When we think of coaching, typically we are thinking sports (the likes of Becker, Edberg, etc, who come to my mind) or the other end of the spectrum where the Marshal Goldsmiths with their ideas and thought leadership insights are the currency that people recognise.
The coaches to the famous, be it athlete or corporate professional bring success or lack there off that is scrutinised by the achievements of their wards. More often than not these are accomplished people in their own right who are seeking to hone their winning edge or perform at a higher level than where we are.
The key to coaching is that it is driven by the improving the performance of an individual. So, it does not really matter at what level the individual is at, it help build and better individual performance and that is a compelling reason enough of why everyone must have the opportunity to get coached.
But is coaching to be restricted to these elysian and rarified few or can it benefit everyone across the spectrum? Is there a play for coaching being more main stream than it is today that can benefit a greater number of people? This point of view is not about the money or cost considerations of coaching, but a perspective on why all of us need a coach and how does having a coaching conversation help an individual. I can safely say this from experience that it was a life altering experience that reinforced the power of coaching and the benefits that can accrue to everyone who gets coached.
- YOU are their focus – Your success is their success, your coach will not try to make you someone else, but get you to understand your own uniqueness and work with you to transform yourself. They will work with all that is you to ensure that you are driving in the direction that you want to go. It is an important distinction from other forms of assistance. The quantification of a coaches effort is your success. Period.
- They are your harbour – In a fast paced world where time is always at a premium they provide you with the safe environment to be yourself, explore your own vulnerability and be at ease. A trust that enables you to share your views and feeling with being judged. This is a luxury that is hard to find and is an important criteria for your growth.
- They ask you the right questions – There is always a question that you need to find the answer to, so instead of telling you what to do, they ask you the question that needs to be asked, even if its uncomfortable. The purpose of the question is to get you to think and not prescribe what might have worked for other people.
- They seek to improve, not change you – A good coach recognises your strengths and what you need to get better at. Your personal transformation comes when you work with both of these aspects of your persona. Your coach makes you sharper as you are and not as someone else. A coach improves your performance by both getting better at what you do and working on things you need to do improve upon.
- Show you diverse perspective – Often as an individual we are wedded to known ways of doing things and the belief that we need to do the same better. A coach will always give you perspective, a considerations that you might not have accounted. Something that helps you expand your own horizons and work with inputs that you might tend not to consider.
These reasons are compelling on their own, but if you still need convincing, think about unseen armour, you may even know who the coach is, but you will never know what or how he or she makes you better!