You already know the value of professional coaching, if you stop to think about it. You’ve seen coaches huddle on the sideline with their players, right? An athlete rarely succeeds without the strategy and encouragement a great coach offers, or the accountability a coach demands.
Wondering whether you’d like to have a professional life coach in your corner? Here are 10 critical things a coach can do for you:
1. Assess and Take Stock: Coaches ask what’s next for you in key areas of life, like work, relationships and well-being. They’re looking for areas where you’re in action and your strengths shine. Coaches listen for gaps between where you are and where you want to be. A coach can help align your goals, values, desired impact and purpose.
2. Focus: By shining a spotlight on the future, a coach helps you clarify a vision. Your coach will work with you to articulate your goals, then plan and gather resources. Your coach will bring you back to the original focus when you stray (everyone does!).
3. Motivate: We all get distracted, drifting away from even the best of plans. Your coach will help you tap into your deep reservoirs of motivation, often by reminding you of your long-range vision. Your coach will affirm and champion you. Your coach will nudge you to reflect, connect, explore, choose, repack and act.
4. Optimize: At the heart of coaching is this question: What would it take to be your best in all dimensions of your life? A coach works alongside you to ensure that your performance matches your potential and is driven by your purpose. Your purpose is your GPS. Everyone is an experiment of one…growing, learning and making choices.
5. Encourage: There are moments when it’s tempting to quit, and that’s when your coach becomes your best support. Your coach can serve as part of your sounding board and a haven of emotional safety. Working with a professional life coach builds a foundation of trust that enables you to explore possibilities that may be hard to tackle on your own.
6. Shift Perspective: Coaches are trained to be powerful listeners, ferretting out blind spots, pointing out alternative perspectives, and freeing you to see things in a different way. By reframing your view of a struggle, a question like, “In five years, how will you view this situation?” can lead to insight, motivation and action.
7. Probe: One of a coach’s most effective tools is a powerful question: “What do you want?” “How is that connected to your purpose?” A provocative question can startle you, lead to insight and cause you to rethink a habit. A coach will challenge you to ask and answer difficult questions without analyzing intentions or probing into your past.
8. Build Structure: A coach provides the environment for you to translate your desires into action—nonjudgmental listening and supportive accountability. If you know your coach is going to ask you whether you’ve accomplished the objectives you outlined in a previous session, you’re very likely to come to the session prepared.
9. Clear Hurdles: What if you don’t accomplish what you’ve committed to? Your coach can help you recognize why you’re not following through and craft a plan for eliminating barriers to your goal.
10. Celebrate: In the busy whirl of our lives, taking time to find a life coach to work with can create a pause when you recognize what you’ve accomplished. When was the last time you gave yourself time for reflection and celebration? When have you recognized your own growth and learning? It’s important to create time to integrate new behaviors and make them daily habits.
Imagine huddling with your coach to reflect, build a structure for exploring, and create connections that propel you to act. Go ahead. Set up a session with a professional life coach to move toward what you want to create in your life.