The last thing you want to do when you’ve hired an expensive coach is waste lots of valuable coaching time trying to identify what you want to be coached on. I’ve experienced hundreds of coaching conversations (some of which as a client rather than as the coach) where the whole thirty minute session has gone by and the closest we’ve got to articulating a particular goal has been “I think that’s what I want to do.”
It’s not because the client doesn’t want to be coached. Nor is it because the coaching is ineffective. It’s much more because the client hasn’t really done much reflecting of their own beforehand. They haven’t really got themselves COACHING-READY.
As a Certified Professional Coactive Coach I have worked with business owners, entrepreneurs, executives, educationalists, public sector workers and private individuals. I have also been coached myself, and I have found that across the professions and occupations people generally share similar progress blocks.
Often we say “I can’t do that” or “I don’t know where to start” or “What would people say if I did that”?
No matter what our circumstances or our personality, the things that hold us back are largely:
- our confused view of ourselves, our experience and our potential
- an inflated sense of the task ahead
- our own ability to self-sabotage.
I’ve also noticed our reluctance to respond to questions like “What do you want?”, “What does success look like?”, “How will you know when you’ve made it?”, “What is your unique talent or skill?”
Coaches are very well-trained to coax out answers to these questions. They are remarkably patient and compassionate human beings who want so much for us to succeed: they talk about championing and challenging us to get us to the next level, the place we wish to be. But the onus is still on us to make things happen, and if they aren’t the right things for us, they ain’t going to happen.
So before you think about hiring that coach and making all that investment…
And no, not just writing about what you did in your day, who nicked your milk from the office fridge, or how many times you changed your toddler’s nappy.
Journaling is much more about being able to reflect on your experience, your purpose, what’s important to you, what you want from life and work, and what’s the best way you’re going to go about getting it. The best way for YOU, that is.
Writing a journal is a fantastic way to get to know ourselves and to begin allowing ourselves to admit to our dreams and aspirations. It’s also an amazing way to build up our inner resilience, and to trust that deep down inside we do actually have all our own answers.
By spending a few pounds on an inviting notebook and a smooth-writing pen, and then by investing some time working through kick-off phrases, inquiries and journal writing exercises, you’ll be able to hit the ground running with your coach. If you’re clear on WHO you are and WHAT you want to achieve, your coach can help you with HOW you’re going to get there, and you’ll get a lot more bang from your coaching buck.