A coach can offer insights into what you may not have realized. It helps you soul search your inner strengths and identify possible gaps that need to be developed. An inner awareness of your personal qualities is a valuable asset.
Below are some useful Questions to Ask before you commit yourself to professional coaching.
Why do you want the service of a coach?
That might sound obvious, but it is very important and is often overlooked. You need to think very carefully about what you want to achieve from the coaching assignment.
The coaching process will become more successful if you’ve defined your objectives clearly and communicated them effectively to your coach.
What are you hoping to achieve? What supporting roles are you seeking? What sacrifices and responsibilities are you willing to take in order to achieve your desired results?
How strong a desire you have in order to grow and improve?
Making major changes in your life and career requires courage, commitment and dedication. Although your coach will certainly support and encourage you to succeed, nothing will happen without your own personal drive, passion and commitment.
The biggest breakthrough is when a person gains a deep sense of self-awareness how their behaviours are affecting others. People need to see the key benefits of the changes in order that they will step outside of their comfort zone to achieve new results. Sometimes, the process is relatively quick; other times, it takes longer. The role of the coach is to give candid feedback at the right "coachable moments" and to challenge the client's beliefs and perceptions.
Are you willing to share and discuss your innermost thoughts openly with your coach?
Mutual trust and confidentiality are the foundation of success in coaching. Through open and honest sharing, the coach can help you to gain personal insights for self-discovery and transformation. You must be willing to be challenged and to let go of what is not working for you. Your coach will encourage you to self-critique your personal beliefs, behaviors, habits, assumptions, expectations, judgements… and help you explore new frontiers and paradigms. This is the only way to grow.
Your coach will need to earn your trust with impeccable integrity and authenticity, keeping his/her promises and demonstrating a genuine desire to help you succeed.
The coaching framework and issues of confidentiality need to be managed upfront. The best approach is to ensure complete transparency and clarity throughout the process. There should be no hidden agenda in the objectives of the assignment.
Are you fully committed to the assignment?
In order to achieve great results, you must be willing to work wholeheartedly towards your goals and dreams. The challenge is to develop inspiring, meaningful and important goals, challenging yet fully achievable. If your goals are important enough to you, you will accomplish them. This has to be a critical part of your success story.
The coaching process usually takes a minimum of three months. To get the best results, you need to attend the scheduled appointment promptly; dedicate the necessary efforts to doing the agreed work and ensure there are no interruptions during a coaching session.
Does your coach have the relevant experience to undertake the coaching assignment?
One example is to use the analogy of a sports coach to support a leading sportsman. While the coach does not need to possess the same high performing standard as the sportsman, he does need to have a thorough understanding of the game, sports psychology, the business of the sports that the sportsman faces.
A top-level sports coach provides expert, unbiased observations of the player’s strengths and weaknesses. He/she offers candid feedback so that the player improves both physically and mentally to be ready for the next breakthrough.
What is the normal process of a coaching session?
The first step will generally be identifying the critical areas that will generate the biggest payback. This is the most critical and important step; otherwise, the future focus can easily be misdirected.
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 progress and discuss challenges that need to be overcome. Adjustment will need to be made as necessary. Measurable results will be discussed and progress will be reviewed to gauge the level of success.
The final step is to celebrate the success – that’s always the best part!
Coaching isn’t just a “nice-to-have” exercise; it is a critical part of your own success story.