When people discover that I am a life coach, most often I get two responses. There is the nod and smile followed by “what made you decide to do that?” which makes me think their understanding of coaching is vague. The other response I get is the spontaneous scoop on Uncle George or some other person in their life who they deem in great need of someone like me.
To be fair, prior to completing my coaching certification program, my concept of coaching was not completely accurate either. In fact, I had some pretty big misconceptions. It’s just hard to have a clear picture of something you’ve never experienced, right?
I believe wholeheartedly in the coaching process and that’s why I work with a coach myself. For me, the mind shifts, self-discovery, and the space to process important aspects of my life and businesses have been invaluable! I have grown as a person, reached goals I previously thought were beyond my reach, and unraveled some ways of thinking that were holding me back. By the way, one of the questions you might want to ask a coach you’re looking to hire: Do you work with a coach yourself? That will tell you just how much they believe in the coaching process!
My heart is for you to get everything you can out of your coaching experience with me; that you will be able to get to the heart of the matter and experience transformational change in your life so that you can fully live the life you’ve been given. You and I get one shot at this life adventure. Why not embrace it in a way that truly makes a difference, is fulfilling, and glorifies God?
Until you are able to experience coaching for yourself, here are ten things I wish you knew:
1. Coaches aren’t perfect
Nope! I hate to burst your bubble, but nobody is perfect, not even me! I wouldn’t even say that coaches are experts on life. I know I’m not. I’ve made some big mistakes and learned some incredibly valuable lessons. And I am still learning!
To be honest, you wouldn’t want a perfect coach – who can relate to that? You want a coach who has survived some challenges and come out on the other side!
What makes a coach worth hiring? It is their ability to listen and their expertise in knowing what questions to ask; they are someone who is able to help you get to the heart of what needs to change and help you create a strategy to move forward. And they don’t have to be an expert in whatever you do to be able to do that.
2. Coaching is not just for the out of balance, struggling ones
You might be surprised to learn that many people seek out a coach not because they are failing or in need of big change. Nope! Many successful people seek out a coach —that’s part of the reason they are successful! They recognize the value of a fresh perspective and proactively seeking ways to change and grow.
In fact, in many cases, people with significant problems would benefit more from counseling, which helps people explore and resolve issues in their past.
For people who want to move forward in life, expand their horizons, and reach their goals and dreams – those are the ones that will benefit from coaching.
3. Coaching is a worthwhile investment
Yes, coaching is definitely an investment in both money and time, but moving forward – that’s priceless! The real question is what is it costing you to not pursue coaching? How much time are you wasting? Do you value yourself enough to invest in coaching?
4. Coaches don’t give advice
Perhaps one of the biggest misconceptions about coaching is that coaches give advice. That makes sense in light of what coaches do when working with athletes. However, if you want advice, you might want to hire a consultant.
In coaching, you set the agenda for each coaching session. Coaches operate under the assumption that you are resourceful, and create an environment where you can tap into that resourcefulness so that you can make the decisions that are best for you.
5. Coaching creates needed space
Even though I have eliminated the word busy from my vocabulary, the truth is that life moves fast. It can be challenging to find time to pause, reflect, and strategize. Sadly, you often spin your wheels unnecessarily because you fail to maintain margins or slow down long enough to consider how you can do things smarter and better. Having that coaching session on the calendar forces you to pause in an incredibly advantageous way.
You might think I don’t understand just how crazy your schedule is. Believe me, I do! I’ve done life that way. It’s exhausting! When your schedule is jammed – that’s the perfect time to include coaching. Taking an hour to focus will bring the perspective to your life and work that you need! Plus since coaching is done over the phone, there’s no transit time! That’s a plus!
6. The results…
You can have the most amazing coach on the planet, but if you don’t take action you won’t get results! When it comes to coaching, the results hinge on you.
7. The coaching relationship
As a coach, I naturally ask lots of questions. My family and friends often share with me aspects of their life that they want to explore. And from time to time, I do the same. These “friendly” conversations are quite different from the ones I have with my clients or with my coach.
Don’t get me wrong, I have a friendly rapport with my clients. As a coach, I am your advocate. I want the very best for you! I want you to reach your goals and for you to succeed. I’ll hold you accountable and challenge you to stretch and grow in ways that might feel uncomfortable – maybe even more than you believe you are capable of at times. And when you get where you want to be, we will celebrate together! Those are marvelous moments!
My focus is exclusively on you, your challenges, your dreams, and your goals.
8. You are a leader
Yes, I am a Life Coach and I specialize in Leadership Coaching. That means that I have experience and training in areas pertaining to leadership including business development, management, negotiations, etc.
Whatever role God’s given you in this season, you are a leader. After all, you have the most important job of all right now – leading YOU!
Even if your current role requires you to also lead others, you must still lead yourself first! So whether you need life coaching or leadership coaching, the lines often get blurred because life is not compartmentalized. What affects you in life, affects you as a leader, and vice versa.
9. Push through the wall
When working with clients, they often sail along in the beginning and then things get hard. That’s when they are tempted to space their sessions further apart. The fact that things have gotten challenging is a fabulous sign – it means they are getting close to the big breakthrough they need in order to get where they want to be. I get that it might not feel that way, but spacing out sessions guarantees that they will slow down the momentum and lesson their chances of accomplishing what they set out to accomplish.
So, I want you to know in advance that you will need to be brave! Stick with it and resist the urge to slow down the momentum if you just happen to be one of those people who hits the wall!
10. Christian Coaching points people to God
When it comes to coaching, Christians are often the most skeptical. They are leery that a coach might be trying to take the place of God in their lives. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, as a Christian coach, my heart is to point you to God and to keep Him at the center of our time together. My sessions begin and end with prayer and as my clients well know, my questions often bring God into the equation. And I rely on God to guide me during my sessions.
Does that mean I only coach those that share my faith? No, I have no problem coaching those who believe differently than I do – I just want to be upfront about my beliefs.
I’m curious…what would you like to know about coaching?
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