There are certain careers or endeavors that are best guided by a cohesive philosophy as a foundation from which the individual operates, such as teaching, counseling, coaching, and even parenting. I recently had reason to “revisit” and articulate in written form my personal philosophy on how I work with individuals in three of the four before mentioned arenas. I was pleasantly surprised that this was easier than I had anticipated as the underlying principles for each endeavor, including parenting, are the same for me.
Short answer, always…Easy for a coach to say!
But there is more to understand when you are considering hiring a coach…
If you are reading this, you are well on the way to finding a coach. You are surrounded by amazing coaches, and only need to press the “Request a Free Session” button to get started!
First, however, I will speak in general about finding a coach.
Here are some things you can look for, before you have a free session…
You always have a choice in any given moment.
It is a choice of how to focus. What to give your attention to. Your attention is the most valuable and powerful asset you have. Your attention has the power to change your world, and change THE world.
I’ve been considering gratitude a lot lately. I never used to think much about it. When we are a certain way we don’t give it much of a thought. Now I notice it now and appreciate it. I really notice when someone is lacking in gratitude. Don Draper, the main character in the hit series Mad Men could be the poster boy for the absence of gratitude. He Is portrayed as one of the luckiest men on Madison Ave. yet he never acknowledges his good fortune. Lack of gratitude can make your life much emptier and unhappy. Read more
Simply, it depends on how long you want a partner helping you create good things in your life!
If you have a very specific short-term goal you’d like to achieve, you may work with your coach only for a few months. (It’s generally not recommended to work with a coach less than three months…It’s often hard to permanently integrate change in a shorter period of time. You need some real-life applying your new knowledge time!)
Many people create some wonderful results with their coach, then just keep using them! A relationship with a coach that “gets you”, knows how to motivate you, and is familiar with your common “pitfalls” can be absolutely invaluable.
Those that keep their coaches on for years, tend to go on to accomplish significant change or achievements, such as serious career advancement, major career change, or writing a book, for example.
Perhaps the most significant achievement for people that keep their coach on long term, is their level of personal fulfillment, and amount of positive contribution they make to the world.
The Guardian recently published a great article about a nurse’s discussions with people at the end of their lives. What did they look back on and regret?
There were some common themes!
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
I wish that I had let myself be happier.
Perhaps not surprisingly, this is a list very consistent with the major themes of coaching.
Happiness matters, and is largely under your control.
Most people I speak with are giving more to their job than their job gives to them.
Most people I speak with have dreams, values, and personal characteristics they aren’t living.
Most people get true fulfillment in life from their personal relationships.
Most people can gain immeasurably by expressing their feelings. It is a key to not only deepening relationships, but also understanding yourself, who you want to be, and accessing the wisdom and energy required to create a truly great life.
Read the full article here…Top Five Regrets of the Dying.
Coaches vary widely in their approach, background, training, style and ideal client!
Some coaches are very nuts and bolts, some are very spiritual and high level. Some coaches will excel at helping you reach specific goals, and some coaches will excel at helping you get good at reaching goals on your own! Some coaches are pragmatic and high-level/transformative at the same time.
In my opinion (certainly biased because this is the type of coach I am!), the best coaches will help you grow in line with how you are meant to be growing. For example, this may be a time in your life when you are learning to live in prosperity, or maybe this is a time in your life when you are learning to express your truth more often in the work arena.
Somewhat counter-intuitively, growing in your own way will help you in all of the areas of your life you’ve identified as needing improvement, even if the exact growth area seems totally unrelated. So, for example, let’s say you want a new job, but it becomes very apparent early in your coaching that you have no idea how to organize your time effectively. Working on your routines and discipline will end up leading directly to more satisfying career conditions. That’s just how it works.
Here are some things to look for if you want a truly satisfying coaching experience…
Green Flags (things that are good signs that this is excellent coaching for you!)
- Your conversations with your coach are different than conversations with friends and family
- You always leave a coaching conversation with new insights, or at least thoughts to ponder, about yourself
- You feel more confident in yourself
- You feel more confident that you are moving in the right directions
- There are some significant changes in your life, some of them even challenging, but you feel well equipped to master your moments
- You feel more of how you want to feel, be that happy, fulfilled, energetic, peaceful…
- You are getting lots of new ideas of things you could do in your life
- Your relationships are moving in healthy directions, or ending if they are unhealthy
- Your coach is clearly 100% focused on you
- You have no doubt that your coach “has your back”
- You know your coaching goals/objectives and you can measure/assess your progress
- You are frequently amazed at how fast/simply things seem to be transforming for you! (“I can’t believe how much of a difference this coaching has made for me!”)
Red Flags (signs this may not be the best coaching for you)
- Your coach seems to be giving you a lot of “advice”
- Your coach doesn’t seem to be listening to you
- It seems like nothing is changing
- You aren’t looking forward to talking to your coach
- You feel “pushed” (challenged and stimulated and expanded past your normal limits is good, feeling “pushed” into things probably isn’t!)
- You used to have great chemistry with your coach, but now it has dropped off
You may find that you find one coach that you LOVE and keep using for years. You may find that you have a coach that works great for you for a while, then you go off on your own. Or, you may find that different kinds of coaches work for you best at different times in your life.
To get started, do your research, and choose, 1, 2 or 3 coaches to have free sessions with. If you feel great about the first coach you talk to, give them a try for 1-3 months! Or, talk to a few coaches until you find someone you feel you click with.
There is no way a coach can prove to you that coaching is going to “work” for you without you giving it a try. You have to put yourself out there a bit and be willing to take a chance! The green flags and red flags listed above will help you assess early on if you are getting great coaching for YOU. When you connect with a great coach for you, there will be absolutely no stopping you in life. All of your dreams, even the ones you dared not dream, can come true. You will be accessing your unlimited potential, living the way that you want to be living, and absolutely in love with your life!