Do you have a coach? Athletes have coaches. Musicians have coaches. Leaders have coaches. Surgeons have coaches. Heck, even gardeners have coaches! When you start to look, you’ll find that pretty much anyone at the top of their game has a coach – it’s often what separates the good from the great.
Coaches don’t work with people who are already at the top of their game – they’re the ones who help the top performers get there. And coaches don’t just help people pursue the things that often come to mind when we think about “success” like winning games, making money, becoming famous, or building multimillion-dollar business empires. They help people pursue their individual definition of success. As an example, I coach business leaders who want to maximize their impact – the amount of good they do in the world.
So it’s not just athletes, movie stars and business moguls who need a coach – you do. Everyone does.
How can I confidently say that everyone needs a coach? I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t want to do at least one of the following:
- Improve personal or business performance in a certain area
- Break through a plateau to new levels of success
- Pursue personal or business goals faster
- Obtain clarity around their vision or decision-making
- Find meaning, fulfillment and balance in their life
- Live their life with intention and purpose
That’s a list of pretty awesome outcomes, isn’t it? Who wouldn’t want better performance, more clarity, and increased personal fulfillment?
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The interesting thing about these outcomes is that a lack of knowledge isn’t generally what keeps people from pursuing them. You can find thousands of books, articles, podcasts, and videos about whatever you want to know. And that’s part of the problem – there’s so much information that it can be challenging to sift through it all to determine what’s useful and applicable. It’s often even more challenging to overcome complacency and take consistent action to apply what you’ve learned.
That’s where a coach comes in.
So how does working with a coach drive results?
1. A coach sees the potential and greatness in you, even when you don’t.
A good coach challenges you to think bigger and do better. They’ll remind you of your potential and resourcefulness when you’re hitting roadblocks. When you’re feeling like a failure, burned out or overwhelmed, a coach will reconnect you to your vision and your “why” to relight that fire. What would shift in your life if you truly had someone in your corner?
2. Working with a coach helps give you space and structure to think.
In our culture, everyone seems to be going, going, going with packed schedules and meetings galore. Have you ever thought, “I could do amazing things if I just had the space and time to think!”? When you work with a coach, you have dedicated thinking time, plus an experienced thought partner who asks the right questions and offers the right guidance to help your thinking time be as productive as possible.
3. A coach can help you get out of your own way.
Whether it’s limiting beliefs or self-sabotaging behaviors, chances are you are part of the problem you want to solve. Which is a good thing – because we can’t change others, but we can change ourselves. A coach helps shed light on times when your assumptions, subconscious beliefs, thought process, habits or other behaviors are getting in the way of what you want to accomplish.
4. Working with a coach helps give you a different perspective.
Sometimes, we’re so close to a situation that a solution could be right in front of us and we wouldn’t see it. Other times, you need to get out of your bubble and think differently about an issue. If you’re a firm owner, you likely need someone who will give you unbiased, direct feedback. Having a coach can solve all of these things – they can help you zoom in, zoom out, visualize possibilities and identify areas of opportunity.
5. A coach can help you find new and creative pathways to success.
You can figure out how to get from Point A to Point B on your own, but it’s likely to be a slower process, frustrating and filled with unfruitful detours. There’s a better way. A coach works with you to identify the best path to get from where you are to where you want to be, how to overcome the obstacles you encounter, and when it makes sense to take a detour. Sometimes, what you need is a roadmap. What have others done in this area that has been successful (or not)? Other times, you need more of a sherpa to help you navigate uncharted terrain. With a good coach, you can get a roadmap AND a sherpa that makes your journey one you’re excited to take.
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6. Working with a coach helps you stay accountable to yourself.
Ah, the “A” word: accountability. Accountability is one of the top things our coaching members come to us for. But you want to know a little secret of the coaching world? The accountability isn’t really to your coach – it’s to yourself. At the end of the day, the things you want to be held accountable for are for your benefit, not your coach’s, so it’s really about keeping the commitments you’re making to yourself. Your coach will help you design a system of accountability that works for you – not make you run laps or do push-ups.
7. A coach is a dedicated listener (and everyone needs one of those in their lives).
One of the most important roles a coach plays is dedicated listener. If you’ve never had the experience of someone listening to you – really, truly, deeply listening without judgment and with no other purpose than to understand you – let me tell you, it’s life-changing. Unfortunately, most humans aren’t taught to be good listeners, but it’s something we all need. Some of my most meaningful personal coaching sessions have been when I have felt overwhelmed and emotionally drained, and my coach just listened. Talking to your coach can be like releasing the pressure from a bottle of soda that’s fallen down three flights of stairs. It allows you to vent, center yourself, and come to a place of calm and thoughtfulness. You’ll see things in a new light and be intentional about your next move.
Coaching can sometimes feel a little like magic, but in reality, there’s a method that makes it work so well. As surgeon and author Atul Gawande says in his TED talk, “What (great coaches) do is they are your external eyes and ears, providing a more accurate picture of your reality. They’re recognizing the fundamentals. They’re breaking your actions down and then helping you build them back up again.” And when you think of it that way, it’s easy to see that all of us could certainly use a good coach in our lives.
Carson Coaching is for advisors who want to grow on their own terms, serve their clients with integrity and leave a lasting impact.