By Robin Wong
Professional coaching isn’t just a “nice to have” exercise; It can be a critical part of your own success story. A coach will offer insights that you otherwise may not realise yourself, and aid you in soul-searching so that you’ll be able to identify your strengths as well as any possible gaps that need to be filled.
Such inner awareness is a valuable asset that will greatly help in achieving your dreams. Here are 7 important things to know and consider before seeking mentorship and committing to personal coaching sessions.
How the usual process of a professional coaching session is like
The first step of a professional coaching session generally involves identifying the critical areas that will generate the biggest payback. This is the most crucial step of the process; Skipping or rushing through it can easily result in a misdirected future focus.
This is then followed by discussion and agreement of goals to ensure they are practical, inspiring, and important to your future success. After that, the coach will periodically meet up with you to monitor your progress and discuss any existing or potential challenges that need to be overcome. Measurable results will be discussed, adjustments will be made where necessary, and progress will be reviewed to gauge the level of success.
Know why exactly you want the service of a coach
This might sound obvious, but knowing why you want to receive personal coaching is something that’s important but oft-overlooked. The coaching process will be more smooth-sailing with better success once your objectives are clearly defined and communicated to your coach.
Think carefully about what you wish to achieve from the coaching assignment, and list down a couple of tangible goals. Do also ask yourself what responsibilities you are willing to take on in order to achieve your desired results.
Find a coach with relevant experience to guide you
Here’s a sports-related analogy: A sports coach does not need to possess the same high performing standard as his sportsman, but he does need to have a thorough understanding of the game and sports psychology that his protege faces. Without having to actively compete in the sport himself, a top-level sports coach provides expert, unbiased, and honest observations of the player’s strengths and weaknesses, so that the player can improve both physically and mentally for his next breakthrough.
Likewise, your coach does not have to be one of the top players in his field, but relevant experience and solid industry knowledge is still important.
You must be willing to openly discuss your innermost thoughts
It might be daunting opening up to a complete stranger at first, but honest sharing of your innermost thoughts will make for more effective coaching sessions that will allow you to thoroughly critique your personal beliefs, habits, expectations, and assumptions. It is only then that you will gain personal insights for self-discovery and growth, so step out of your comfort zone, and don’t hold back - after all, your coach is there to help you, not judge you.
On the other hand, as a professional, your coach should have a non-disclosure agreement with you for full confidentiality. A good coach is one who will earn and maintain your trust with their integrity, with a genuine desire for you to succeed with no hidden agenda.
Without personal drive, coaching can only get you so far
A coach plays a supporting role by encouraging you and providing candid feedback during “coachable moments”, while challenging your perceptions to pave the way for personal growth. But that’s just half the job done. Without your own commitment and drive, coaching can only get you so far; Making major career and life changes requires courage and dedication on your part.
The biggest breakthroughs happen when a person gains a deep sense of self-awareness of how their behaviour affects themselves and others. But oftentimes, people need to see benefits of the life changes they are making before they are willing to step out of their comfort zones to achieve new results - it’s human nature. Sometimes, this process is relatively quick; Other times, it takes longer. A coach will help you come to that sense of self-actualisation, but you still need that push from within to open your doors to bigger possibilities.
Be fully committed to the coaching process
If your goals are important enough to you, you will be willing to work towards them wholeheartedly, and accomplish them no matter what. This means being fully committed to the coaching process, which usually takes a minimum of three months. For best results, you need to be diligent in attending regular scheduled appointments with no interruptions during sessions, and dedicate the necessary time and effort to doing the work that is agreed upon.
The final step of your coaching journey is to celebrate the success - that’s always the best part!
If you’re ready to begin your journey to success but are unsure of how to start, I’ll be happy to help. Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in this form to book a coaching session today.