Coaching is the new “it” thing for leaders for a very good reason – it gets results. The largest determining factor for coaching results is your reason for hiring a coach in the first place. Here are 3 reasons not to hire a coach, and 5 reasons why you should.
Perhaps you’ve thought of hiring a coach but you’re not sure it’s worth your time and money. Finding a qualified coach is important. One that is well trained in specialized coaching processes that make coaching so fruitful. Look for someone trained through an International Coach Federation (ICF) approved program. The ICF sets the global standard for effective coaching.
Even more important than the coach, however, is you. You need to be ready. How can you know if you are ready for coaching? Take a look at the following reasons and see where you line up.
3 Reasons Not To Hire A Coach
- You want someone else to change. The coaching process is fine-tuned to help you gain new awareness about your situation, formulate next steps, and support you as you act. Basically, coaching helps you change your thinking, change your plans, and change your actions. If you want other people to change, hire a coach for them.
- You want ready-made solutions. If you’re looking for an expert to give you solutions, hire a consultant. Coaches strive to empower you to create your own customized solutions in such a way that you develop personally and as a leader through the process.
- You want someone else to implement. Coaches are not contractors who will do the work for you. A professional coach will help you figure out your strategy and next steps, but not do them for you. Hiring someone to implement could be part of the solution, but find a contractor, not a coach, for that.
If, after an honest look at yourself, one of the above reasons fit you, then look somewhere else for help. A coach wouldn’t be the best choice.
5 Reasons To Hire A Coach
- You are stuck. I have become stuck a number of times, both personally and organizationally. The way to pry myself loose usually involved new ways of thinking. When I changed my assumptions or my beliefs about what’s possible, everything changed. Or when I got clear on what I really, really wanted, a whole new pathway opened up to me. Shouldn’t I have been able to do this on my own? Sure. But not all the time, so I use a coach.
- You are ready to move to the next level. You’ve gone as far as you have because you are a smart and capable person. Often my coaching clients want me to help them do more. Instead, I help them to do different – think in new ways, from new perspectives. That’s what leads to the next level. On your own you can add growth. With great coaching you may be able to grow exponentially.
- You work alone. You know the saying, “It’s lonely at the top.” Leadership brings isolation. A lot of leaders work alone, even though there are a lot of people around them. You can’t share everything with those with whom you work. Coaches provide a specialize process of helping you think deeply in a confidential environment that goes far beyond what you’ll get from a friend.
- You are the problem. A few years ago, in trying to grow my organization, I realized I was the problem. My limited thinking limited our growth. I see this all the time on television shows like Shark Tank and The Profit. It’s the owner’s limited thinking, bad behavior, or unwillingness to change that stops a business from growing. Coaches can help you sort through it all. They will support you as well as challenge you.
- You are making a transition. Whether at work or at home, transitions are by definition full of unknowns. These periods of time are loaded with risk. Transitions are critical to get right. Learning from mistakes may be helpful, but spotting a problem and dealing with it before it becomes a mistake is better. A coach is equipped to help you wade through the ambiguity of transitions.
Coaching is a powerful relational process for solving problems and reaching goals. But coaching is not a fix-all and do-all. Knowing when to hire a coach and when not to is as important as finding the right coach.
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