When I’m out and about and meeting new people, they ask me what I do. I tell them I’m a coach. They are interested and want to learn more, but I’m finding that trying to explain to people what a coach actually does is a bit of a challenge in 30 seconds or less!
First of all, a coach is not a counselor. Counselors have their job to do and coaches have their job to do, and the process is different. When you work with a coach, you are working from the place where you find yourself right at this moment in time. Other than gathering information initially in order to better understand what your goals are, what you’ve tried in the past to reach those goals and to begin to build the coach/client relationship, what happened to you in the past remains in the past. As a coach, I always disclose that, even though my degree is in Psychology, I am not a Psychologist. I am a coach. My role is to move you forward if you are stuck, to empower you to find the courage it takes to grow, to acknowledge you for the successes in your life, to help you realize your greatest dreams.
One of the most important qualities of a superior coach is to have the ability to listen, and listen deeply. When was the last time you were in a conversation and the person you were “talking” with was glazing over, or looking across the room, or multi-tasking? It happens so much more often that it should in our society. A competent coach has learned the discipline of being present with their client at all times. They know how to block out distractions and listen wholly and completely. They know that listening for the words that are not being said are just as important, sometimes more important, than the words that are being said.
An excellent coach will know how to ask questions without concerning themselves about the answers. An excellent coach has no need to be correct. An excellent coach knows the client already has the answers, but they need help pulling them out, putting them in the order that makes sense for them and moving forward one step at a time, with understanding and a feeling of fulfillment.
An excellent coach knows the agenda is all about the client. What do you as a client need or want to accomplish is your life? Do you want to lose weight, start exercising, gain life/work balance, manage stress, make a life change such as moving, changing a relationship, etc? Do you want to wake up to your highest spiritual potential? These are all great reasons for searching out a coach and having a session to determine if coaching is right for you and if the coach you have chosen is right for you.
Sometimes, it’s the coach’s job to call you on your crap. If you are talking the talk, but are unwilling to look at things a different way and maybe indulging in a bit of whining, it’s the coaches responsibility to make you aware of that and help you through the tough spots.
I’ve found, as I continue to grow in my life and business, that many are hesitant to acknowledge their need for help in their lives. I get the comment often, “I know what to do, I just don’t do it.” Maybe I’ll make that my new slogan! Seriously, ask yourself what is keeping you back. If you decide to work with a coach, the answer might not be as simple as you first think, in fact I can almost guarantee it!
I hope I’ve made it a bit clearer for you as to what a coach actually is, from my perspective. I’m happy to answer any questions that may have arisen from you reading this article. My door is always open for you and yours.