Natural athletes seldom achieve greatness on their own. A good coach will add so much more to an athlete’s ultimate success by focusing on their strengths and blocking out negative impulses. Coaching, in general, is about looking forward. It is a process of helping people develop a way of thinking that will enable them to make better decisions consistently and sustainably over time. It is about setting goals to strive towards.
This is exactly what a professional/personal coach will do for your business. Coaching is for people who are already successful but who want to become even better. Successful business people often want someone from the outside; an objective, forward-thinking coach who will be a sounding board and guide to their future growth and success. Coaches are not counselors or psychologists – they act as a mirror to help people become more self-aware and improve their performance.
A coach is often brought in when someone has a “showstopper” issue they need to overcome in order to move to the next level. Or for employees who are seen as great performers that the company wants to invest in to make them even better. Everyone from the CEO to the mail room clerk can see improvement by using a coach.
Coaching can work with individuals or teams and can help to celebrate wins and refocus in places that still need improvement. All of us have blind spots, certain self-limiting beliefs, such as “I’m not smart enough to do this.” Coaches work to change that kind of mind-set, to change ingrained habits and routines. A good coach will break processes into small parts, helping individuals or teams look at things in real time, and help them move forward and make better decisions.
An holistic approach should be utilized when evaluating the needs of the client. What happens at the office impacts our personal lives and whatever happens in our personal lives impacts us in the workplace. With that perspective, a coach will establish trust with the client in order to get the whole picture and see how their work and personal life is impacting each other. It is important to understand what motivates people to get up and go to work each day.
There are a ton of stats about why goal-setting is important, and often times one of the keys to achieving a set of goals is having an accountability partner. Coaches help people figure out what is important to them – both personal and professional – and then determine how to get to that place. They help dig into what drives you and what you are passionate about.
Finally, look for a coach who you have a connection with – you are going to need to be vulnerable in front of this person. If you are not comfortable sharing with them and knowing you are in a “safe” place, it won’t be successful in the long run.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of what a coach is, we’ll dig down deeper in future articles about how results are measured, how often you meet, costs and other pertinent information you’ll want to review if you decide to investigate further.