An odd post to start with when you’ve just decided to start a new coaching business I know, but I thought I might start here to explain what coaching is and isn’t for those that may not quite understand or have experienced it before. Some people have a sense of what it is, others think they know but aren’t quite sure and then some just think it’s a whole load of woo.
Coaching for me is one of my great discoveries and luxuries in life. I swear by coaching and think everyone should try it. It may not be for everyone, but for me it has been the difference for me between success and failure, moving forwards and staying still. But its helpful if before you start you understand what coaching is and know what to expect. I always make sure at the start of taking on a new client that they understand these four things if nothing else:
It’s not about taking the easy road
I think there are sometimes misconceptions that a coach is someone who gives you all the answers and tells you what to do, when what a good coach actually does is guide and support you to find the answers and the way forwards. Dont worry if what you’re looking for is someone to tell you the answers, there is a place for that too and its called mentoring. But coaching is, at its very essence about helping you unlock your full potential so that you can become the best version of yourself, and that takes work.
You’ve got to be ready to do the work
Working with a coach, telling someone who you don’t have an existing relationship with your deepest darkest insecurities, fears, anxieties, hopes and dreams requires a lot of trust. You’ve got to be willing and ready to take yourself out of your comfort zone and be uncomfortable, vulnerable and completely honest. Yes coaching is about being supported and guided, but it’s also about being challenged, constructively to get you where you want to be. Its being asked the uncomfortable questions, the ones you’ve been avoiding asking yourself for the last 6 months. Coaching doesn’t work unless you bring your whole self to the conversation and that my friends is where the real work, and the magic is.
You are the driver
It’s easy to assume that the coach is the person that owns and drives the relationship, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that if you do as I expect it is another common misconception. However it’s actually the client that drives the relationship. What I mean by that is the client sets the pace and frequency, sets their goals (of course with some support from the coach if its needed) and makes sure that they follow through on any commitments they make. As long as you can be clear on what it is you want, we will help you figure out how to get there.
You’ve got to show up…again, and again and again
Sometimes that’s the hardest part. The only way to make progress and to move forwards is by showing up time and time again. Holding yourself accountable, taking action and checking in at coaching sessions is how you move yourself forwards consistently and noticeably. I can’t make you show up, and neither can any other coach out there. Ever heard the saying you can’t lead a horse to water, well the same applies here. Progress is important, but showing up is more important. Dont get inside your own head. All you have to do is show up and your coach will help you do the rest.
So coaching is work, but its work of the best kind. When else do you get the luxury of focusing, and I mean really focusing on where you are, where you want to go and how you are going to get there with someone guiding you every step of the way. All you’ve got to do is take the first step..