If you feel you want to take a bold step in your life, you might need a coach.
If you feel you want to quit a job that’s literally killing you but you’re scared to take that bold step, you might need a coach.
If your business is not where it needs to be, you might need a coach.
If your business is facing hard financial times, you might need a coach.
If your business need to teach old employees new technology, you might need a coach.
If you feel you need someone to help you be more accountable, you might need a coach.
As a Tai Chi instructor and Lean Six Sigma process manager, I found that helping individuals and businesses determine their own path and strategies was far more fulfilling than simply telling them what to do.
What’s the old ancient Chinese saying?
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
In select cases, people don’t mind being told what to do but, if given the chance, they'd prefer figuring things out by themselves. Unfortunately, they're caught between a rock and a hard spot because situations disables them to inaction. One clear case when you need a coach is when you are frozen in time due to inaction.
What should you expect from a life or business coach?
A coach’s job is to pre-assess a person or business wants and need, motivations, and obstacles that get in the way. Then through a “discovery” phase, an individual or business determines or develops a strategy or action plan.
When I stumbled upon the idea of being a life and business coach, I sat, meditated and came upon an idea to create a unique delivery system consisting of training, mentoring and coaching. After all, I have many years of Lean Six Sigma management processing and Tai Chi and Qigong teaching under my belt. I’ve since used the combined approach on those who benefited tremendously. I would be the first to admit that there is no “one size fits all” solution, but I believe a person who assumes the role of coach should recognize what to look for to properly assist a client. In order for this to happen, the coach must be a good listener to help the client formulate the best plan.
My goal is to help and steer a person or business towards the right direction. I’ve seen and experienced a lot in my 60 plus years with a long list of mistakes I wish I could take back. I’ve been told that a person's character can be measured by the number of scar tissue found on his body and in his heart.
I’m sure there’s wisdom in the words "if it doesn’t kill you, it'll make you stronger."
It is this pain and misgiving coaches share as value-added benefit to their clients. Who can argue that learning from other's mistakes is not a good thing?
The four basic phases of coaching
Action and accountability
A pre-assessment session starts with a client completing a pre-assessment questionnaire with open-ended and scaling questions. The coach goes over the questions and answers with the client and formulate general and specific objectives.
Once the client is clear about what he wants to achieve, he undergoes a "discovery" where the coach provides a series of suggestions and methods as to what strategy and tactics to take. The client chooses to discard or accept this information and drafts up a plan that is specific, measurable, accountable, reasonable and timely. The coach provides advice on time management, capacity planning, scheduling, and methodology. Despite this help, the client ultimately draws his own blueprint.
The "action and accountability" phase is where the coach motivates and encourages the client to implement the plan, stay on course and be held accountable.
The "resolution" phase is last series of meetings and events where the client reaches his or her objectives.
This four-phase process takes many forms, which can be simple and short with several meetings or as long as years and possibly indefinite.
How to Find the Right Coach
Coaches are either generalists or specialists. For example, some coaches can handle a wide variety of subject matters and services; however, they might not have the skills, education nor experience to deal with deep seated issues that are, for example, spiritual or psychological in nature. Though coaches aren't therapists they use techniques outside the purview of "therapy" to help clients determine their own path and destiny.
My specialty is in individual and business process management. Accepting a client with psychological issues would fall outside my expertise and comfort zone. If someone approached me with these problems, I would recommend a therapist.
The best place to look is in the Internet. Once you find someone, ask what's his/her specialty is; fees and methods; and how to proceed.
Because the coaching relationship is based upon trust, a client should never chose a coach unless confidence is assured.