Athletes in all areas of sport use coaches. They use them when first learning, when they get stuck behind some poor habit that becomes an obstacle and when they are flying high and simply what to do even better. In other words, for these people, coaching becomes an important part of their drive to success. For the many years during which I have been actively coaching within the business world the similarities are strikingly similar.
A large number of new clients have come from those in need. By this I mean those who …
- Feel frustrated by their lack of the personal success they strive to have
- Work for someone who values their skill, however, experiences certain traits that work against the person being successful in their current role
- Feel like they have lost their way to the goals that have been set for them or by them
A person in these situations look to the coached approach as one that will help them move beyond the various obstacles that have gotten in their way. That is what we, as coach and client, work together to do … identify the specific situations, uncover approaches that are tailored to the individual or the team, and take actions that will
enable one to move beyond their current place of ‘stuck’ while resuming the climb to maximized success.
However viewing coaching as a tool to aid only those sensing or aware of a problem is to short change the person and the value that coaching can and does provide. Therein lies a myth about the process. It is not simply addressing things that we find challenging and limiting. In fact, its’ true power is derived when we focus on furthering the positives and amplifying them to help the forward movement of our goals and successes.
I recently was contacted by a former coaching client some 2½ years since we ended our successful working relationship. The reason for his reaching out again was based on 3 key reasons:
- His position had changed from when we first worked together and he wanted to revisit various approaches he was using in order to explore some that might be more effective in this new role.
- He wanted to scale his mountain to greater heights now that he could see that higher level of what success could be.
- Having been successful to this point increased his appetite to heighten his position as a leader in his organization. He was confident that the use of coaching would significantly hasten the speed with which he could make his next leap.
The work we did during this ‘revisit’ allowed us to focus on some key elements of this client’s work life. We were able to …
- Review and celebrate the things he had been doing that allowed his growth and related success. This is also an opportunity to recall some things that had slipped out of the routine that he felt he wanted to resurrect. In total it served to reawaken what had been achieved on our initial coaching endeavor.
- Define his next set of goals that would translate to taking him further on his climb. Undoubtedly, his plan for his future had changed because of his achievement to date and thus, revamping and expanding the vision was so appropriate and needed.
- Determine his personal plan for achieving his revamped intensions with valuable accountability built into his process.
There is no question that coaching is a valuable tool that helps individuals or leadership teams turn themselves around from a downward slide or just existing on flat terrain. And there is also no doubt that it can be extremely effective when used as such. However, when people use the coached approach to capitalize on the successes already realized to redefine that climb to their higher level they are taking advantage of an exciting and valuable aid to speeding up the process.
Being the end of 2016, I give you a challenge. Look at where you are today and as importantly, where you want to be in the next year or two. How might your use of coaching help you get ‘there’ sooner and more effectively? I hope you’ll agree that it’s worth serious thought and a conversation.