How to work with your Coach
Hiring a coach could be one of the smartest decisions you ever make. However, it’s one thing to hire a coach, but quite another to get the best out of the coaching process.
Good coaches don’t come cheap, so here’s a few suggestions to ensure you get the best ‘bang for your buck’, as well as enjoy working with your coach.
Communication is the key.
Like any relationship, getting the best from your coach will be dependent on good communication. What does that mean? Firstly, agree up front how often you will meet and how often you will speak. There are no hard and fast rules here but usually you’ll meet with your coach between every 2 and 4 weeks. In between, most coaches will welcome a regular update of your progress. This may take the shape of a brief phone call or e-mail, usually weekly. This encourages progress and accountability and you’re more likely to reach your objectives if you agree a good coaching structure up front.
Additionally, think about what to communicate with your coach. He or she will likely have a wealth of knowledge and experience, but they can only help if you’re prepared to share what’s on your mind. Coaching is completely confidential, and openness and honesty are vital to make the support as effective as possible. So, don’t be afraid to share the whole business picture with your coach.
To get the very best from your coach, ensure you prepare for your coaching session. Too many clients miss this vital part of the process and don’t, therefore, maximise their return on investment. However, by considering what you want to work on in advance you can both enable your coach to prepare any tools or techniques to help you and you can also hit the ground running once your session begins. Your coach should encourage you to do this as it really helps maximise the effectiveness of coaching.
Ensure you do your actions.
Coaching is results-focused, it’s also action-oriented, so it’s likely that actions will arise from your coaching. Some may sit with the coach but, inevitably, most will be your responsibility. So, do them! And don’t wait until you ‘feel like it’ as often the enthusiasm you get from a session with your coach may not feel the same a day or two later. That doesn’t matter. If you do the things you said you’d do one of two things usually happens. Either the action will take you forward and you can celebrate that. Or, the action won’t initially be successful, and you can learn from that, which again is worth celebrating as it probably means you’ll be even more successful in the long run!
As part of your coaching ensure you regularly review your progress. Again, a good coach will normally take the lead here, as they will be anxious to ensure you’re achieving what you want to achieve.
This means that you will likely want to agree specific objectives, goals and targets at the beginning of your working relationship and review these on a regular basis, which generally is between one and three months, depending on the specific target.
The bottom line is you’re looking for a return on your coaching investment and agreeing SMART targets (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timed) with your coach is the best way of ensuring you both do that and take your business significantly forward.
These are just a few ideas to ensure you get the best from your coaching relationship. Look forward to working with you!