Leonardo Di Caprio
Its a very compelling list - the great and the good from all walks of life, from former US presidents, to legendary sports figures to great business leaders. What have all these people have in common? Of course, they all give credit to life coaching for their successes. But they didn't stop coaching when they became successful, they continued coaching afterwards too. They all exhibit one of the key features for successful people- a desire to keep on getting better. And that's exactly what coaches do - make you get better in whatever area you wish.
"A coach just has a different perspective. Still to this day, the best have coaches because the coach can see what you can't see because you're in the forest, they're outside of it." Hugh Jackman
Still not convinced? OK, let's look at what coaching is in a bit more detail; what is coaching, the benefits from coaching and what to look for in a good coach.
What is coaching?
In essence, coaching is a form of learning. The coach helps the person being coached change his/her behaviours to make progress in that person’s life and provide extra clarity – either in their personal life or career or both. The coach will help the person being coached learn new skills to ensure that progress is permanent and that he/she will be able to carry on making improvements throughout his/her life.
It is important to understand that the role of the coach is to provide support; in other words the coach is there to help his/her client learn for themselves; typically by asking challenging and searching questions as well as from a programme of work and exercises.
Why is coaching important?
Everyone at some point has an issue going round and round in their head which they cannot solve and which affects them - either in their career, business or personal life. Issues such as:
I seem to be stuck in a rut in my life
What is my life's purpose? I feel unfulfilled
I lack confidence
My self esteem is low
Poor motivation to achieve what I want
I don't know what to do next
I want to get promoted but not sure how, what to do
My career is going nowhere, what should I do?
I feel unfulfilled in my job
What should I do next in my career
How do I start/complete a business strategy
What should I do to improve my business
What are the key issues affecting my business
How can I do better with my business
They spend hours, days, months or even years trying to resolve those issues without success. A coach will help provide clarity and help resolve those issues.
In essence, coaching provides clarity of thinking to you and will teach you new ways of dealing with situations.
Benefits from coaching
There are some clear and easy to measure benefits from coaching, especially if its related to business coaching. However, a lot of benefits from life and personal coaching aren't readily quantifiable but are just as significant including;
Improved self esteem
Enhanced decision making
Greater clarity in thinking
Better focus in life and in career
Helps you cope with stress and anxiety
Improved performance at work
Remove barriers and limitations in thinking processes
Is it worth spending money on coaching?
This is reasonable question to ask! I'm a firm believer in self development, some studies show that there is an 8 fold return on investment from monies spent on self development.
"To double your income, triple your investment in self development" Robin Sharma
As I have already noted, it's not always easy to quantify the benefits from coaching but it's worth noting the size of investment required is insignificant compared to the benefits, whether they are quantifiable or not in monetary terms. However, to make sure, you get the most from coaching, it is essential to choose the right coach for you - but how should you select the right coach?
Choosing the right coach
Every coach has a different way of working and obviously the personality of each coach will be different. For me, some of the most important things to look for are:
The level of experience of the coach. Regardless of whether you're looking for a life or business coach, it is better to find someone who is experienced and has been successful ( especially in business and in their career) so that they can communicate what they did and share that with you. Someone who has been through a lot of ups and downs in their life will have far more to offer as a coach than someone who has had an uneventful life. I also believe the quality of their insight and knowledge will be much better and deeper.
Someone who is open and honest so that you can also be totally honest with them which is crucial for a successful coaching relationship!
A strong and fair coach who will set clear objectives and hold me accountable for them
As with all productive relationships, there must be rapport between you and your coach. Do you feel comfortable with his/her style and approach? This is so important, I can't emphasise this enough. You need assurance that your coach believes in you and what you want to achieve!
As a minimum, all coaches should talk to you or meet you in person to talk you through their approach and find out more what you are seeking from coaching. This conversation needs to happen before any agreement is made. And this conversation should be free and without pressure to commit. Only once you are satisfied that this is the right person to help you, should you commit to being coached.
I'd be really interested to hear your stories and experiences from coaching. Or perhaps you have specific queries about how I can help you. I'd love to hear from you! Please email me at email@example.com.