When people find out what we do they often ask us…
We tell them and they ask…..
Yes but does coaching really work?
We tell them again and they ask….
Yes but does coaching work with ______(X) X being a specific problem such as anxiety, depression, anger problems, marital issues etc…
So Does Coaching Work?
The answer is Yes and No. Damn don’t you hate these kinds of wishy washy answers?
There are a variety of reasons why a therapist or coach wouldn’t be able to help you.
1. A mountain of research asserts that the relationship between the coach and client is the biggest factor in positive outcomes and in getting results in coaching.
To put in plain English, if you don’t connect with your coach and don’t believe he/she will be able to help you, there’s a good chance that the coach won’t be able to help you.
2. The truth is lots of therapists and so called coaches just plain suck at helping people solve their problems.
They mean well….(for the most part). Most of them intend to help you. But often their well-meaning intentions and your results don’t match up.
Some coaches will just listen to you vent about your problems for years at a time happily collecting your money. Sure you may feel somewhat better in the moment but most likely nothing has changed with the problem you’re trying to solve.
You won’t solve your problem this way but you will understand your suffering more. Notice we didn’t say your suffering would go away or decrease any, but you will have more ways of explaining why you are suffering to yourself and others.
3. Coaching won’t work if you’re primary goal is to change someone else and don’t see any need for you to do anything different.
Many people come to coaching with the goal of changing their spouse, mother, father, sibling, boss etc. Yes you may be able to indirectly change how someone else interacts with you, but this will still be done by you changing how you act around them.
So if you are going to coaching with a firm and rigid plan not to change anything you are doing then it won’t work.
4. Coaching often won’t be effective if your coach doesn’t have their own idea about how change occurs.
Some coaches just “try stuff” or do “the latest technique” they’ve read about. There isn’t one right way to do coaching, but your coach should have his or her own map of how change occurs in session.
The system of how change occurs doesn’t matter as much as having a system and you would be surprised by how many coaches don’t have one.
5. Yes…..but Are you a yes….but…. person? Meaning when someone gives you advice or a good idea you say Yes…but (followed by how it wouldn’t work for you).
If you are always looking for all the reasons why coaching won’t help you or how your situation is uniquely impossible to solve, coaching won’t be helpful for you. There is no benefit to you in creating a list of 101 reasons why something won’t work. The magic is in creating the list of how you can make ideas work for your situation.
6. The last reason coaching won’t work is if you’re trying to change something that can’t be changed.
If you were in a car accident and you’re trying to be the person you were before the accident, you are trying to do the impossible. You will always be the person who was in the car accident and no amount of coaching will help you be the person you were before the accident.
Now, you could become a person who went through the accident and is now thriving in different ways than before but you can’t go back unless you have a time machine.
So How Does Coaching Work?
One of the complicated things about coach is that it isn’t an exact science. We are dealing with human beings after all. The success of coaching includes factors that have to do with you, your problem, and the coach.
There are a number of things you can do to dramatically improve the effectiveness of your coaching.
- Either get a referral for a coach from a trusted friend or adviser or find who you can connect with online before meeting them.
- After choosing 5 – 10 coaches that seem acceptable, go to each of their websites. Read their articles, watch their videos and contact only those coaches that have enough material out there so that you can start to connect with them before you even call them.
- When initially talking to coaches, ask them how they believe change occurs and how they think you might solve your specific problem. You may want to select someone who writes articles and talks about solving your specific problem.
- Go to coaching knowing that you will need to change something about yourself or something you’re doing in order to achieve your goals. This doesn’t mean you won’t be talking about your spouse, mother or boss, but that you are willing to change your behavior in relation to those people
- If you are a yes…but.. person stop it. Seriously it’s really annoying and probably impacting your life in a big way. Instead, look for possible ways to use ideas and techniques in your specific situation
- The main thing is to be proactive in finding a coach and engaging the coach in helping you solve your problem. There are good and bad coaches, just like there are good and bad mechanics, doctors and cooks. Be selective and know that you have every right to expect the best from them too.
Say Yes to Love,