Getting the most out of working with your coach
As we wrap up International Coaches Week, I wanted to take a minute and go over how you can get the most out of your coaching session. After all, you are investing time and money into the relations ship I want you to get the most from it
So you hired a coach now what
It takes more than a great coach to get the best results from your coaching conversations. It takes a great client!
I’ve coached professionally for more than six years. And I’ve been coached by some excellent coaches and am currently coached in 3 area of my life by the very best. The results in coaching often have more to do with the client than the coach. I know that sounds like hire and coach and it will work. Not really what I mean is great coaches don’t teach and advise. They help the client to learn. Using active listening, powerful questions, and constructive feedback, coaches facilitate a process that helps clients make breakthroughs personally and professionally. I’m not downplaying the role of the coach. It takes a lot of skill to coach well. But what makes coaching most effective – is when a client wants to learn, change, and grow.
All the gas in the tank will not make the car go if someone doesn’t turn the key. ~ Eric G Reid
How To Get The Most Out Of Coaching
Coaching conversations are dialogues – coach and client talking together in a way that promotes the client’s learning. As a Coach, I am equipped with tools and processes to help you achieve great results. You, the client, hold the keys to unlocking your learning, growth, and professional breakthroughs.
Secure a level of trust with your coach.
Early on, get personal. Tell your coach about who you are, including your likes, dislikes, hobbies and work experience. People work together better when they feel comfortable enough to articulate questions and concerns. What your coach learns about you will help him determine which strategies and action steps are the most likely to help you become successful.
Pick the right coach for you.
When looking for a coach, look for someone who you feel comfortable talking with, yet who will challenge you. Pick someone who has some experience in what you’re working on, but they don’t need to be an expert. Think beyond those in your city. Coaching by phone or Skype is very common, and some prefer this method because it helps them focus. And be prepared to pay. The old saying, “you get what you pay for,” is true with coaching too. Remember you friend’s coach may not be the right fit for you take the time to interview several coached. Check out their social profile for a consistent message.
Know what you want, what you really want.
Your coach can help you shape the outcome you are looking for from coaching, but you must know what you want to go after. Not “How” to achieve it, that’s what the coaching process does, but “What” you want to achieve. It’s primarily your responsibility to set the direction. The coach’s responsibility is to help you get there. No destination? You may not be ready for coaching. Sometimes we start with a “what I no longer want” statement and over a few sessions gain clarity on what I want.
Be open and honest.
Coaching can touch on some sensitive personal areas – things that don’t always make you look good. Even things you’re embarrassed about. Perfect! The coaching relationship is a safe, confidential place for you to explore, and test your thinking. It’s not alway pretty – at first. Working through the “raw” thoughts and emotions with a coach before trying it with your coworkers or family is one of the benefits of coaching.
Have the courage to explore new perspectives.
Clients come to a coaching relationship with an idea of what their problem or goal is. Quite often through the coaching process, we discover new things, sometimes difficult and scary things. If you want the best results, have the courage to explore the unknown and the new. Trust the process of change. After all doing what you have always done and expected a different result is …
Hold the tension.
It takes time and a lot of mental energy to achieve new awareness. In our instant-gratification world, we want to immediately resolve our dilemma, get the insight, and move on. Not everything is “fixable” in a 40-minute conversation. Some people give up on their goal and want to move on because doing so feels better than holding the mental tension. Living between knowing and not knowing, between where I am and where I want to be, is difficult. Clients who hold this tension see results. Tension is not about stress. Tension is the point of controlled intentional stress. Like going to the gym and stressing a muscle to make to grow.
Be prepared to act, now.
Expect that what you discuss in your coaching conversation, you will take immediate action on afterward. Coaching is a type of action-reflection cycle. You reflect, together with your coach, then you put your reflection into action. At the next coaching appointment, you reflect on your action and then act again. Insights without action are just nice ideas. Real results mean you’ve done something about it.
Understand that in the end coaching is all about you – the client. Get the most out of it! When I show up as a client, I know my coaches are a 100% in my corner and ready to guide the journey to my better life. When I show up for my clients, I bring that same level of professional awareness.