Many friends and clients come to me asking if and when they should hire a coach.
To save everyone time, here are some of the best reasons you might want to hire a coach. Keep in mind that every coach is different and every session is different, but there are some generalizable truths about coaching that apply in almost every situation.
What can a coach help you do?
Define Your Outcome. People often spend months or years working on something without a clear idea of what the outcome should be like. A coach should have you explain what you want in clear enough terms that the coach can evaluate if you are near or far from the outcome. The real benefit of this is that when you can explain an outcome clearly to someone else, the outcome becomes much more clear to you as well. Just defining an outcome is often half the battle, and your coach will help you do it.
Clarify Thinking. It can be hard to think deeply about your life on your own. We often get distracted and stuck loops or patterns. Partnering with a coach lets you go deeper into the topics than you could ever get on your own. This is because the coach works as a guide to keep the conversation on track. Coaching conversations are often an hour or more of pure awareness about your life and where you want it to be. This is a rare space that can be impossible to create on our own.
How much more might you accomplish if you had 2-3 hours per month of deep reflection on what you're doing?
Find the Right Focus. Many of my clients are brilliant and best in class at more than one skill. This type of person tends to arise from hyper-focus. But a common weakness of hyper-focused performers is that they will continue to focus all of their efforts on polishing things that they are already incredible at.
Our coaching breakthroughs frequently come by redirecting a small amount of the client's attention toward foundational skills that are lacking. A great analogy in the physical world is runners, who often spend all of their time running but would often get much faster by spending 10% of their time stretching and 10% of their time lifting weights.
Are you focusing all your efforts on things you're already incredible at? What's a secondary skill that you'd benefit from a nudge to cultivate?
Break Your Patterns and Loops Often our attempts to think through issues get stuck. This is because humans tend to think in patterns and loops — repeating the same cycles over and over again and getting the same results. A good coach will notice these patterns and break them, allowing your thoughts to continue to flow.
A great example of loops and patterns are limiting beliefs – the statements we all have in our head that begin with "I am", "I can't" and "I never" and are followed by a statement that just isn't true.
How many thoughts do you have that are habitual – where your brain goes from A to B to C and back to A again endlessly? Where might you go if those patterns were broken?
Explore and Integrate Your Feelings. Almost everything we do generates emotions. But we rarely slow down to feel those emotions, learn what they mean, and integrate them into our body and mind. Avoiding our feelings is like avoiding dishes in the sink, they never go away and they just get smellier over time. Coaching creates a space to look at and deal with our emotions, allowing them to finally be released from our consciousness.
By the way, there is a great discussion of this in The Big Leap, by Gay Hendricks. It's a book I recommend that all people interested in self development read.
Create Accountability. Being accountable to yourself can be difficult. Clients have described their lives as “idea soup” where even the best intentions get repeatedly ignored. Post it notes, to-do lists, and bold promises to ourselves often go ignored. Luckily for you, humans are programmed to be honest to other humans. Hiring a coach and meeting with them regularly is one of the easiest ways to create accountability.
Making Your Dreams Realistic. Clients frequently tell me their bold dreams. These are the things they aren’t sure that they can ever accomplish in their lives but would love to do.
I frequently poke fun at them by telling them that they are the perfect person to do their dreams. In my experience – and I’ve heard a lot of dreams – the dream almost comes from the person who is the correct person to do it.
Sure, your dream may be bold and it may need to make a small adjustment here or there, but your dreams are often only a few inches beyond your grasp.
I hope this overview of the results that coaching can generate was helpful.
If you found this helpful or have feedback, I'd love to hear about it.
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