If you’re here then you are probably considering a coach, either for business or personal reasons. Take a moment to read this outline on what you should be thinking about before you make a choice.
Be clear about what results you want.
You’ve decided you want some coaching on an area. What outcomes do you want? If you don’t decide this up front, you won’t know when you get there. This is about deciding for yourself what successful looks like for you.
Decide what you want from your coach.
What is the role that they can support you best in? It may be that you need the ability to have an independent listener, or that you need someone to hold you accountable. Maybe you need a safe place to be able to brainstorm what your next step is. Maybe it’s about how you turn thoughts into action. Whatever it is, make sure that your coach knows what it is, so that they can be best placed to work with you in the way that you want
Understand what you don’t want.
What would bad coaching look like for you and make you feel like you had not received value for money? Again, sharing this with your coach can help them to understand what will work against the success of the coaching relationship. Discussing this up front with your coach will help you keep to boundaries that work for you and also mean that your coach has a clear flag of demotivators for you.
Set some goals for your overall coaching.
What was it that made you come to a coach? What would make you really feel that it was the right decision that moved you forwards and got you the result that you wanted? Setting goals for your overall coaching which a good coach will do in the very early stages of working with you will ensure that you have something to judge the success of the coaching against. It will enable you as the client to see what progress you have made as you work through your coaching program.
Understand where you are coming from.
What does the coach need to know about you and your background to be effective for you? This may be sharing things about your background and how it fits with your overall situation that you want coaching for.
Build on your successes to date.
You’ve probably already taken some actions towards your goal. Understanding what these are puts you in a stronger position by helping you to see the positive things that you have already done. It’s too easy sometimes to focus on what we didn’t do rather than what we did Learn from your life lessons and bring them to the coaching process. Be open about how what you have learned in life will help you to be stronger and get more from coaching.
What are your expectations?
Talking through your expectations with your coach will absolutely help you to make sure that they are met. If your coach doesn’t know, it’s going to be a bit hit and miss. If something that you expected to happen isn’t happening, find out why, especially if this is something that has been committed to. Your coach will also share with you what their expectations of you are – that’s right – it works both ways!
Positive mental attitude.
Have a “can do, will give it a go, willing to try something new” attitude to life and coaching. Think about the positives of any experience. If you don’t have positives or you’re too close to what is a very powerful experience, make a note of it and how you are feeling then come back to it later. Ask yourself what the positive intent and learning could have been behind this experience. How has it helped make you stronger?
This is with yourself, with those around you, with your coach. In fact, just be honest. Be open to the fact that sometimes coaching will seem difficult as it will be challenging some of the ways that you think about things and the way that you have done things in the past.
Be open to the process.
Being open will enable you to have new experiences. Be open to all kinds of things about how it may work – try new things whilst you are being coached, be the person you think you are, be open to being challenged, be open to sharing what’s at the root of your issue, be open to celebrating your success.