Misconceptions about coaching—what it is, what it isn’t—often prevent people from getting valuable help in achieving their goals. If you’ve been putting off getting a coach, you may be denying yourself the very solutions you seek.
Coaching in business is not like coaching in sports. In sports, a coach tells players how to do things better: How a batter should stand with a baseball bat for better hitting, how a quarterback should read the defense, or how a basketball player should stand at the free throw line.
In business, a coach doesn’t tell us what to do. Sure, suggestions may come up from time to time, but overall, a coach in the business world simply asks relevant questions. An executive coach listens to us, inquires about our goals and the roadblocks we’re facing, and then asks more questions to help us find workable solutions.
Essentially, a coach asks the right questions at the right time—without criticism—to trigger our thinking processes.
Another common reason for not getting a coach is the commitment factor. In our busy world, we have a lot of pressing matters that compete for our time and attention. But imagine a farmer planting his corn, watering it once or twice, and then, because he’s not seeing growth right away, moving on to more pressing matters.
Reason tells us the farmer would be silly, but I’ve seen coaching clients do this very thing with their own personal and professional growth. Those that put off coaching need to realize that just like plants, personal or professional transformation takes time—it does not occur magically in a weekend nor without careful weeding and care.
Coaches understand that personal and professional growth is a process, and like a good farmer, coaches work with you to get a maximum yield—if you give them a chance.
Further resistance to getting a coach rests in our comfort zone. If we set out to try new things, we might fail. Granted, new territory is always a little unnerving. But just like in business, the idea of not risking only leads to more of what we already have. And if we don’t feel we’re getting the results we want from our current methods, then not taking the risk defaults us to accepting the status quo.
If political candidates, actors, and television personalities seek out coaches to help them be at the top of their game, why not you?
Dennis Rader, an associate at Leadership Development, says, “the opposite of development is diminishment, and if you’re not doing one, you’re doing the other.” It’s impossible to stay stagnant for long.
We go where we’re focused. If we focus on our problems, we inevitably see problems. If we focus on getting around problems—and keep that focus—we’ll find a way past the problems. Coaches help us focus on our solutions past the problems.
Bottom line, misconceptions, time pressures, and fear of failure can inhibit us from seeking a coach for help. But these inhibitors can be overcome by trusting a growth process that has proved itself reliable throughout the millennia, and you CAN get the growth you want. I know. My first coach took me through that process and showed me how to get where I wanted to go. Hundreds of thousands of people have benefited from having a coach. What about you?