I have heard recently of some “horror” stories from people around me who have been coached. I mean, ok, there were no zombies involved but the coaches’ attitudes, as they were described to me certainly resembled that of people who lost the plot and could give any respectable coach nightmares!
Let’s take a deep breath… Life coaching is a profession to be taken very very seriously. Although every coach will have their own style and personality, there are “golden” rules. Do you want to know what to expect from a respectable coach? Here is a great rundown by Marion Franklin, PCC – Life Coaching Group and Kirsten Allen – K.Allen Company. I couldn’t have said it better:
1. The conversation holds the greater vision for your life yet stays in the place of where you are at in the moment. The coach never forgets the overall experience and your vision for your life. Yet, the coach can help with your immediate situation while holding the bigger picture in mind. Your coach doesn’t get caught up in believing everything you say but rather gets curious and questions in a way that naturally expands your thinking.
2. You feel as though the coach really knows what you’re saying even when you can’t express it as well as you would like. The coach truly listens and gets you. The coach is able to say things that prove time and again that you’re understood and listened to with complete attention and focus. The coach listens unconditionally and you feel as if your words don’t get stuck in the coach’s ears but rather the conversation feels fluid and does not end in semantics or self-help jargon. You look forward to the conversation even if you suspect it may be uncomfortable and revealing. No matter how the conversations go, you know deep down and from experience that by the end of the conversation, you are in a better place moving forward.
3. You have a sense of moving forward and letting go of old ideas and beliefs that hold you back. There is a strong feeling that you are making progress. It doesn’t feel as though you are talking in circles and wasting time. The coach knows how to zero in and keep the conversation focused on your needs, boundaries, and values no matter how much or how easily it could go off-track. Each conversation helps in some way to move you forward.
4. The coach is a clean slate. Your coach hears your words with no agenda, no bias, no judgments, and is open to different point of views. (Your coach is willing to share if/when a bias exists.) The coach never moves ahead at will but rather asks for your permission to continue as the conversation deepens. Rather than telling and making suggestions, providing solutions, or wasting time treating symptoms, the coach invites you to discover and explore things from a different perspective. The coach knows how to help you reveal YOUR truth, not the coach’s, and doesn’t spend time talking about his/her own life. The coach is consistently focused on you and your progress and doesn’t create a plan without asking permission and before checking that you want one.
5. You can’t ever remember how you were thinking before the conversation. The conversation with your coach is stimulating, invigorating and in some way alters your mindset. You leave the conversation with a different way of thinking that empowers you to move forward. You have a direction and/or a new perspective regarding your situation. As a result, you feel more confident and more easily able to manage a challenge than you were before the conversation. You are able to proceed from this new mindset with new thoughts and inspiring ideas.
6. The coach is able to help you make permanent changes, not temporary ones. Your new perspective propels you forward not just in your current situation but will also be applicable to future challenges as well. The nature of the conversation supports you in making internal and emotional shifts not just intellectual ones. The coach helps you to experience things from your greater truths and extends your capacity to express your authenticity.
7. You have great trust and rapport with your coach. You are willing to share things with your coach that you may never have shared with anyone else. Your coach creates an atmosphere where you feel safe. Although it may be uncomfortable, you are able to admit your personal embarrassments and painful secrets because your desire to lay it on the line is greater than your desire to avoid and resist your own progress.
8. The coach is willing to share and be honest even when it may be hard for you to hear the words. Your conversations with the coach empower you to grow, get to the truth and dismantle the perceived fears, so you can be free from the self-imposed limits. The coach is able to point out at any moment how your thinking is based on perception rather than truth, thus allowing you to explore and expand possibilities. Holding in mind your best efforts, the coach comes from a loving and caring place and doesn’t make you wrong but rather supports you in finding another perspective, another angle, or another point of view that truly aligns with your life.
9. It FEELS as though the coach is truly on your side, respectful, totally objective, and available when the need arises. While all this may not be true in the literal sense, it FEELS that way. Your coach is your advocate and listens to the best part of you, and when you reveal yourself, it is a sign that the best part of you is being championed. You know that you can engage your coach even at times not previously scheduled i.e. e-mail or leaving a phone message. Making an extra request of time and accessibility is considered and honoured.
10. You can hear your coach in your head offering words of wisdom even between sessions. When you are faced with new challenges, coaching conversations continue or are recalled in your mind and you are able to use ideas, principles, insights, realizations, and aha’s from previous conversations. Due to your ongoing conversations, you are more likely to experiment and take advantage of more opportunities.
Point No. 10 is such a good one! I remember my clients telling me, as they were shifting to certain pattern of thinking, that they could hear my questions and comments popping in their head and they were making sure they got ready for the session!
So, if you are being coached or thinking about it and unsure about your coach’s principles, check the list and make sure they abide to at least 09 of them. If you want to know more about coaching, download my information-packed FREE “Your GDL Coaching Guide” with future tips. You’ll also learn why it’s beneficial to have FUN with your coach, not NIGHTMARES!!