WHAT IS A COACH?
I recently wrote about what a coach does, and how coaching differs to consulting, mentoring and counselling. They can support and guide you through transitions, or help you to solve problems. They can work with you in all areas of your life, or get more specific and focus on anything from career changes to, business, nutrition, marketing, capsule wardrobes...!
WHO IS COACHING FOR?
Anyone can benefit from coaching, from people who are still figuring things out, to established CEOs and business owners. In fact, many coaches themselves have at least one coach - I do!
I believe that coaches can be most helpful when you're working on something alone. That could be setting up a business, or it could be working on a life change. You could even be the head of a big organisation. All of these things can feel solitary, but a coach is someone who you can always talk to, bounce ideas off, and who will always support you.
The bottom line is always the same: a coach helps you to thrive, regardless of where you are in life and what you want coaching for.
FIVE BENEFITS OF COACHING
A coach offers you support and guidance.
This is the most important part of coaching. Your coach is there to listen to you, help you unpick issues, and support you in finding and implementing a solution. They are your biggest cheerleader, and always have your back whether things are going brilliantly or something has gone wrong. If you've spent some time feeling a bit isolated, you might be able to appreciate how reassuring it is to know that a coach is someone you can talk to who understands, doesn't judge, and is right there with you on your journey to exciting things.
Coaching can motivate and empower you, and keeps you accountable.
This support, the belief that your coach has in you and their willingness to work with you to move things forward, is empowering, helping you to believe in yourself. In turn, this motivates you to do the work, and create something awesome. And having a call scheduled every few weeks keeps that momentum up, and drives you to get things done before you next chat to your coach.
A coach is a useful sounding board.
Sometimes you have a new idea, but you want to be 100% confident in it before you go full steam ahead. Often we just need someone to bounce ideas off, but our friends and family often can't give us an unbiased opinion because they love us too much. A coach is unbiased, and therefore a brilliant sounding board. They can help you to develop an idea and decide whether it is worth pursuing or not. And if it is, they'll give you all the encouragement and support you need to get things moving.
Neutral support from a coach enables you to gain perspective.
A coach offers you a safe place to voice your fears, successes and dreams, helping you to gain perspective. As a neutral person, you can tell them your wildest dreams or deepest fears with no fear of judgement. They can help you to remember how far you've come, and stop you from becoming overwhelmed by how far you'd like to go. The perspective they'll help to provide will enable you to break your journey down into manageable chunks, taking things one step at a time.
Coaching can lead to a better understanding of yourself.
Discussing your progress with a coach, good and bad, can lead to a deeper understanding of self both personally and professionally. In turn, this can increase your self-confidence, making you more motivated and enhancing your success. It's a cycle! Your coach will accept you, and help you to work through issues and identify your longterm goals. This can truly enable us to face up to things, understand exactly what we want, and then we can be best we can be.
THE NEGATIVE SIDE OF COACHING, and finding the right coach for you
Even though I am a fan of coaching, I want to offer you a balanced view. Which leads us to the 'down side' of coaching: the cost. When you embark upon a one-to-one coaching journey, you are buying someone's time, energy and expertise. And for that, you have to pay.
My preferred to way to look at the cost of coaching, indeed how I justified having a coach of my own, is that it is an investment in ourselves. In our personal and professional development, in feeling more fulfilled and positive. I can't really think of a better thing to spend money on.
That said, you don't have to spend money straight away. In fact I recommend that you don't. First, do some research, and work through some free and low cost options:
Seek out coaches online, and on social media. Start to get a feel for who they are, what their values are, and the kind of content they produce. If available, read their blogs, sign up for their newsletters, listen to their podcasts. You'll feel like you're getting to know them and their styles, and some will naturally be a better fit for you than others.
If they have free resources available, download and work through them. Or if they have any lower cost courses available that you're interested in, consider jumping on board. This is a less risky way to test out whether coaching is right for you, and you'll benefit from the work you do regardless!
Investigate a one-off session, or request an introductory call if you like, to better get to know whether this coach is the right one for you.
Or, if you are like me, you might find a coach and sign up to six months immediately, because it just feels right! Listen to your gut, and do not feel bad about investing in yourself!