Our current marketplace is a glut of self-help, methodologies, and coaching gurus. Daily email is populated with (free:) content, podcasts, and invitations to webinars. Motivational speakers intone the airwaves, and daily tweets include a recycling of famous quotes and other inspirational tidbits.
With all the available personal development aids at one’s disposal, how do solitary souls detached from their true purpose, or, disconnected from what once seemed a passionate enterprise, distinguish from the hordes of niche-oriented coaches and coach wannabes in the marketplace to find a committed, capable, and suitable partner to help them navigate through the waters of self-doubt?
And what is this recent phenomenon called “coaching,” anyway? Coaches have been around for years. Socrates was a coach, essentially, using questioning and pointed rhetoric to educate his students. Ask any historian and he/she will tell you of countless figures who taught, inspired, mentored, and coached a populace of eager learners determined to improve. Modern coaches like Vince Lombardi and Bobby Knight are legendary; on the motivational front speakers like Tony Robbins and Brian Tracy have established and maintained a loyal following, while espousing universal “truths” such as spiritual wholeness and the ability to make a confident decision.
It may seem overwhelming; yet there exists a need despite an abundance of industry specific and certified coaches. The questions remain — can a coach really help? Is it worth the investment of time and money? Do any changes remain intact? The singular answer to all these inquiries is a resounding “yes” — with the caveat the person seeking change is dedicated to its taking place. You may know the joke — how many coaches does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: one, but the light bulb really has to want to change.
First — to briefly distinguish from other methodologies: coaching is partnering, working alongside an individual to identify, describe, evaluate, and find a solution to a challenging situation or circumstance. It is also process oriented, and usually requires setting goals to achieve a desired outcome. It is not: mentoring, teaching, consulting, training, or tutoring, but may combine elements of any of these. It is most assuredly client driven, and the agenda is always the client’s invention. So what is the real value of working with a good coach — provided this “good” coach has a combination of knowledge, skill, experience, intuition, commitment, and passion — and is an excellent listener and absolutely non-judgmental? Here’s a short list:
With these in mind, even the sourest skeptic would be impressed if only half were true. But in fact, they all are. Tell the doubters why so many successful executives, managers, owners, entertainment, and sports stars hire coaches.
It’s finite — it has a definite timeline.
It’s all about process — once learned, it’s yours for life.
It is goal oriented — a client sees immediate results.
You achieve desired outcomes.
It forces you to take responsibility for your actions.
It is always about discovery.
You get to experience “ah ha” moments, or epiphanies.
You change habits, behaviors, and attitudes that have held you back or impaired judgment.
You experience a shift in perspective — a different way of looking at something.
You see opportunity where before you saw an obstacle.
You’re accountable to an objective third party.
A coach can call you on your bull____!
You teach your “gremlin” (inner voice that says “you’re not good enough”) another language.
You adopt an entire new paradigm for living.
You use your time more efficiently.
They are smart enough to know they can’t do it alone; and even if they could, it would take so, so much longer! Get smart — hire a coach and change your life.
Mark is a Leadership, Sales and Communications coach, and Executive level presentation skills trainer. Clients hire him to increase productivity and improve their performance to peak levels.
Mark received his certification as a coach and Energy Leadership professional from iPEC - the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching.
Mark resides with his family in New York City.
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