4 Signs You Are NOT Ready to Be Coached
Despite the increased utilization of coaches for personal and business situations, not everyone is ready to be coached and consequently will not benefit from coaching. A good coach will evaluate your readiness before accepting you as a client, just as you should interview several coaches and determine which one is the best fit for you. A coach should also evaluate your capacity to benefit from coaching.
The following statements and questions raise red flags when I hear them, signaling that a prospect might not be ready for coaching:
1. “Just tell me what to do!” A coach doesn’t direct clients in this manner. Instead they guide and empower clients to reach their goals. A coach is along for the ride and guides clients through their journey. Coaching is a challenging process that involves hard work. That means you need to be able to look at yourself in the mirror and uncover some blind spots. It also means that you are willing to be creative and problem-solve to reach your goals. Great coaches don’t necessarily give you all the answers, but they do help you think things through logically and methodically. Those who tell you exactly how to do something actually undermine your sense of competency. You’ll start to believe that the coach has all the answers and this will create a dependency on the relationship, which involves unethical practices.
2. “How quickly can I get results?” Sometimes we go through periods of time when we are overwhelmed or complacent. These two states are in direct opposition for achieving effective coaching results. Capable clients understand their own motivations and their limiting beliefs. A coach can’t help a client who doesn’t want to be coached. You need to be willing to look at what is holding you back and seek practical guidance to move forward. If you want a quick fix, you may be disappointed. True coaching doesn’t offer quick fixes, magic bullets, or other overnight solutions. The objective of coaching is to help clients think through available options and support the change process, achieved through the inquiry process. Inquiry involves asking key questions to unlock great thinking and insights, which allow you to make your own discoveries. Coaches trained in inquiry methods use questions as a means of exploring and understanding their clients. The benefit of this method is the client’s increased self-esteem and enhanced motivation to move forward. The client’s insights last longer and the learning runs deeper. The more self-aware you are, the quicker you will see your results.
3. “I’m right, right?” Being right and being strategic are two different things. Coaches don’t encourage clients to be foolish and shoot for unrealistic goals. They help them set a plan of action and take appropriate steps to accomplish their goals. They help clients assess and learn from each step each to make course corrections. Encouragement and support are combined with actionable items to make the dream a reality. So it’s not about being right, it’s about having a plan to implement. At the same time, be careful about “being right” and wanting to prove you don’t need a coach. This will greatly interfere with your willingness to receive feedback.
4. “You don’t know my business or industry.” Some people work with industry-specific coaches, for instance, a real-estate coach. Certainly, familiarity with the unique demands of an industry can make things easier to understand. However, there are fundamental business principles that apply to any type of business. A great coach typically has real business skills and highly developed people skills. A skilled coach can enhance your performance in any context. Your belief in their expertise with your industry suggests they have the answers. Instead, knowing your coach has expertise with human development empowers you to make decisions and problem-solve based on your unique characteristics.
If none of these scenarios describe you, then you may very well be a great fit for coaching. Bottom line: Are you willing to put in the effort and invest in your own potential and development?