We’ve discussed how coaches can succeed, but I’d like to talk a little today about how both you and your coach can fail. There are many reasons for a failure to happen—and they often do—but why? Let’s find out…
Both Parties Have to Want It
All too often, coaches are assigned to people who don’t think they need help or don’t want help. Imagine being approached after delivering a speech and being told by that person that your boss thinks you need a coach to help with your presentations. The immediate reaction of most people would be, “I don’t need help. I’m doing just fine.”
For coaching to be truly successful, the person receiving the coaching must want it. Otherwise, it will be like dragging a horse behind you with one hand tied behind your back. Eventually, you may succeed, but not without a series of constant uphill battles.
When Your Coach Shouldn’t Be Coaching
Anyone can call himself or herself a coach. But that doesn’t mean they have the expertise or the experience to improve your condition. Before engaging the services of a coach, ask them to provide specific examples of how they have helped people with similar objectives to yours achieve their full potential. Ask questions regarding their background, and don’t be afraid to probe deeply. There are lots of coaches who have no business coaching. Make sure yours doesn’t fall into this category.
Coaching in Perpetuity
An effective coach works with their clients to set objectives and measurements of success before the engagement begins. The coach gets the job done within an agreed upon time period and disengages when their work is done. Compare this to the model where a coach comes in to work on a specific issue and never leaves the organization. A good coach knows when his work is done and encourages their clients to soar on their own.
You Have a Mentor, but Not a Coach
Lots of people think they have coaches when in fact they have mentors. Ask one hundred people to explain the difference between a coach and a mentor, and you will most likely get a hundred different answers. Most people would agree, however, that there is a difference. Before you start looking around for a coach, you must determine what specifically you are looking to gain from this type of relationship. Once you’ve answered this question, you’ll know whether your needs are best served by a mentor or a coach.
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