Have you ever wondered why some people become Olympic champions, Academy Award winners, or financial geniuses while others—often equally talented, creative, or ambitious—can’t seem to fulfill their dreams? No one would argue that ability and motivation play a role in success, but there’s usually another less obvious component: Not even the most talented people become champions without help.
Superstars share a common denominator: not only are they constantly learning new skills for improving their performance, but they are receptive to coaching. It’s been said that Tiger Woods employs four coaches and Magic Johnson had six. Visit a gymnastics or tennis training camp and watch all the coaches at work. Elite athletes can’t imagine competing at the highest levels of their sport without their coaches.
A typical coach provides a simple yet effective structure of support to assist you in moving forward in one or more areas of your life. At the ultimate level, personal coaching can encompass your whole life, leading you to balance, fulfillment, a higher quality of life, and the realization of your goals, aspirations, and true potential. The best coaching combines aspects of psychology, motivation, teamwork, desire, and spirituality with the goal of bringing out your very best. Working with a personal coach can help you discover more clarity, focus, and direction; increased enthusiasm and confidence; less procrastination and fewer obstacles; greater results in a shorter period of time; and an enhanced positive attitude and increased self-esteem.
While world-class athletes have long known its benefits, coaching has only recently become popular among the general public. Thomas Leonard, founder of Coach University, believes that people today want instant results. Plus, he adds, “It’s hip to have your own coach.” Like many new industries, the demand for coaching is fueling its growth.
Working with a coach offers numerous benefits. The San Diego Business Journal (October 12, 1998) described a survey by the International Coach Federation (ICF) of 210 coaching clients. More than a third reported that coaching was helping them complete projects and improve their relationships with bosses or co-workers. More than one-fourth reported increased income, while 17.1% found that coaching improved their own business’s profitability.
In addition, coaching provides the advantage of an ongoing relationship in which ideas are implemented and results are produced. Have you ever found yourself falling back into the same old habits when you sincerely intended to implement new ideas? Could you benefit from a little more accountability and encouragement to do what’s necessary? If so, personal, one-on-one coaching could be invaluable.
To help you decide whether coaching is for you, it’s crucial to evaluate your receptiveness to coaching, identify your purpose, and make a firm commitment.
Finding a coach can be as simple as opening your eyes. Have you ever heard of the “red Mustang syndrome”? It’s a common occurrence; once you decide to buy a red Mustang, you start seeing them everywhere! Likewise, when you are truly ready, coaches will appear. Remember, a coach doesn’t necessarily need credentials and a title to be effective. The most important thing is to find someone you trust, who has your best interests in mind, and who motivates and inspires you to excel.
For coaching in your professional life, your best resource may be a successful member of your industry. Look for someone who has specific expertise in your field and the ability of drawing from that experience to help others. Ask your peers for recommendations and seek the experts. On the other hand, you might prefer a coach who is not experienced in your industry but who can effectively coach you in more general ways and lead you from where you are now to where you want to be.
Physical fitness training offers examples of different coaching styles. For example, I meet with a workout coach two or three times a week for an hour each session. An expert in her field, she possesses detailed knowledge that I do not and she pushes me harder than I would push myself. The workouts are not easy, but the results are fantastic. Her expertise has brought results I never had when working without a coach.
On the other hand, I have a friend who trains with a different kind of coach, one who is not an “expert” but who has achieved the results my friend wants. Her coach motivates and keeps her accountable for regular sessions, offers the benefit of her own experience, and acts as a role model. With the benefit of her coach’s experience, my friend is getting great results, too.
As a Quality of Life Coach, my clients receive still another type of coaching, covering all aspects of my clients’ lives. Like the head coach of a sports team, I help them identify goals, check on their progress regularly, and really hold them accountable so they can ultimately realize what is truly important to them in life. I don’t go to the gym with them nor do I tell them how many pounds to lift; instead, I ask questions (“How many times did you work out this week? How much do you weigh? What is your body fat this week? How many soft drinks did you have this week? How do you feel as a result of what you accomplished?”) and suggest strategies, such as working out with a fitness trainer—much like the head coach who sends a player to the other coaches for help in a particular area.
You typically meet, speak, or e-mail weekly or bi-weekly at a predetermined time (usually for 20-30 minutes). Some coaches offer unlimited e-mail contact with the stipulation that they will respond within 24–48 hours. You pay for the calls (if long distance) and talk about what went well the previous week(s), what could have gone better, and review your goals for the week ahead. You’ll typically pay in advance, so if you miss your appointment you pay for it anyway—an extra incentive to follow through. Rates for personal coaching usually vary anywhere from $50 per half hour to $200+ per half hour.
Some coaches use charts to monitor progress and provide motivation. Video tape, which must be done in a practice/coaching environment, and audio tape can also be valuable teaching aids. I recently attended a three-day golf school where my golf swing was videotaped upon arrival and throughout the course. It was readily apparent that even small adjustments made big differences. Remember the old adage: a picture is worth a thousand words. Seeing what your coach is talking about can you help make adjustments easily.
For the next 20 years I see coaching as instrumental in helping people achieve their next level, both personally and professionally. At seminars and conventions across the country, people often tell me they need a coach. They want more than another book, audio tape, or seminar: they need coaching and accountability to keep them on track and help them follow through. Think about that for a moment. What would happen to your success if someone simply helped you implement the things you know you should be doing but aren’t?
Remember, coaches may help you along the way, but ultimately your success is up to you. Your best strategy: Seek the best coaches to accelerate your progress and take your success to the next level today!
AM I READY TO BE COACHED?
To help you decide whether coaching is for you, it’s crucial to evaluate your receptiveness to coaching, identify your purpose and make a firm commitment. Here are some questions to ask yourself before hiring a coach.
The Internet is a great place to look for a coach. Check out the International Coach Federation (ICF) at https://www.coachfederation.org www.coachfederation.org, or Coach University (www.coachu.com). Don’t underestimate the power of referrals—ask your friends, relatives, and business associates for their recommendations. And don’t forget the Yellow Pages and your local library.
Enjoy your next level of success – personally and professionally.
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© Anne M. Bachrach. All rights reserved.
Anne M. Bachrach is known as The Accountability Coach™. She has over 23 years of experience training and coaching. Business owners and entrepreneurs who utilize Anne’s proven systems and processes work less, make more money, and have a more balanced and successful life. Anne is the author of the books, Excuses Don’t Count; Results Rule!, and Live Life with No Regrets; How the Choices We Make Impact Our Lives, No Excuses!, and The Work Life Balance Emergency Kit. Join the FREE Silver Inner Circle Membership today and receive 10% off on all products and services, in addition to having access to assessments and high-value resources to help you achieve your goals so you can experience a more balanced and successful life (https://accountabilitycoach.com/coaching-store/inner-circle-store/). Get Your Free High-Content Book from Amazon today: 10 Power Tips for Getting Focused, Organized, and Achieving Your Goals Now, by going to https://www.amazon.com/Power-Getting-Focused-Organized-Achieving-ebook/dp/B01GIL5WJ8/