Do you – or did you ever – play a sport? “Put me in, Coach!” That’s what an athlete says when he or she wants to GET IN THE GAME! Most of us have played something during our lives, and we learned the necessity of a coach to teach us how to play, including showing us the rules, techniques, strategies – and perhaps most importantly, the encouragement when the game gets tough. So, we know coaches are great for baseball, football, soccer, tennis, swimming, you name your sport… but what about the “Game of Life” ??? Are you standing on the sidelines, sitting on the bench, or are you hopping up to say, “Put me in, Coach!”
More and more people are finding the value of having someone to turn to for that extra support and accountability when we need it the most. The “coaching industry” has exploded in the past decade or so, with people who have “been there, done that” stepping forward to share their experience and expertise in a field. With so many coaches out there now, how do you know who would be the coach to help you?
Here are “The 5 ‘tions’ to Finding the Perfect Coach for You.”
1. Connection. First and foremost, you have to have a connection with the coach. You gotta “get them” and they gotta “get you” or the relationship probably won’t be beneficial. Every client and every coach has a different personality, and they need to mesh. Some say cuss words, others prefer to speak less colorfully. Some are more spiritual, others are more matter-of-fact. Most coaches will offer a free webinar or even a complimentary conversation before making a commitment to a coaching relationship. Take advantage of those opportunities to ensure you have that connection going forward.
2. Qualifications. Not all coaches are created equal – and there are many different “types” of coaches – life, business, marketing, social media, organization, spiritual, yoga, etc. While the coaching industry is not particularly regulated like counseling or social work is, there are several professional programs in which coaches may participate to earn a certification. Having a certification may or may not be a necessity to help them help you; however, someone who does have special training in their field is usually a smart choice. You wouldn’t hire a plumber if he hadn’t ever been under a sink before, would you? The tools they use in their coaching consulting are another consideration for qualifications. And, do they “walk the talk” – that is, are they personally doing what they’re teaching you to do?
3. Expectations. It’s a big deal to make sure the expectations of a coaching relationship are clear before moving forward with an agreement, which really should be in writing to protect both the client and the coach. Will your coaching program meet daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and how will those meetings take place, individually or in a group, and what are the tools included with the program? What is the “promise” of the program? There are several coaches who make amazing-sounding offers, that allow you to believe they can help you make 5-figures in 30 days without having an email list. It’s up to you to decide if that is a realistic expectation.
4. Communication. If you’re going to engage with a coach, it’s vital to have honest and open lines of communication – in both directions. You’ll need to be able to be 100% honest with your coach about where you are and where you want to go. You should be willing to allow them to call you out on your excuses. The coach should be willing and able to respond to you in a timely manner in the method you mutually agree is most reasonable – whether that’s within 24 hours by phone or by the end of the day via email, as well as accept constructive feedback on their coaching program and style. Without a healthy exchange of communication, the coaching relationship probably won’t be productive for either party.
5. Congratulations. Assuming all of the above “tions” have been satisfied, congratulations will be in order. When both the client and the coach are ready to step up and be willing to share the partnership of growing and up-leveling the part of your life and/or business you desire, then there is cause for celebration. You deserve congratulations for being willing to step outside your comfort zone – get off the bench, as it were! – and take proactive steps for positive change. You want a coach who is able to say Congrats to you over even the small victories, one will recognize your efforts, and be supportive and encouraging. And, the client needs to be willing to say “way to go” when the coach gives them the help they need. It should be a mutually rewarding relationship.
Keep in mind, there are many coaches who would love to help you reach your goals. The good news is, there are also enough clients to go around. I believe there is a perfect plan for all of us, and that we are all meant to connect with the individual who is meant to connect with us. If you make a connection with someone who has the necessary qualifications and meets your expectations, and your lines of communication are fired up, Congratulations – you’ve found yourself your perfect coach. If you have been pondering the possibility of finding a coach, and you feel that perhaps you and I have a “connection” worth exploring, please feel free to message me (email@example.com) and we’ll have a conversation. <— that’s another “tion” ! 🙂