6 Reasons Why People Hire a Coach
I’ve always been a coach. Long before I had the title, accolades or any of that fancy “signature” lexicon, I was someone who was able to see the best in people. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been deeply inspired by watching others succeed. I’ve always wanted people to be happy, fulfilled, and in touch with their unique flavor of greatness. I believe that all great coaches, regardless of industry and focus, have the burning desire to help others achieve their biggest, boldest goals...
When people approach me professionally today, they seek my help for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they come because they know they are “blowing up” (i.e. on the brink of huge success, and they want to make sure that they maximize the opportunities coming their way.) Sometimes they come because they know they are holding the main ingredients for a profitable business, but need someone to help them put it all together. And sometimes they come because things are falling apart, and they know that unless they get support, they’re not going to land on their feet.
As I look back over the last six years at all of the people we’ve served at Move The Crowd and why we’ve served them; I’ve been able to identify the six major reasons why people seek us out.
Granted, we do (proudly) occupy a unique place in the entrepreneurial training landscape, but I also believe these six reasons could easily apply to any type of coaching.
Reason #1:To Gain the Knowledge You Need to Grow
Whether you want to find your soulmate, learn the Tango, or take your budding new venture out into the world, people seek coaching in these areas because they recognize that there is information that could be helpful to them. That there is wisdom and insight that would make them better at whatever they are trying to achieve. Whether it’s the step-by-step hold-my-hand type of guidance or the here’s how you #hackit i.e. make the process quicker, easier, and/or more enjoyable - both have real value when you’re trying to figure something out. There is a famous saying that “you don’t know what you don’t know,” and when you are venturing into new terrain, there is definitely some level of that occurring. Part of building confidence in anything comes from understanding how and why it works, or at the very least, understanding what you don’t know so that you can create a plan to obtain the knowledge that will enable you to understand what is necessary in order to grow. Whether they draw from their own expertise or help point you in the right direction; great coaches help you increase your knowledge base.
Reason #2:To Acquire the Skills You Need to be Successful.
Whether your goal is mastery or just basic competency, every field of endeavor has a set of corresponding skills that are critical to acquire in order to achieve success. Sometimes those skills are specialized and sometimes those skills are basic or universal, also known as “transferrable.” There is a difference between obtaining knowledgeand developinga skill, but I don’t see these distinguished enough, so let’s break it down. For example, if you’re looking for your soulmate, you may need to gain knowledge in where to look, and even what to look for. But if want to be successful not just in finding, but in keeping your soulmate, you many need to develop some additional skills. For example, a potential skill is deep listening. I love this example because in all the work I’ve done with people around relationships, very rarely do they even consider working on their ability to listen as an important skill in acquiring an ideal relationship. But listening is not just a necessary skill in romantic relationships, it’s vital in any kind of relationship and useful in any context. Seeking support to help you first identify and then build the required set of skills for your success is another compelling reason to work with a coach.
Reason #3: To Build the Confidence You Need to Pursue Your Goal.
Do you ever notice how the things that are the most important to you have a way of shaking your confidence? It’s as though the moment you set out to pursue “the thing,” is the exact moment you start to encounter all kinds of fear and doubt. At times you have confidence and crystal-clarity and then as soon as it starts to get real, you are shaking in your boots. This is normal, natural, and should remind (and reassure) you of what it means to be human. When you set out to pursue something that really matters to you, you’re stepping onto the emotional rollercoaster that comes with venturing into the unknown. If you are not stepping outside of your comfort zone, you are not growing. And as much as we like feeling comfortable, there will always be that part of us that will want more… it’s programmed into our DNA as humans. This is the number one reason why most people hire a coach - whether they admit it or not. Having a consistent structure that challenges and encourages you to build confidence in yourself, and your own ideas can make all of the difference in how far you go. Great coaches see this as Priority Number ONE.
Reason #4: To Connect with Like-Minded and Spirited People.
Whether you are participating in a large network, small group, or a one-on-one program, having access to someone who not only understands you, but also understands what you’re trying to do and sees the merit of what you are building is imperative. So many people are in environments where they are surrounded by “non-believers.” In some cases, those “non-believers” are actually people who love you. It can be challenging and lonely to be totally consumed by something that everyone else is clueless about. When I started my business, I was amazed at how many well meaning people were trying to talk me out of it. Thank God I didn’t listen! But it was quite disheartening, because I was flying solo, and had a million questions, thoughts, and ideas but had no one to run them by. Those in my family who were “supportive,” also had a “threshold” for how much of my sharing they could withstand, and it was always far less than what I needed. Having a space where I could really express what I was experiencing with others who not only “got it,” but were living their own version of it enabled me to stay encouraged about what I was creating. Great coaches give you access to like-minded and spirited people - even if they, for the time being, are the only ones.
Reason #5: To Have Access to Other Examples and Perspectives
When I’ve got a client who is really struggling with something, I HAVE to share a story. Nothing brings your struggles into perspective quicker than a living, breathing example. Just to know that someone else has gone through what you’ve gone through, and made it to the other side can provide you with the inspiration and insight you need to see your challenges differently. When you have access to other’s experiences, you can draw great lessons from how they perceived and overcame their own obstacles. With the right approach, obstacles can be viewed as moments that allow you to gain greater wisdom and insight, about yourself, other people, life, the world and about the dream you are pursuing. We learn best through doing, and we learn second best by having the opportunity to access others stories. Research confirms that our brains have a natural ability to remember information presented in the context of a story better than facts provided in other formats. According to story scholar, Kendall Haven, author of Story Proof: The Science Behind the Startling Power of Story our brains are actually hardwired to think in story terms. To walk in another’s shoes, and see the situation through their eyes as they chart the path of their own growth and evolution helps you cultivate your own point of view. Great coaches give you access to lots of examples and perspectives. Great coaches are also phenomenal storytellers.
Reason #6: To Hold You Accountable to What You Say You Want.
When in the throes of great passion, you will declare all kinds of things. You’ll bring the eloquence of Shakespeare to stating who you are, what you’re capable of and especially, what it is you want and are going to do. However, when the morning comes, and you’ve got to make that phone call, or set that appointment, or design the presentation, or ask for that sale, you may not show up with the same level of focus or discipline. That’s why having an accountability structure is so important. It helps ensure that the tongue in your shoe is lining up with the tongue in your mouth. In other words, having an accountability partner exponentially increases your chances of taking actions that are consistent with the things you say you want to have and achieve. You’re not just paying lip service to the dream, you are on the court every day actualizing it. This would be the second biggest reason why people hire a coach. Great coaches entertain none of your excuses and are not seduced by any of your “compelling” reasons. They remember the firebrand that told them back on the mountaintop how they were going to conquer the world, and they don’t ever let you forget it. Their favorite two questions are: “what?” and “by when?” Great coaches hold you accountable to your goals and aspirations.
When I think of all the things I’ve achieved that really matter to me, someone’s always been there, rooting me on. In a recent poll, I asked a group of budding entrepreneurs where they went to for support in achieving their goals. I was shocked to discover how many of them did not have a coach or a mentor. Yes, you are powerful, smart and capable. But, even on your best day, you’re going to leave something on the table. Having a coach doesn’t mean you give up your power. On the contrary, working with the right coach should empower you to see more, be more, and achieve more. Having a coach means ensuring that you give your all when it really counts.
A great coach gives you access to all of the right ingredients that enable youto grow. They provide the water and sunlight, and when necessary, even the pruning shears.There is no greater joy for a coach than to see someone they’re helping expand, strengthen, and thrive in the pursuit of their greatest self and their highest contribution.