It’s true to say that there are a LOT of coaches in the market. You can have a coach for almost anything from a divorce coach to golf coach, and there are mixed feelings being expressed about the efficacy of coaching, HOWEVER one of the missing ingredients from many coaching equations is the coaching client taking responsibility for
• The selection of the coach in the first place, i.e. were they the appropriate professional to meet your needs
• Making the most of the professional service they are paying for
Like engaging any professional service, you really want to ensure you’re gaining maximum bang for your buck.
So here are my 5 top tips to gaining the most from your coach
1. Be Demanding
No, I don’t mean demand they do the work for you, they should NOT and a great coach will not. I mean be demanding, show up, have a list of what you want covered at every session, this could include emailing through your list ahead of time and attaching any documents you want assistance in reviewing (if that’s appropriate to your coaching situation). It’s up to you to drive the coaching relationship and the outcomes.
In my coaching practice, I offer coaching on demand, where I encourage my clients to email coaching requests between weekly sessions so that we can progress them more quickly. Very few people take full advantage of this opportunity.
2. View it as a Partnership
Your coach is your equal, yes they have expertise that you can leverage however that does not make them your superior. It’s a profound privilege to facilitate someone else’s growth, and great coaches understand that they also learn from their interaction with their client’s.
The foundation of profoundly successful coaching relationships is mutual respect.
3. DO The Work
It’s amazing how many individuals take on coaches and DO NOT do what is required to gain the results. They commit to undertaking certain activities and just don’t. They live in the world of excuses and blame – I’m too busy, I don’t know how, the dog ate my homework, you get the picture, right?
We’re not children, although many adults behave like them in this context while others Get Committed and Commitment = Results, if you’re not getting results then you’re not committed and your coach should be calling you on it.
4. Get a Return on Your Investment (ROI)
No matter what kind of coaching you are receiving there should be a very clear ROI. It’s something you should agree on with your coach at the get go and be measuring all the way along. Even intangible things can be measured. For example you want to improve your relationship with your children, you may agree that the number of evenings you leave work to be home for dinner, bed and bath time with your family is a measure.
Other ROI’s are clearly driven via financial returns. Improving your income for example by using a business, career, sales or leadership coach.
5. Can The Coach Deliver Sustainability
The true value derived from your coaching relationship, I believe, should be the sustainability of the changes you make. Real transformation occurs when the shift becomes integral to who you are, it becomes part of your DNA. The changes should not be short lived and they should not require ongoing coaching to maintain them. We’ve all been there, what a waste of time, money and energy.
An effective coach will provide you with the skills and the tools to continue successfully on you way, hence your coaching investment is the gift that keeps on giving. Now that’s a priceless value proposition.