Six Things You Should Know About Leadership Coaching
I am enamoured by the process of coaching. It is a powerful process that can unlock hidden self-truths, let authentic passion rise up and create the stepping stones to make dreams come alive. Sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it? If you are thinking of engaging a coach, but not sure if coaching is for you, I would like to offer these six things to consider so you can find the right person, coach or not, that can support you in the positive shifts that you are looking for.
Megaphone free zone
Sports coaching is where for most of us we first heard the word ‘coaching’. My rowing coach at uni was an excellent example of a sports coach. He would call out to us through a megaphone as we rowed down the Yarra, pointing out all the things each of us was doing wrong and giving us tips to improve.
But what we are talking about here is the psychology of coaching, and it is a very different approach. It is still about support growth, but it is based on the idea of having a conversation that promotes positive change. It is connected, and it is a judgement free space.
Help you find your own answers
One of the premises of coaching psychology is that a coach will help you to find your own answers. This is a very different approach to advisors and mentor that give advice and tell you what to do. If you want someone to tell you what to do, then an advisor or a mentor is probably a better fit for you. If you would like to work with someone who can help you to shine the light on the answers within you, then a coach will be more your speed.
Now you may be thinking, ‘If I have the answers in me, why do I need a coach?’ And I would say, “great question’.
What I find is that we all do have the answers in us, but they are often a bit like that odd sock, or your keys when you are late. They are there, and a bit hidden. Usually under a pile of other thoughts and concerns. Or in a dark corner or pushed to the back. A coach is like having a finding flashlight at your disposal that will help you to access these answers.
And why not just get advice? If we are constantly following the advice of others, then we are not only dependant on others for our answers, but we are also not letting our truth and direction come out. I know that for me, when I follow others advice and not listen to my own answers, then I can get utterly off-course from my own vision.
Respect your readiness to change
Change is a funny old thing. Sometimes it is the most natural thing in the world. You just think ‘I want to make that change’, and Shazam… you do it. At other times you think about it for a while and then work up to it. Some changes you aren’t even thinking about yet. Now a thing that I think is cool about coaching is that it works with where someone is at regarding their readiness to change and see that where they are at right now is just perfect. And working through the layers of readiness is so crucial in bringing about change that will last the distance beyond the pure drive of willpower.
Think about times in your life where you have tried to make changes, but your heart wasn’t really in it. Quite often, they are shoulds, and usually, they are a need to give something up.
And how did it go? Did you find that you made a change for a little while but couldn’t sustain it?
If this is your experience, working with a coach to turn your should into an affirmative action that you are excited about could make all the difference.
Collaborate on solution
Coaches come with a wealth of knowledge and don’t give advice. It sounds a bit silly, doesn’t it? In fact, I think it is pretty brilliant. Skilled coaches can share this know-how without messing up your self-efficacy by telling you what to do. And this is done through collaborating.
One way that I love seeing this playing out in a good brainstorm. Your brilliance, your idea and answers can bounce off your coach’s ideas and suggestions. At the end of the brainstorm, you have a list of co-created ideas that you can see what ones ring true to you. I am always blown away by the creative and aligned ideas that come out of these conversations.
Believe in you
One thing that coaches to really well is to believe in you. They will listen to you, not judge you, see that you are exactly where you need to be right now and believe in you and the change that you want for yourself. Having someone on your ‘team’ who is always there and will see you with unwavering positive regard is invaluable. There are times when your internal frenemies (doubt, worry, negative self-talk, etc..) will try to rock your own self-belief. Having a coach in your corner whose belief in you is unwavering can get your own self-believe back on track quicker.
We are all different and have different ways that we interact with goals, change growth and well life in general. The beauty of a coach is that it is not a one size fits all approach. It is highly personalised, and what you come out with at the end of each session is built for you.
Skilled coaches will also help to highlight your own personal styles for how you interact with the world. Whether it is how you learn, make decisions, interact with others, like to work, plan and make things happen and so on. Knowing more about your style will help you to move smarter, and in a way that is more aligned with your personality.
As you can see, I am all gushy about leadership coaching. I believe in the power of these conversations to help you move out of any stuckness that is happening in your professional life.
What do you think? Which ideas light you up about having a coaching conversation? What doesn’t light you up? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Looking for a coach? Check out our Inner Leadership Coaching Packages and see if we are a coaching match made in the stars.