The “get a coach” strategy is one that works in so many aspects of our work and life. That’s why it also featured in my previous series on how to have great ideas.
There are many benefits to having a coach. And we have moved on from the times when having a coach was seen as a mark of shame; evidence that we had failed and weren’t good enough. Now, there is far greater recognition that people get a coach in order to succeed more easily, to become the best version of themselves without having to make all the mistakes before learning how to grow and develop.
Why I think everyone should get a coach
A coach can help us accelerate our progress towards achieving our goals, because they bring fresh perspectives, insights, tools and strategies, and also hold us accountable for taking aligned action and managing results.
Accountability is one of the missing links between intention and results. We all know someone (and we’ve been that someone) who talks a big game about what they’re doing to do and how they’re going to succeed.
But the results never appear. And the next time you talk to the person, they’re onto something even bigger and better, which is definitely going to succeed. And the cycle continues…
A skilled coach will hear your plans and goals, then work with you to set concrete actions and timeframes. Then, they’ll follow up with you on your progress. They’ll help you trouble-shoot challenges and overcome barriers.
A great coach will also help you apply the other strategies in this series. The ones we’ve covered so far are:
Six reasons you might want to get a coach
There are lots of reason you might want to get a coach to help you turn your great ideas into great results. Below are a handful of the most common reasons I hear from my coaching colleagues and clients.
- You want to increase your confidence
- You’re facing a delicate or tricky situation
- You want to hone a specific skill
- You aren’t sure how to start a change
- You want to develop personally or professionally
- You’d like some support while you manage change
1. You want to increase your confidence
A lack of confidence can be a significant barrier to making change, because it’s hard to get other people on-board if you don’t seem confident in yourself and your ideas.
A skilled coach can help you identify what’s blocking your confidence, and develop strategies to bust through the barriers.
Your coach will be 100% on your side. So their full attention will be focused on your success. They don’t have any ulterior motives, and their entire focus is to support you to achieve your goals. So you can analyse your mistakes and successes, and track your progress to develop your confidence.
2. You're facing a delicate or tricky situation
When you’re facing a situation that is sensitive or high-stakes, a coach can help you work through scenarios. Then, you can develop a plan of attack that will take all the important factors into account.
Whether it’s personalities, tackling an area of tension or disagreement, or undertaking high-stakes change, playing some “war games” with a coach beforehand can set you up for success. You can run multiple scenarios, and take different roles to see things from other people’s perspectives. And your coach can ask questions to help you work out the best approach.
3. You want to hone a skill
Skill development can be accelerated and deepened significantly when you work with a coach. Managers don’t always have the time and capacity to give you sufficient attention and feedback to help you build your skills.
Your coach will create a no-judgement zone where you can try new things, practice different approaches, and build your capability. You can work on each skill as and when you need to, getting focused attention and feedback from your coach.
4. You aren't sure how to start a change
Sometimes the challenge is getting the change off the ground. It’s not always easy taking that first step.
If you get a coach on-board when you’re contemplating change, they can help you identify what barriers and blockers lie on the start line. Once you know what they are, you can plan how you will get around, over, under or through them, then put your plan into action. And your coach will be alongside you the whole way, holding you accountable and cheering you on.
5. You want to develop personally or professionally
Beyond simple skill building, you may want to undertake personal or professional development. Given the wealth of information now available at the click of a button, it is possible to create your own personal or professional development programme.
Working with a coach can streamline the process by offering you access to proven tools and methods, tailored exactly to your needs. They can also tweak and adjust the programme as you progress, ensuring the best fit between what you are learning, and the results you want to achieve.
A coach can support you to:
- identify what you want to work on
- set goals
- develop action plans and strategies
- hold yourself accountable for progress
- celebrate success
6. You'd like some support while you manage a change
Change management can be quite a lonely role, particularly if the change that is being implemented has some unavoidable negative consequences on other people. Restructures are a classic example, but even less obvious or drastic change can have a draining effect on change managers.
In these situations, it can be supremely helpful to have someone who is your non-judgemental sounding board and offers moral support and encouragement. When you get a coach, you get a sounding board, wise advisor, and cheerleading team all rolled into one!
If you want to get a coach...
...start with some thinking...
… you need to do some solid thinking. Are you ready to make changes and hold yourself accountable to do so? A coach can support you, ask questions and check in on your progress, but they won’t do the work for you.
...make some decisions...
You’ll also need to decide what qualities are most important to you in a coach. The graphic on the right lists seven qualities of a great coach. While they are all important, it’s likely that a couple of them will stand out more than the others.
...then take a few coaches for a "test-drive"
Once you know what you’re looking for in a coach, I highly recommend “test-driving” coaches who you think will fit the bill. Most coaches offer a complimentary discovery session, where you can discuss what you want to work on, and ask questions about the coach to check your “fit”.
I expand on each of the above points in my recent article ‘How to have great ideas: Strategy 9 – get a coach‘.
My coaching services
I’m an experienced and result-driven coach, and would love to chat with you about working together. Check out my Coaching page to learn more.
My approach is strengths-based, and built on a positive psychology foundation. That means that I help you discover your strengths, what you’re great at, and the resources you already have available. From there, I support you to create and implement a do-able action plan that’s aligned with your goals. And I’ll help you hold yourself accountable, stay on-track, and achieve the results you really want.
I offer a complimentary, no-obligation 30-minute discovery call to talk about your goals and what you need to get you there.
Just click on the button to make your booking in less than a minute. I look forward to speaking with you soon.
This article is part of the series, ‘How to turn great ideas into great results’. The strategy articles so far are:
- Align your actions with your vision
- Set goals and track progress
- Involve others
- Get a coach (this article)
Stay tuned for the next article covering the next strategy for turning your great ideas into great results. You can keep an eye on the series page for new articles, or sign up to my weekly newsletter below to be the first in the know when a new article is published.
If you’d like to learn more about generating ideas, check out the companion to this series, ‘How to have great ideas‘. It has ten science-backed strategies to help you generate great ideas.
- ICF Core Competencies – International Coaching Federation
- The top 15 characteristics of excellent coaches – mentalgamecoach.com
- 15 qualities of a good coach in the workplace – csp.com
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