Why would anyone need a coach? seems like a frivolous way to spend time and $.
Our perception of hiring a coach for ourselves is that it seems silly -- remedial, rather than as an opportunity to embark on a challenge to be the best. Yes, coaching is sometimes mandated as part of performance improvement plans. But that perspective on coaching is a limiting point of view. We would benefit from looking at our sports culture where we have high expectations of coaches to maximize the performance of star athletes and teams!
So...really...why do I need a coach? I’m getting along quite well by myself.
Coaching is one of many investments that will support developing YOU as a valued asset to yourself - and those around you. You may not need a coach - or you may not be ready for a coach. And if you are reading this, no doubt you are someone who is striving to move your own bar of greatness. Whether it is reading, surrounding yourself with a good network, taking classes to expand your skills -- each investment serves a purpose that you should understand the benefit of so you can decide how you might need to diversify.
What is the value of coaching and what does it involve?
Coaching is not about me telling you the twelve steps to success. Or about us having an open-ended conversation. Coaching is about you having strong intention to learn how you want to BE as a leader, and developing out behaviors that align with those characteristics. My role as coach is to provide an environment where you have structured space to “go slow to go fast.” In this space, we will explore the future and examine the present to increase your awareness; draw out those behaviors and actions that demonstrate your most effective self; and generate the momentum, confidence and accountability you need to grow. Leadership is a journey to be embraced even if it's sometimes not a comfortable one.
We’ll start wherever you’re at, whether it’s at “OMG - this is my first position as a manager and I’m treading water!” OR “Never in my x years as director have I ever had a group that is so !@#$ disrespectful; I’m at my wits end!” OR “I’m rocking it and I’m ready to show the world how much more I can take on!”
We “lead with you.” And as a coach, I will bring questions that consider both the pragmatics of business and inspiration of holistic leadership. To not take both into consideration during coaching is actually why a lot of folks do NOT hire coaches!*
*Huffington Post article.
what makes me ready for coaching?
Not to scare anyone, but I advise coaching only for those who are ready to be intentional about their development (yes, including for those on a professional improvement plan). As someone being coached, you need to be ready to receive objective feedback to take responsibility for your actions. As a coach, I hope to help you be more receptive and accountable, but entering into a coaching relationship with this state of mind will maximize the benefits you derive from coaching.
I’m ready FOR COACHING...now what?
Prior to engaging in a formal coaching relationship with each other, let's take an hour - or two- to make sure you feel grounded in the coaching investment and commitment you are embarking on, and we are comfortable with each other's style of communication. I'll want to learn more about your goals, why they matter to you, what you think is getting in your way, and your commitment level to your goals. You likely will have lots of questions for me to be comfortable with my coaching style. So the next step is scheduling an hour for us to in person or via videoconference. At the end of our conversation, if we don’t believe a coaching relationship with me will serve you best, I will recommend someone in my network who may be a better match.
Who are your coaching clients?
I coach both emerging managers to seasoned executives. As a leadership coach, I’m an optimist about people and their ability to change, but I'm also intentional about who I work with. I want both of us to look forward to each coaching session. So, if the following list describes you, I think we have a starting point for a good coaching relationship!
- You tend to be a trail-blazer -- someone who is passionate about what they do and enjoys the challenges, the diversity, and the rewards of life.
- You seek to become more aware and intuitive about your leadership style. And you have the courage to realize this will be both rewarding and terrifying at the same time.
- You are willing to take full responsibility for your actions -- and test out new behaviors and ways of doing things (and have some fun doing it).
- You are discerning, and willing to adopt what works and fling what doesn't.
- You are always striving for better. Or even sometimes, perhaps perfection, despite having come to realize that as humans we aren’t perfect (it’s OK to have this innate desire to find better possibilities - so long as it doesn't get the better of us.).