limit ourselves to. Coaches challenge our intentional thoughts and actions and ask more from you than they would have asked of himself or herself.
- Competitive Advantage: Coaches help you identify your most unique and powerful skills, talents, and experience, helping you differentiate yourself from the pack and advance your career at a quicker clip.
- Increase Your Coaching Skills: As a leader, you develop by watching other leaders. Observing a quality coach in action will allow you to develop essential leadership skills, such as listening and questioning.
- Resources: Coaches know a lot of stuff but when they don’t know the answers you are looking for, they can usually provide you with specific resources in their area of expertise that you may not be able to find on your own.
- Celebrate Success: Think of a coach as your personal cheerleader. They are invested in your success and are rooting for you. Your coach wants to know all your small wins and celebrate with you. Many of our personal successes go unnoticed but are important to celebrate as we gain motivation through accomplishment.
I recommend you find a coach immediately for an area of your personal or professional life you are looking to improve. You won’t regret it. It will be one of the best decisions you ever make in your life.
If you want more information on how to find a coach for you or how much you can expect to pay, send me a note and I will provide you some resources.
Simply put, a coach will help you stoke your success. How much is that worth to you?
Make the investment yourself. It will pay off in clarity, happiness and increased success. Think of coaching as an investment, not an expense.
Action: Identify at least 3 people you know who would be an appropriate coach for you and start to contact them. Note, most coaches will offer a free consultation to see if they would be a good fit for you.
Note: If you are interested in learning more about my Leadership Coaching or would like to sign up for a free 20 minute coaching session on Giving Effective Feedback please email email@example.com.
Until next week… Embrace the Adventure
Shawn Stratton is an international leadership and team building consultant, professional speaker, bestselling author, Ironman competitor, and expedition guide.
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© 2016 Shawn Stratton. All rights reserved.