Think for a moment about five different people you know. Maybe one is your friend; one is a colleague; one is your Uncle; etcetera. Think about what those people do for a living and how they spend their free time. Then, think about yourself, what you do and what makes you feel positive? This exercise shows us that not everyone is suited for the same career and personal pursuits. For instance, I love to exercise in my free time, but my wife much prefers to paint. I lead a self-employed life because I enjoy ambiguous projects. My best friend is in the military because he prefers to be part of a team. What makes people successful, regardless of their roles or pursuits, is their ability to find balance between their strengths and weaknesses, skills and pursuits. Many people are able to analyse themselves as a third-party would: objectively. However, most of us (myself included) often need a coach’s outside perspective to help us set structure around finding our personal best.
Good coaching is exhilarating. Good coaching is effective. And good coaching is you-focused. And yet, I meet so many people who think negatively about the coaching experience. Many believe that there has to be something “wrong” in order to “need” a coach.Coaching is not like replacing a flat tyre. Coaching is more like getting the oil changed in your car: the car is running fine and changing your oil helps to keep it that way. The thing is, humans think an average of 50,000 thoughts per day, 90% of these thoughts are focused on the past. Coaches help us to turn these ideas into forward-thinking actions. Coaches help you drive forward up the motorway, not in reverse. You’re already driving the car, where are you driving to? Coaches help you to establish a starting point, an end point, and the directions in-between.
What to Expect in your Coaching Relationship
Coaching is about exploring the client’s current space and their future space. It is about the art of evolution. As Henry Ford once said, “If you do what you’ve always done you will get what you’ve always got.” The coach helps their client to explore what’s most desired and relevant in their life by asking innovative questions, providing workable actions, and analysing outcomes. A good coach provides their client space to grow by being flexible and trustworthy. Truly, it is the role of the individual, not the coach, to establish their own route to their own success. This serves twofold. First, it keeps coaching realistic and relevant. Second, any change is more sustainable when implemented of their own volition. A client must want to change. A coach must help them find how.
So, clients are expected to be accountable and responsible for their own progress. The coach is also accountable and responsible to the client. This relationship creates an environment focused on that which is achievable and sustainable. Because one of the primary jobs of a coach is to be objective, do not be surprised if they ask you questions that you feel are harsh. The coach aims only to ask you those questions you may not ask yourself, disarming your ability to procrastinate or avoid.