What is “being coached” like. It is very hard to say, as most people report different reactions to the coaching process. What I’ve seen consistently over the years is that the end result is positive and sometimes in the process you might experience some discomfort. Discussing this recently in a mastermind group the feeling was that there’s no discomfort perhaps something isn’t right with the coaching!
The results of coaching
Coaching is about changing the way you act, interact and focus. This leads to at performance improvements in your firm. These vary from tripling the sales, doubling the bottom line, implementing the long term changes you need to survive, or “simply” getting back in control and being less stressed (and often that’s the most important change).
The results of coaching always depend on what you needed, but should make your company more profitable, and easier to run (less stress, staff turnover etc).
Why is coaching uncomfortable?
When did you last overcome a big challeng in your life (being it mental, or physical). My personal example is learnign to teach scuba diving.
I felt really uncomfortable in the middle of learning. I thought I wouldn’t succeed, was going to embarrass myself and maybe drown in the process. There were times when I wanted to say – STOP, enough is enough.
How uncomfortable was your big challenge, did you want to stop in the middle, did you almost give up? It’s very unusual that there would be no “uh oh” moments.
Afterwards, were you an improved version of yourself? Your skills, confidence and outlook probably changed.
What’s being coached like?
So, what is being coached like? Worth it in the end, but maybe uncomfortable on the way. WOrking with a coach normally involves tackling some of the issues in your firm that you haven’t tackled for a while (probably avoided), maybe you will be breaking habits and creating new ones.
- Tough, but really worthwhile
- Tough, but you’ve got support at your side
We need discomfort and challenge in order to grow, improve, and change; otherwise we would stay the same!
Getting back on the wagon
One of the skills most of us need to be better at, is “getting back onto the wagon”. Each time we struggle, and perhaps “fail”, we need to get up and start again. When learning to be a diving instructor (and struggling), I asked my coach how come he never had problems in the water and always looked good. I wanted to know the secret.
His answer was that his skill was not to avoid having problems, but in his ability to deal with them before they become big (and noticeable by me).
So, what’s it like to be coached? At times slightly uncomfortable, but a good coach is there to support you and keep you focused on what you want.
How to choose a coach for you
Ultimately you have to get on with your coach, they need to be able to help you to change your business. But there is more than that….
- Relevant experience? Do they have experience in your field? A coach isn’t somebody that’s done it and telling you how they did it (that’s probably a mentor). You need an expert in helping you do what you need to do. A good coach (for you) will have worked with others in your area. Can you see real testimonials, and speak to ex-clients?
- Rapport with a bite: You need somebody you feel comfortable talking to, but should expect difficult questions that you are made to answer. A good coach listens, because they’re going to get you to dig deeper into your personal resources (oops – there’s more of that slight discomfort).
- Challenging: You don’t want a new best friend, you need somebody that will challenge you.
- Asks, not tells: A good coach will probe and get you to uncover answers, rather than tell you what they think the answers should be. What’s it liked to be coached? Lots of questions, often things like “What have we uncovered here, what actions can you begin to take?”
Why does coaching work?
Coaching works because you start changing the way you think and act. Skilled coaches don’t simply tell people what to do, and certainly don’t do it for them. A good coach will help you realise how to bridge the gap between where you are, and where you want to be. Then support you, push you and hold you accountable for your actions.
What do you want from your coach?