Good question. More reasons than you can shake a stick at, but how about to:
- Clarify your goals
- Prioritize your goals
- Figure out what stops you achieving what you are capable of
- Keep on track and don't give up
- Learn new skills
- Be more successful, and
- Be happier
All obvious stuff, you might say, but if so, why don't you do it already? Probably because you are too busy, distracted, focused elsewhere, not sure how to begin. Maybe, deep down where you only admit it to yourself, you are also a bit scared that it might mean doing something different.
There’s an old saying, ‘People don't resist change but they do resist being changed’. Working with a good coach should feel like you are stretching yourself, in ways that work for you and in a direction that works for you and not having stuff done to you. But the prospect can be a bit scary if it’s new territory. A bit like the first time you dived into the swimming pool – everyone else could do it, you knew what to do, you wanted to do it BUT it's a bit unnerving the first time. When you did it though…Wow! What a great feeling and it was hard to remember what caused you to hesitate. Coaching is about opening up new opportunities, doing things that you believe in and, ultimately, leading the life that you want to lead in the way that you want to lead it.
A good coach will work with your potential and focus on your strengths. Your success is their success and their whole agenda is to help you. A coach is your safe confidante to whom you can talk about things without fear of reprisal or judgment and can provide you with objective, positive feedback. Most coaches will offer a no commitment initial conversation to decide if you both want to work together – the right match of style and approach is important to create a successful partnership. A few things coaches will not do:
- Coaches won’t tell you what to do (but will ask you powerful questions).
- Coaches aren’t therapists (but will help you overcome challenges and uncertainties that may be holding you back).
- Coaches won’t judge, criticize or laugh at you (though they might laugh with you since coaching can be an enjoyable experience).
I put this article together after having worked with many leaders who wanted to improve some part of their business operations. What the successful leaders recognized is that this might involve them changing too and part of my engagement incorporated a degree of coaching the leader. The less successful pieces of work were when leaders asked me to go and ‘fix their problems’. This usually meant fixing their problem people and leaving the great leader alone to do their more important stuff.
My light-bulb moment was when my coach helped me to discover this (now obvious) truth about leading change. I probably would have got there on my own in the end but not as quickly as with a coach to help me think clearly and build a route to doing things better.
Thanks for reading