For most people the term “coaching” is a vague one that means very little. However, in the world of high-performers (business executives, professional athletes, entrepreneurs, etc.), having a coach(es) is an essential part of the ongoing process to refine skills, improve awareness, stoke growth and chase the next level. This blog is about the top five lessons that I’ve learned though coaching others (and being coached myself).
Before we jump in, let me give some context and explain the coaching I do in very simple terms. I work with people in the areas of fitness, mindset and/or business to help them develop the skills, solutions and strategies to move forward in an efficient and effective manner. The specifics of each relationship and approach looks different for everyone but the goal is always the same – help bridge the gap between who they are and who they want to be.
1. Asking For Help
There can be a sense shame that comes along with feeling lost and a certain stigma when it comes to asking for help. However, what I’ve learned through the coaching process is that asking for help is a sign of strength and it requires a high level of self-awareness. People have little issue going to the dentist for help with their teeth but there’s a common hesitation that surrounds investment into improvement through coaching. It’s an interesting dynamic to navigate but one that always brings me back to the same thought: investing in yourself pays the best dividends.
2. Nothing Changes If…
I love the hard questions, deep conversations and unique thoughts that come through the coaching process but in the end, nothing changes if nothing changes. In other words, we can think, talk and dream as much as we’d like but without action and implementation, nothing changes. Much of wha I do involves active listening, empathetic encouragement and challenging people to take action (based on where they want to go). One of the hardest parts of the process for me as a coach is holding clients accountable and helping them show up on the days when inspiration is lacking.
3. Questions and Answers
Like I mentioned at the beginning of this blog I’ve been coaching full time for 8 months. However, I’ve been working as a coach (in addition to other things) for over 4 years now. In the beginning of my coaching career I was often too afraid to be direct and too timid to ask hard questions. What I’ve come to learn is that in order for growth to happen, people need to answer the hard questions – in order to achieve a meaningful external existence, we need to take a deep and often uncomfortable internal expedition. There’s so much power in a well-timed question and the best answers come when people embrace the truth that who they’re becoming more important than who they are.
4. Going All In
Like most things in life, the coaching process works best when both parties are fully committed to the process. Through repeated experience I’ve learned that investing in people is not productive, efficient or straightforward. However, to me, there’s no better investment than loving other people well and that means going all in. One of the biggest struggles that I have as I grow my coaching business is attracting people who are willing to go all in on the best version of themselves – if that’s you, let me know!
5. It’s a Friendship
I strive to build a lasting friendship with each client and that’s because on the most basic level, being a great coach starts with being a great friend. That means caring about people, encouraging people, challenging people and walking with people through the messiness of life. When the formal coaching work ends, the friendship continues and that’s the most rewarding part of this process because I get to watch the person continue growing after the structure ends.
If there’s one overarching theme from coaching that I know to be true, it’s this – life is not about getting what we need, it’s about uncovering what we have. Every single person reading this sentence (including you) has greatness living inside of them – a coach will serve as a guide to help you learn and embrace that. Don’t take it from though…
Thank you for reading!
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