I was really shocked when someone recently said to me ‘oh I don’t need coaching’.
My reaction was strong. In my mind the vast majority of people can benefit from coaching.
The International Coaching Federation (ICF) defines coaching as ‘partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise their potential.’ The process of coaching often unlocks previously untapped sources of imagination, productivity and leadership. We all have goals we want to reach, challenges we’re striving to overcome and times when we feel stuck. Partnering with a coach can change your life, setting you on a path to greater personal and professional fulfilment.
I appreciate it is a big investment, especially if you are paying for it privately. But certainly, if money were no object I would regularly invest in more coaching.
I have several coaches I work with for different things. Coaching has helped me understand what I am energised by and the values I live by. It has enabled me to pinpoint where I don’t want to focus my time. It has given me a positivity boost when I have needed it. It has helped me to slow down. My coach has held a figurative mirror up to me (or a very real raised eyebrow), so I can see things for myself. I have learnt lots and have enjoyed the process, even when unpicking challenging things.
Here are 13 reasons you might want to hire a coach:
1. You want to make a change. A new job. A new career. A new location. A step away from the corporate world. A move to a portfolio career. You might not even know what the change is yet and want to work through what is important to you in the future and build a plan for achieving it.
2. You want someone to talk to with no personal agenda. Confiding in a coach is not like confiding in your mum, your partner or your best friend who may be impacted by a choice you make and (even subconsciously) may try to steer you in a particular direction because of their feelings on the subject.
3. You want someone to talk to with no business agenda. Ditto but for work colleagues. Or if you are at the top of the organisation you may want a non-judgemental sounding board.
4. You want to talk freely and know it will be confidential. You can open up to a coach without fear of them passing something on. Credible coaches are bound by ethics and will not talk about you or things you have discussed. This will be explained as part of your contracting process.
5. You know you need someone to hold you accountable. If you know you have a session booked and paid for with your coach on Wednesday morning at 10am, you are far more likely to put in the time to do the preparation before then. If you are someone who has a tendency to procrastinate on certain things, a coach can help you to get to action and create a deadline.
6. You want someone to help guide your thinking. You may be going round in circles, or you might always think the same way about things. A coach will use questions and coaching exercises to help you see things differently. My coach recently stopped me full flow as I was talking about my process for writing website content. He said stop. Put those papers down. Now tell me what you want to say. It was like a weight lifted. I had got myself tied up notetaking and was then free to think clearly.
7. You are in a spiral of negative thinking and are finding it difficult to break out of it on your own. A coach will support you during the difficult times. They will also constructively challenge you, but will read how far to push. Sometimes we all need a third party to help us get back on track. Or on a new track.
8. You want to work in a different way. You may find it hard to switch off when you are away from work. You might find you aren’t fully present with your family when you are at home. You might find it almost impossible to go out without your work mobile. Whatever behaviour you want to change, a coach can work on it with you.
9. You need support with something. A transition that is happening to you. A new boss. A step up internally to lead people you have previously worked alongside. A move into a new organisation. An acquisition of your business. You may benefit from having a confidante who is there for you and can give you support you maybe don’t get elsewhere.
10. You need some (positive) challenge. Maybe you are surrounded by ‘yes’ people, or a team who are very diplomatic because you are the boss, and you don’t think you are getting people’s full opinions. A coach can play devil’s advocate and help you see things from different angles. They will raise that eyebrow, or give you that feedback that not everyone is brave enough to say. They will mention the elephant in the room.
11. You want to stop putting off ‘the thing’. You know in your heart of hearts there is something you want or need to do but something is stopping you. Whatever it is, a coach can help you tackle it. And it is such a satisfying start putting that coaching session in the diary and knowing you are going to move forward.
12. You want to stick to a change you have made. It can be really hard to resist reverting to what is known, comfortable, or easy. A coach can help you break your old habit and form a new one. See also point 5.
13. You want to reenergise yourself. Maybe you are close to burnout. Many people are. Maybe your recent priorities have had you drawing on your skills rather than your strengths – things you can do, but that drain you. A Strengths Coach can help you understand your energising strengths and make sure you are using them. This helps you feel more resilient and confident as well as reenergised.
Coaching has been a game changer for me in many ways. I am an advocate for drawing on experts when you need help.
I am scheduling exploration sessions now with potential new coachees. If you would like to know more about working with me, get in touch.
If you want to find a different type of coach there are many wonderful ones out there, these resources may be helpful: