It’s not uncommon to hear people talk about the “game of life” and the “rat race.” True, life can be a challenge. We each have various skills and abilities we can bring to that challenge, we are full of untapped potential. Why not tap that potential and increase our odds of success by having a life coach work with us to develop our strengths? Sometimes we are too close to ourselves to see ourselves objectively. A coach can see you objectively and provide perspective to improve your view of yourself.
Think about it, an Olympic athlete wouldn’t think of entering a game without a coach…and all through the race, the coach is there observing, supporting, and pointing out ways to improve the performance. The relationship between a coach and a player includes trust, encouragement, focus, and directed challenges. The synergy provides “the edge” that moves a player to their personal best.
A coach helps you stay focused and create balance. This, in turn, leads to less stress and increased fulfillment. A coach is there to help you figure out what you want and how to bridge the gap from where you are to where you want to be. The key, though, is taking the ACTION to get there. Whether it is a shift in your attitude or a change in your behavior, you must be willing to do stuff to get results.
Who hires a coach?
Put simply Anyone who:
- wants to experience more satisfaction with what they have
- wants to bring more, better, or different situations into their lives
- wants to do # 1 or # 2 faster and with less stress
- wants to stay focused and on-track
- doesn’t love what they do
- is burning or burning out
- is constantly short on time
- knows they could accomplish great things if they could just overcome some particular obstacle
So, coaches are hired by individuals or by companies.
Many coaches are hired by business owners or executives who have already achieved much, yet want a new level of satisfaction or success. They’ve gone as far as they can alone and realize that a coach can provide a partner and fresh perspective on the path to the next level. Sometimes someone who wants to stand out from their peers hires a coach to give them edge in productivity and performance.
Sometimes a company hires a coach for key employees/managers (or teams) for specific goals. Or they may provide coaching as an incentive or benefit. It makes sense that employees who experience an improved work/life balance, greater clarity or focus, and/or practice better communication skills stand to not only benefit themselves but increase the company’s morale and bottom line. This can also serve as a way to retain valuable employees or help those who aren’t fitting in find a better fit within the company or elsewhere.
A life coach can work with you on personal and professional goals at the same time…or focus on one area. Start wherever you are comfortable…you’ll be surprised to see how often the two areas are related.
Why Coaching Works
Coaching provides synergy, structure, and expertise.
The coach and the client become a team. Two heads are better than one and in this case 1 + 1 can = 3. The momentum that is created as the team focuses on the client is increased and more is accomplished.
Regular sessions lead to accountability. That means if you don’t do what you say your going to do…whether it was to reflect on a question, call people, or do something (or do nothing, as the case may be) we’ll talk about it. No, you won’t be punished or be shamed or guilted. Maybe you’ll learn it is something you really didn’t want to do…and re-work your plan. In general, you can expect to get more done…even if what you are wanting to get “done” is more down-time to relax!
Coaches coach, that’s what they do. They know how to help you get clear inside, make better decisions, establish clear priorities, take better care of yourself, and communicate more clearly with others. Allow yourself to benefit from it.
What’s the difference…
“But I have good friends, a therapist, a spouse, a business consultant…can’t they do this for me?”
Have they yet?
With all these people in your life do you find that sometimes you still feel alone in trying to create the life you want? Or find that those who try to “help” really don’t get what it is you want or they have their own ideas about what’s “best” for you?
There is no need to do it alone…
You will improve your life more quickly and more comfortably with the support of a skilled coach whose sole agenda is to partner with you in designing your life and making it happen.
While there will be some surface commonalities with other people in your life but they all wear different hats…and a coach is different from them.
I recommend you keep your friends and your spouse! They are great, but they are too close to you, love you too much to see clearly sometimes. Or even if they see, they may not say.
Coaching is, in a broad sense, a form of consulting. But a consultant is usually a specialist in some specific content area and comes in with answers for you to take or leave. After they’ve told you the answers they generally pack up and leave. A coach stays with you as you practice new skills and make changes that impact various areas of your life.
A therapist is trained as a therapist, not as a coach (and vice versa). Depending on the therapist’s training, he or she will often focus on the past, why or how things happened, what your issues are with that past. They often treat you with kid gloves because you are hurting and need fixed.
Coaching is more present-oriented, is more action-oriented and is for people that, generally speaking, have it together. If you need a therapist, then get one. Many people work with a therapist on those deeper, stickier issues at the same time they are working with a coach on other life or skill areas.
How does coaching work? What’s the process?
First, we have your free get-acquainted session and decided whether to work with each other. I want for you to have the best coach for you. I only work with the best clients for me. If we aren’t a good fit, I can refer you to several other great colleagues of mine. These are folks who are experienced and are affiliated with a CoachU or another well-respected coach education institution.
Let’s assume the best, and say we will decide to work together….you’ll find
- Coaching is very convenient to fit into your life.
3 phone meetings a month from your home or business. Most calls last 30 – 40 minutes.
This provides structure and focus. Yes, we’ll get an amazing amount done in that time! We get right down to business because your time is valuable and this is about maximizing your life.
- “Just-in-Time” coaching
If you have a victory to share, or need extra support, strategizing, or ideas on a project, then call or email me. This is part of the service I love to provide for the benefit of you!
- But there is more to it than that.
Coaching is such a great value because you have a coach and are actually experiencing the benefits of being coached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Why? Because you will have so many feelings and thoughts to process and enough actions to take from our sessions that you’ll see the support and growth is happening between our sessions as much as during them.
Are there any other options?
Of course, depending on the situation I am willing to meet more or less frequently.
Check back. I’ll be developing group coaching, teleclasses, and other neat stuff for the future.
Why is coaching done over the phone, fax, or e-mail?
Although coaches, myself included, will occasionally meet with a client face-to-face, most sessions are done “virtually.”
- You are busy with your life. So am I. Virtual contact allows you to fit this kind of self-care into your schedule easily, without the time and physical inconvenience of rushing to drive across town. In fact, it is quite common to work with a coach who lives in a different city, state, or even a different country. It is the fit between coach and client is important, not what time zone they live in.
- We live in mobile world. No matter where you are, your coach is only a phone call away. This allows scheduled calls to take place with good continuity.
- Its private and personal. No one sees you or asks where you are going. Speaking over the phone allows you to regulate your privacy and encourages openness and honesty. This is necessary for success. Plus, you won’t spend energy on “image-management”…wasting time worrying about how you look, what I think of your clothes, if you look funny when you think hard about something we are talking about, or whatever it is you may worry about. (Likewise, you aren’t distracted by what I look like, if I look funny, or are wondering where I got that nifty wall art!)
Speaking of privacy and such…Please see my Standards of Conduct page. I play nice and I expect you to as well! I expect truth from my clients. Everyone deserves at least one relationship where they always speak the truth as they see it and hear the truth (as seen by that person). In fact, I’ll probably write a Standards of Conduct for Clients entry one day.