Most top performers in sport, art, music and business have a coach, but coaching is not for everyone. A coach can only hold up a road map for you. You have to be determined to drive your own success.
Why have a coach?
Coaching is for people who want to take control of their lives and motor themselves to the next level. Coaching brings skills and techniques to help you gain new ways of looking at your situation or goals and then ways of achieving them efficiently and satisfyingly.
Coaching is used by a variety of people for different things. This could range from specific issues like changing roles or taking on specific projects to meeting challenging goals. It could be about exploring options, building motivation for change or just an examination of particular situations. Often coaching is used to support using new skills and learning.
The benefits of coaching
- Clarification on goals and problems
- More communication skills
- Opportunities to talk through new ideas before using them
- Fresh perspectives on issues
- New ways of using existing skills
- Creative solutions
- Commitment to your success
- Higher self-esteem
- Personal development
- Accelerated learning
“Just imagine a combination of your best friend, your most cherished teacher, your most hard-nosed manager, and your most positive guru available and committed to your personal development. How much more will you achieve when these resources are available to you? A coach will provide you all of this and more.”
Is this not counselling or therapy?
Counselling and therapy are normally focused on fixing previous troubles. Both counselling and therapy tend to look to the past to resolve issues in people’s lives. These techniques take people from being not okay to being okay. Coaching is all about going from being okay to being great. This means looking forwards and providing ways to get more of what you want into your life. Coaching will help you to realise your hopes, dreams and desires. A coach may examine past problems, but this is only to move you forward towards the things that you want.
Are there different forms of coaching?
Coaching can be split into several different types and there are many different labels for each of them. The coach you choose may have different labels but coaching can be broken down into five broad categories:
Positive Performance Coaching
This is generally seen in sports and business arenas. Performance coaching is about how to increase your performance in a specific activity for example, playing tennis, converting more customers, and making decisions. In sports, performance coaches tend to specialise in particular games and activities. The same is true of business coaches. They will describe themselves more specifically with the area of coaching they specialise in, such as executive coaching, change management and sales coaching. You might choose a performance coach at times when you are not doing as well as you think you could in a particular area.
Executive coaching is about senior managers and leaders in organisations. This form of coaching can focuses on leadership styles and impact on the people around the client. Often coaches will use some form of personality profile to develop feedback and explore the client’s relationship with their world. Executive coaching often provides deep insights, motivations and changes for the client.
Life coaches take a holistic view of their clients. They can work with any area of your life and will assist you to keep you focused on creating the results you want in balance with other areas of your life. They are typically more broad-based than performance coaches and may use a wheel of life approach as a guide for your starting point. You might consider a life coach at times of transition or when you are stuck in a rut that covers several areas of your life. Some life coaches also specialise in particular areas such as accelerated learning, relationships and stress management.
Some coaches will specialise in particular events and specialist areas. For example, there are coaches that specialise in business start-ups, publishing books and presentation skills amongst other things. These kinds of coaches obviously have particular experience centring on the areas they specialise in. You would pick a coach concerning a specific event based on the experience they may have concerning the event in question.
Accelerated Success BreakThroughs
This is an area that is highly specialised and the coaches that offer this service need to be NLP Master Practitioners as a minimum qualification. There are three reasons why people don’t achieve the things they want in their lives. The first is not having goals that are motivational. The second is having limiting or destructive beliefs about what you can achieve. The third is about negative emotions such as a fear of failure, or success.
An Accelerated Success BreakThrough Coach will work with their clients over all three issues in one session. Often the coach will complete the work in one or two longer than normal session. Accelerated Success BreakThrough sessions use lots of advanced mind technologies such as hypnosis, NLP and TimeLine Reframing.
Not every client or every situation is suitable for Accelerated Success BreakThrough Coaching. Therefore, a coach would pre-qualify any clients before suggesting this approach. Typical areas where Accelerated Success BreakThrough Coaching may be applicable would be with repeated patterns of behaviour such as failing your driving test three or more times, inability to hold down a personal or professional relationship, or continued self-sabotage.
There are many other forms of coaching and often coaches will brand themselves in particular ways to stand out from the crowd. In general terms most coaching can be placed into the five broad categories above.
Coaching, How does it work?
As you have probably noticed there are many different types of coaching and coaching formats. Some coaches work through telephone and email contact whilst others work purely face to face. There is no correct method and the format used should be based on the circumstances and your personal preferences. The initial session with your coach will set the format for the rest of the sessions. This is also used to ensure that you and your coach can build a suitable working relationship.
Your coach will ask you lots of questions about your expectations and what you want to achieve. They should also tell you about their format, how they work and give you the opportunity to ask questions. If everything goes to plan you will negotiate with your coach an action plan that would include the number of session, how long they are and how often they will occur. Your coach should also outline a coaching agreement that includes the limits of responsibility and the working relationship.
Coaching session can last anything from 30 minutes to several hours depending on the format used by your coach. Many coaches will have a longer initial session to set the programme up and then shorter, more focused coaching session. Most coaching session will involve you setting out your objectives for the session, targeted discussions around the key issues and finish off with an action plan for you to complete for the next session. Dependant on the situation you may hire a coach for a one off particular event or you may want to keep them on for extended periods of time.
How do I pick a coach?
Your coach will be helping you to build your future, challenge you appropriately and guide you when necessary. Therefore the most important thing is to make sure that you get on with your coach. Your coach should build rapport and you should have trust and confidence in them. Other considerations might be the skill, experience and qualifications of your coach. This is not an exhaustive list, but here are some considerations for you to think about whilst deciding the right coach for you.
How do I know coaching is the right solution for me?
The short answer is that you don’t initially. I would suggest that you contact at least three coaches before making a final decision. If the issue is not appropriate for coaching then you will find out in the initial consultations.
What can I expect from the initial coaching consultation?
This consultation should be no obligation from either side. It is an opportunity for you and the coach to meet and set out how the relationship will work if you were to go ahead.
How can I find out if this coach can help me?
First and foremost you need to feel comfortable with your coach. A coaching relationship needs trust, openness and rapport. If you don’t seem to be feeling this in your initial consultation then the chances are this is not the coach for you. After this you might want to ask them questions about experience, how they work and reference clients.
Are they qualified and affiliated to any coaching body?
The truth of the matter is that coaching is an unregulated activity. All the coaching bodies are self-serving commercial interests. As such I would not hold too much for or against this area, but it is an indicator of the amount and level of training your coach may have been through. There may also be codes of conduct, standards and ethics that the body apply to their coaches. Again I would not read much into these things as the question to be asked to the body is how do they check and maintain these standards.
What does coaching cost?
This is not an easy thing to answer because prices vary widely depending on type of coaching, experience of the coach and the results you are looking for. The only thing I can suggest is that there is transparency and in the initial consultation you leave with an exact idea of how much you will pay. In general coached that are highly specialised or very niche market will be more expensive.
Are there any guarantees in coaching?
Some coaches will guarantee their work and again this is usually a negotiation point in the initial consultation. Coaching provides many top performers with the structure, support and feedback they need for top performance. With the right coach, you can gain huge insights and accelerate your growth. As with any valuable commodity spending a little time up front to make sure you have the right coach will pay you back in dividends in the long run.
Drop me an email via the contact form if you want to discuss a coaching plan for you.