Five Things You Can Expect

There’s a lot of hype around business and life coaches.

It requires a firm commitment of money, time and follow-through. What are some of the concrete benefits of being coached, you may ask?

To set realistic expectations, let’s start with what you cannot expect from your coach.

What a brilliant coach won’t do

1. A coach cannot put in what is not there

We all have unique strengths and weaknesses. There’re the things that we enjoy doing and the things we loathe doing. This fact is particularly applicable to coaching too. So if you’re a bigger picture thinker and your coach insists on you doing admin-related and detailed-orientated tasks time and time again, you may do them the first few times, but eventually, your true nature will prevail and the detail- orientated tasks will be left behind in the dust. Similarly, if you’re someone who likes doing administrative tasks, and your coach asks you to envision a 5 or 10 year plan, you’ll most likely struggle. You see where I’m going with this, don’t you? A brilliant coach will draw out your strengths and help you use them to get to your goals. She/he cannot help you do things outside your strengths zone, outside of what you want to do. Simply put, a coach cannot nurture anything that isn’t there in the first place.

2. A coach will not allow you to use the coaching as a crutch

Time and again I have seen instances where someone has a coach in order to delude themselves that they’re moving forward. You can never underestimate how creative people can get when it comes to excuses. If you have a coach make sure you are getting the benefits outlined below. Otherwise, you could be using coaching as a thinly veiled excuse where you trick yourself into believing that you’re doing something tangible towards your goals. You’ve even enlisted the expertise of a coach. How much more commitment can you possibly show, right? At least from the outside it looks like you’re being proactive about your success. But equally important as the investment of time and money is the necessary outlay of follow-through (and for most that’s the trickiest part). If merely paying your coach is as much commitment and dedication as you’re going to show then realistically you’re not doing anything substantial to move towards your goals.

What a brilliant coach will do

1. Focus on results

I know coaches who will work with their client for a set number of sessions only. Their commitment is to help you in the area you’re looking to excel in those allotted sessions. Some brilliant coaches don’t do this, yet still have a strong focus on results. Either way, you have to feel that you are getting tangible results.

2. Focus on your strengths

When we shine the spotlight on our strengths and do what we like and what we’re good at, we’re unstoppable. A great coach will highlight your unique strengths and help you apply them to the outcomes you’re seeking to achieve. It’s beneficial to identify your weaknesses so that you are able to delegate these, but focusing on your weaknesses slows you down. Make sure your coach is helping you utilise your strengths to their full potential.

3. Open your mind to new ways of thinking

We are limited in our perception of the world. We have filters that shape our experience of people as well as of life. A brilliant coach is trained in human behaviour, so much so that she/he can offer you various perspectives in a way that you’re receptive to them. It’s an incredibly helpful process to have someone open your mind to the array of ways life and people, so that we’re not stuck in solitude in our heads, limited by our constrained perception of the world.

4. Help you be more solutions-driven for yourself

A brilliant coach will help you train your brain to come up with solutions for yourself. By opening your mind of new ways of thinking and having you ask yourself quality questions and answer them, you are rewiring your brain to solve problems on your own. If a coach builds your reliance on the coaching and makes you feel that you need her/him to get to the solutions, this is hindering you in the long term.

5. Give you an increased level of self-worth and confidence

When you feel good about yourself and confident, when you know your self-worth, you can do anything, you can achieve anything. Life and certain people in our lives can at times cloud how great and powerful we really are. A brilliant coach makes sure that you walk away with a strong sense of unwavering confidence.

Each coaching experience is unique and different. We all perceive the world differently. I have no doubt that there are many more benefits of coaching that aren’t listed here.

What have you found to be the benefits of coaching? I love hearing from you and enriching my own understanding of this profession. Every day is a learning day.