Let’s talk about coaching for a hot second. I recently saw an interview on YouTube by the CEO of Google (2011).
Eric Schmidt answering the question: “What’s some of the best advice you’ve been given”? “I’ve received so much advice that I don’t even know where to start. One thing that comes to mind is to have a coach –Board member John Doerr said to me, “Everybody needs a coach –
Every famous athlete and every famous performer, has someone who is a coach – someone who will watch what they are doing and say – “Is that what you really meant?” – give it perspective – the one thing people are never good at is seeing themselves as others see them. A coach really helps.”
Have you ever thought about it like that? All sorts of people, including business CEO’s, athletes, musicians, and public figures, all have coaches. A coach can give you a truly different perspective. Most of us hang our hats with like-minded people; therefore, having that outside
point of view can be incredibly helpful. As Tony Robbins says, people like people that are like them. Simple, yet true. Assuming that we agree with that theory, we generally get the same point of view or opinion from our friends because we are like- minded. There’s nothing wrong
with that, but sometimes we need to look outside our circle to get an objective view of what’s really going on. This is especially helpful and useful when we’re feeling stuck. And this is what John Doerr was telling Eric Schmidt. Make sense yet?
When I started looking into coaching, it hit me all wrong. I googled “Life coaching” and the images just never sat right with me. I never felt as if I knew any more than the next guy, so why would anyone listen to me? But when I heard Jay Shetty being interviewed on the
Guy Raz podcast, (How I built this), his entire message was about serving others, and it struck a nerve
with me. The interesting thing that I learned early on in my course work, is that coaching isn’t telling anyone what to do at all. It’s about actively listening and helping clients discover their full potential. The coach isn’t telling the client what to do, how to think, or how “they did it”.
That would turn the session into something about the coach – and a great session should be all about the client. Your coach is there to be your guide. I like to think about it like this. You go on vacation and you want to climb a mountain, but you’re not sure which mountain or where to start. You hire a guide – you tell the guide that you want to get up the mountain as fast as possible. Another client may say they want to take the scenic route. Another person may want to take all of the obstacles and go the hardest direction. We are each unique and your
coach will take you the direction that best fits you! I learned so much while getting certified, but to summarize the main reasons that people are seeking coaches, and how coaches can help, I’ve put together a short list. Clarity – someone to help you formulate goals. Validation –someone to help you feel self -confident, build motivation, and who will be sincere and authentic with you.
Someone to provide unbiased feedback – a coach will be genuine. Think about this for a second. If you ask a friend if you should buy a red Porsche, they may say it’s a brilliant idea because they can be your “Plus one” in your new sick wheels – they are NOT an unbiased point of view. They may be your BFF, and truly think you should buy the red Porsche, but is that about you or them? Your coach will always have your best interest in mind. In other words, they have no skin in the game.
Provide an alternative opinion – A coach will give you a different perspective on a situation, possibly one that you hadn’t seen before – and can help you come up with different options. Someone to listen to you– I’m obsessed with this one because we all want to be heard. A coach will ask you an open -ended question, and you, the client, will have their full attention for the hour to talk, and be heard with zero judgment. A coach will help you to feel supported and empower you to make your own life decisions.
Reassurance and guidance through the process – Your coach will help you with small goals – because small wins will lead to big wins -they will support your process – but the client ultimately facilitates their own change. I heard this from my running instructor just this morning. His name is Matt Wilpers and he’s a Peloton instructor. He said that he can coach us to prepare for a 5K, give us running tips, and teach us the basics, but WE must be motivated to do the training. He can’t give us that drive to get on the treadmill or outside to do the work, but he can provide the inspiration once we’ve taken the first step. Hiring a coach, is a first step! Two more that I’ve added because I feel this is so critical:
A coach will celebrate you! Your coach will always be your cheerleader. All of us need to have a squad – it doesn’t matter how big or small the squad is – but to have someone in your corner, is like having the wind at your back. It doesn’t take a lot to offer someone your ear, your support and your celebration of them and their accomplishments. And trust me, it goes far! Accountability – As a coach, we’re not supposed to technically be your accountability partner, but I’m grayer in this area – because if you are trying to accomplish something that you have NOT been able to accomplish, and you needed clarity, and now you’re ready to hit the road running, you may need that weekly check -in to keep you on track. While a coach can’t be a crutch, they are there for you and will help to keep you going.
I briefly want to talk about what coaching is NOT. Because I’ve been asked this so many times in the past. We are not consultants – we don’t get paid to give you the answers. We are not therapists in any way shape or form. We don’t diagnose or treat – but ironically a lot of my clients see a therapist at the same time because their therapist helps them work through their past and or any conditions they may be dealing with. While your coach will help you move forward from where you are to where you want to get. Sure, it’s important to know some background on why you may feel stuck, but the coach won’t spend your session hashing through old wounds, a coach will start from where you are and help you move from A – Z. In other words, a coach is focused on self-empowerment and positive personal potential rather than on your issues. It’s all about momentum. And sometimes we need a coach to help us. As John Doerr said, “We all need a coach”.
I hope this helps you understand a little bit more about what a coach does and how we can help
you. Please visit my site at www.randicrawfordcoaching.com and feel free to book a FREE 30 – minute discovery call to see if we are a fit.