Two month ago, I hired a coach, Gerry Rose, to help me make positive changes.
Over the last 3 years, my business has been good. Now I want it to be great. I want to strengthen my brand and boost my revenue while having fun. Like any other business, the leadership development and coaching business has become increasingly competitive. Everyday more and more coaches enter our field; former executives, psychologists, personal fitness trainers, etc. are hanging out their shingles and open coaching practices. I’d better stand out, differentiate myself, attract, and sign up more clients.
One of my core principle as an executive coach is to “apply what I teach”. Therefore, I better have a coach myself! I believe it will make me an even better, more compassionate, insightful coach because I experience what my clients are experiencing. I go through the same struggles that my clients go through.
Here are 5 suggestions to get the most out of your coaching experience to create positive lasting change:
Make a (real) commitment: it is very easy to say, “I’m going to make positive changes.” Doing it is a different challenge. In my second month of being coached, I realize (and my coach Gerry knows) that I am not doing all the things I want to do or said I am going to do. It can be hard to change old habits. Unless the commitment is there, real changes won’t happen. I have seen it so many times in my own clients. Words are cheap.
Pick a coach that is really invested in you. Make sure you develop the confidence in your coach so that s/he will get you to the “next level”. Asking your colleagues and co-workers for referrals can save you valuable time. There are 3 important factors in selecting the “right” coach.
(1) Develop a personal relationship with your coach
(2) Check their relevant background and coaching qualification; Can your coach relate to your challenges and help you deal with them?
(3) Ask about client success stories or talk to references / former clients about their experience with your prospective coach. Who are his clients and what benefits did they receive?
Clarify your expected outcome and connect it to desired behavior change: Setting a goal of “making more money” or “being a better leader” is a very vague goal. I suggest that you link your goal to revenue or a behavior. Ask yourself, “for me to make more money, what can I change in my behavior? What can I do better to contribute more value to my team, my employer, and my clients?”
Be willing to get challenged: One of the biggest obstacles in creating change is the person making the change. The coach is not responsible for making change – he is the facilitator and “guide” who cares, believes and challenges the client with insightful questions.
Stick with your coach for at least 6 months: Lasting behavioral changes don’t come easy and usually, they don’t come fast. Usually, there are roadblocks, distractions, and interruptions on the way. Progress is not linear. It happens quite often that we make two steps forward and then one step back. Set backs happen. That is when the coach is there to carry you through the challenges.
I am excited about working with Gerry and creating positive lasting changes in my own behavior and my business. Gerry has lit a fire in me and already helps me “become more comfortable with being uncomfortable”. One thing I can rely on with him is that he is diligent, caring, responsive, and guides me on the right path. That is what great coaches do.