In my last article I talked about how you are never too “mature” to have a coach and to continue the conversation, I would like to share what a coach can do for you as well as important things to consider when working with a coach.
No matter what stage of life you are in, a coach can help you get to that next stage. It’s like losing 20 pounds, the first 10 are the easiest and then it seems we struggle in our attempts to lose the last 10. One of the reasons may be that we have no one to share in the final victory, or we fear judgment about how long it is taking or we second-guess ourselves about what we need to do to reach our final destination. A coach can be a cheerleader, a resource for more information, and a friend who doesn’t “judge” the what, why or how of our plans. And a good coach can help us make better decisions and celebrate our successes.
“In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” Eric Hoffer
One of the questions you need to first ask yourself before working with a coach is this: “Am I coachable?” I believe baby boomers are very coachable. Why? We have had enough experiences to know what we want and what we don’t want. We become more open to ideas as we grow wiser, especially in this day of lightning-speed change. We are likely more adept at working with others. Most baby boomers I know are optimistic, courageous, have a great work ethic, want more quality relationships and more meaningful careers. We have been the self-indulgent route, we have had money and lost money and had it again and know that money doesn’t buy happiness. We are used to working outside our comfort zone and are able to bounce back from setbacks. We actually listen to our peers and even younger generations and will take their advice when we know it’s good for us. And we are ready to realize our full potential.
Coaching works best when you know what you want to get done. As long as you are open to feedback and willing to create positive change in your life coaching works.
So what are the things you should consider when working with a coach?
- Someone who is willing to give you the time and undivided attention you need to reach your goals
- Someone who understands your needs and most importantly your goals
- Someone you know, like and trust
- Someone who can help you assess your own life and get very clear about what you want to accomplish
- Someone who will help you evaluate your goals and come up with a plan (and timeline) to achieve your goals
- Someone who asks good questions and more importantly listens for the answers
- Someone who holds your feet to the fire (keeps you accountable)
Where can you find a good coach?
Ask! Ask your friends for referrals. Network and find out who is using a coach and what success she or he has had. Interview potential candidates.
Check out the International Coaching Federation for a list of coaches. Find those who have the types of skills and experience suitable to you and your goals. Investigate them by asking for references, check out their website, social media presence and any other place they might ‘hang out’ online.
Once you have narrowed down the candidate list, you can begin to ‘test’ the coach’s style and if it resonates with you. One way to do this is to ask for a sample coaching session. See if she or he is a good fit for you. While you don’t have to think alike it is good to have someone with whom you are not constantly butting heads. Just as it isn’t good to have someone always agreeing with you, it is also not good for your confidence to have someone who always points out when you are wrong. When you do a sample coaching session you will find out if the coach is “in tune” to what you are all about.
Working with a coach can be a very rewarding and exhilarating experience. And at times it might even be frightening. The right coach can help you discover your true gifts and talents. The right coach will help you face issues you didn’t want to or couldn’t face. Working with a coach can help you no matter what your goals are; whether it’s to lose weight, make more money or live your ideal life. Working with the right coach can help you grow in ways you never thought you would (or could).