Continued from last week’s blog – read it at: https://seamlesscoach.wordpress.com/2013/09/03/what-coaching-is-part-i/
One of the greatest benefits of working with a coach is that they will push you to confront the reality of your current situation and see beyond it, to create “big sky” goals that may be outside of your comfort zone. I tell clients that I help them go farther, faster. I focus on their future success and how to make changes to grow and achieve higher levels than they have in the past.
What should you expect from a great coaching experience?
First – you should be doing most of the talking. A coach should be asking questions, both for clarification as well as to challenge you to really focus on the issues that may be holding you back. A coach may provide some level of consultation, but their real focus is drawing out your own knowledge, experience, vision, goals, etc. They may even repeat what you’ve said, so that you can hear it clearly from another point of view.
Second – after the initial 1-2 sessions, your coach should have enough information to begin providing feedback that helps you dig deeper and become more focused. This may include reading material suggestions, links, areas they recommend you become more educated in, and follow-up actions before your next session. Your coach is evaluating not only where you want to go, but what tools you may still need to get there. And that leads to…
Third – your coach should have a well-established process or system developed that guarantees (yes, guarantees) results if adhered to by the client. You cannot achieve anything great without continuous effort and progress. Most coaches will ask you to commit to a certain timeframe in order for you to be able to see results from your time together. Often, the size of the goal, course correction, or “mountain” you may be dealing with will determine how long you need their partnership.
I generally recommend a minimum of 6 months or more for small business or non-profit coaching. I recommend a minimum of 3 months, with extensions as appropriate, for areas involving career or life coaching. As a small business owner myself, as a client I’ve agreed to a coaching contract that was as long as 30 months – and was very glad I did. I immediately saw, and continue to see, results from that decision.
A lot of coaches offer a free evaluation or first session, which can be invaluable to determine if you and that coach are a good fit, if they have what you are looking for, and if they are going to be able to get you there “further, and faster” than you would on your own. However, the rates for coaching services vary so greatly (depending on specific area of expertise), that it is difficult to say what an appropriate charge is. As the client, you need to decide what kind of investment you are willing to put in to get the results you want out – you’ll get what you pay for. A less experienced coach will probably charge less, but you may be disappointed in the results. On the other hand, you can pay the same amount for 1 hour with the “internationally known guru,” or several months of an ongoing program with a quality coach who will make themselves more readily available to you, provide you with feedback and accountability, and truly partner with you for your success.