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Coaching Conversations #1

Do I need coaching right now? A common and tough question.

This is the purpose behind the Discovery Call, to explore this question in great depth. It is important to me that any potential client is not misled into coaching, that the information is relevant, factual and appropriate. And more importantly, being fully aware of each other’s situations will help determine if coaching is a suitable option. Coaching is and always will be client-centred and client-led.

To illustrate the above, here are some real life situations I have encountered with 3 individual clients, Aimee, Karen and Sue (not their real names, obviously):

Meet Aimee (not her real name), she has gained a promotion and wants to receive coaching - is coaching needed right now? I believe that she is motivated by her promotion to take her success to a new level through the help of coaching. I am not wrong. Research shows that coaching is instrumental for new managers or newly promoted staff. Some organisations offer in-house coaching to prepare them well. It is recognised that these types of employees might not have managed people in previous roles as they have a technical background so coaching helps them to transition effectively. Having expert or field-based knowledge and technical skills contributes to a fraction of their role. Managing people does not always come naturally, within the organisation culture they're in. Coaching helps in developing leadership qualities, to connect with staff, establish strong working relationships, create team spirit and align with organisational values. In this situation, the client is a high performer, self-motivated and opportunity seeker, not only are they getting to grips with a new role and its responsibilities but also strategically working towards the next promotion. Coaching can enable a growth mindset.

Then there is Karen who is a stay-at-home mum with 2 young children. She had a medical profession but not sure if she wants to return to that in the future, she wants a career that gives her freedom to raise her children. She has a sewing hobby that she feels can be a business opportunity. But she lacks confidence in exploring this option. She is an outdoor person. I meet her where she is, she is desperate for some direction and clarity. I commend her for taking on coaching, a bold and courageous move. She is open to sharing her concerns and plans. During our discussions, she learns more about herself, her confidence increases and she is willing to take some concrete steps towards her sewing business. However, a few months later, we pause our sessions as she prepares to move to her new home and location. We resume our coaching, after a long lapse, to take stock of her journey. This question is posed to her, is coaching needed right now? Following a comprehensive update of what she has achieved during that time, and also where she is right now with 2 young children not in full time education yet, she feels that it is unrealistic to continue with the coaching. The good news is that she has started her business, launched it on social media and is using some practical time management tips I suggested to help manage work and family time, and her positive coaching journey has given her confidence and a clear direction.

The next example is interesting, a successful discovery call leads to the contract being issued and signed. However, Sue gets caught up in a new venture and this question arises - is coaching needed right now? Sure enough, she soon discovers that she is unable to commit to coaching. We make a clear break, and that's okay. She saves us both some time and effort, she is preoccupied now and coaching is not a priority. And people's priorities shift all the time. She is honest and most definitely capable. It is in my professional opinion that coaching is an 'all-in' experience. You have to be in it to win!

I heard a new (or not so new) word today, gravitas. It means 'high seriousness' as in a person's bearing or in the treatment of a subject (Merriam Webster dictionary). Some of the synonyms include dignity, grit, austerity, ponderance. And antonyms for gravitas are unimportance or lightness (opposite meaning). To sum up this meaning perfectly, and also guide reflection on this question - do I need coaching right now? - I hope this quote is helpful:

There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when its convenient. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results. - Kenneth Blanchard.

So, ask yourself this question - do I need coaching right now? Am I stuck? Am I lacking confidence and clarity? Do I need to find out more? I’m interested but not sure about commitment? If you don’t ask, you don’t get! So ask me. Don’t limit yourself.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post.

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