At the start of a new year, people often start looking for a coach - to ensure that they actually do achieve their goals this year. Making that choice can, in itself, seem overwhelming. After all, there are so many people around offering coaching that it can be hard to know who to pick. After all, they all tell you that they can change your life and make you successful. So how do you choose?
Your final choice will depend upon a number of things, but there is one thing which really should not be your deciding factor. However, this one thing is the very thing that many coaches will emphasise in the bid to gain you as a client. It may be the ONLY reason they give. It is…
...Their own inspirational life story.
Yes, the one thing that many coaches will speak about at every opportunity – in every presentation they do and featured prominently on their website.
The story is usually of how they were miserable, despondent and broke and then, just as they hit rock-bottom, they learned, through a single insight, how to change their life. Now, they are happy, wealthy and living the dream and want to teach you to do the same.
Wow – so inspiring. Why wouldn’t you choose such a person to coach you? Well, the problem is that they might well have turned their lives around, but they are not you. Their stumbling blocks will not have been identical to yours, their values and priorities are not the same to be yours and the environment they were in – their friends, their family, their commitments – would have been very different too. The reality is...
...Knowing how to change oneself does not automatically mean you know how to enable someone to change.
That takes a broader understanding of motivation, of belief systems, of values and a greater knowledge of psychological and practical tools for bringing about change in a person who might be very different from oneself. That requires training, it requires the skills and knowledge which allow the coach to enable the client to set their own goals, and to discover their own ways of achieving them. There are many tools and techniques for this, there are ways of asking the right questions to enable the client to discover more about themselves than they have ever done before.
A coach is there to ask, to challenge to enable as well as to motivate and inspire. Being inspirational is not enough on its own.
So, when looking for a coach don’t focus on their story – a coach's work is not about them, it is about you. Instead look as well for evidence of training, of membership of a professional bodies whose entrance requirements require evidence of experience and success and of the ability to listen to you, to work with your definition of success and who will enable you to set and discover your own goals and your own routes to them.
I am an accredited practitioner coach with the International Institute of Coaching and Mentoring. Membership requires proof of appropriate training and client experience. I have made a number of transformational changes in my life, including becoming successfully self-employed. My clients don't get to hear much about my story as I'm too busy working with them to enable them to change their lives, in their way. If you'd like to work with a coach who is trained and experiencing in helping you to achieve your own success in your way then contact me now to begin a transformational journey of your own.