Everyone needs support to manage life’s ups and downs.
Wondering why you might need a coach? Maybe you’re aiming for a competitive promotion, or can’t find the drive to complete a home renovation. Whatever the reason, if you could use a trusted guide toto overcome a roadblock in your life, consider seeking out a coach.
When we feel like we’re stuck in a rut or can’t overcome a challenge, connecting with a coach can make a world of difference. Whether we need encouragement in our personal lives, careers, or at the gym, coaches provide personalized strategies to help us unleash our potential when we’re struggling to do so on our own.
Read on to learn about the benefits of coaching and how it can help you improve.
What does a coach do?
Coaching is a goal-focused relationship that helps clients overcome obstacles in their lives. A great coach could be anything from a sounding board or a shoulder to cry on to a personal cheerleader — it depends on the client’s needs. But every coach’s purpose is fundamentally the same: to help their client reach their goals. Naturally, this relationship requires significant trust and excellent communication.
The specifics of a coaching relationship depend on the type of coaching you seek. If your overall motivation is low and direction is lacking, life coaching will aim to change your mindset and empower you to live a better life. Executive coaching focuses on upping productivity and improving business practices for business growth, while career coaching helps with upskilling, job searching, and setting a career path.
Regardless of what area you need support in your life, there’s probably a type of coach who can help you.
The importance of asking for help
Making changes is difficult — especially if we’re already struggling. But when we aren’t making progress on our own, it’s okay to ask for help. Taking advantage of external supports does wonders to get us back on our feet.
If the question “Do I need a life coach?” has crossed your mind, it might be a sign you’d benefit from extra support. The first step is finding a coach whose values and techniques align with your ambitions. Before meeting with a coach, consider the following questions:
- What are my strengths and weaknesses?
- What areas of improvement do I want to focus on?
- How do I want to be coached?
- What are my goals?
Once you know what you’re looking for, it’s easier to communicate your wants and needs to potential coaches and determine if they’re a good fit. Don’t be afraid to try out multiple people before settling on the one that’s right for you. You wouldn’t buy the first car you see, so don’t settle for a coach who doesn’t check all your boxes.
Benefits of coaching
Wondering what you and a coach might accomplish during a typical coaching session? Here are five ways a coach can help you:
A coach can give you clarity and direction in your ambitions. Using their expert knowledge, tools, and experience, they can guide you to visualize and articulate your goals and then develop a plan for achieving them.
An entrepreneur with a struggling company might hire a business coach to assist them in implementing a sustainable strategy for maintaining and growing their client base. The coach could suggest specific resources and techniques such as a client management system or customer service workshop to help their client reach their goal.
A good coach understands their client must be self-motivated to achieve the best results. Rather than only offering instructions, coaches also teach you strategies for resilience and perseverance when the work is challenging. To encourage you, a coach may employ accountability tactics like regular goal setting and check-ins to keep you hungry for results.
A life coach might help a client struggling with deadlines by teaching them time management strategies. Once the client is equipped to make progress, the coach can motivate them by conducting weekly check-ins to monitor their progress and hold them accountable to their goals.
3. The bigger picture
When we’re hyper-focused on a goal in the distance, we often forget to take a step back and consider the bigger picture. A coach provides an outside perspective and reminds you of the progress you’ve made, even if you haven’t reached your goal yet. They can also identify where your improvement may be lacking to refocus on areas slowing your progress.
Here’s a coaching example from a sports field: A soccer coach watching from the bench may point out strategic strengths and weaknesses to an athlete who’s only focused on scoring a goal. With the coach’s help, the player can redirect their attention toward improving their strategy, an essential milestone on the way to scoring their first goal.
4. An unbiased opinion
Coaches provide an unbiased, professional opinion on your situation. With a fresh perspective, they could find creative solutions you wouldn’t think of yourself. They can also offer some levity when you’re too hard on yourself and keep you grounded if you tend to push responsibility off of yourself.
For someone struggling in their marriage, a relationship coach might help clients improve their emotional intelligence by asking them to consider multiple points of view within an argument. While it’s easy to get stuck in our heads in the heat of conflict, having a neutral third party weigh in lets us take a breath and solve problems with more fairness and empathy.
5. Long-term success
Think of coaches as an evolving form of support in life’s challenges — they act as no-nonsense mentors, compassionate sources of emotional support, and insightful brainstorming partners, depending on your evolving needs and aspirations. They help you achieve your short-term goals, but they’re also building you up with knowledge, confidence, and techniques to be successful in the long term, even after your coaching relationship ends.
An athlete struggling with accountability may reach their short-term goal of training for a half-marathon with the help of a coach. But it doesn’t end there — the next time they’re preparing for a big race, they can fall back on the toolkit they developed with their coach to hold themselves accountable for their new goals. The same goes for a young professional gearing up for a promotion years down the round. Plus, the skills they developed likely translate to other personal challenges.
Give coaching a try
If you want to grow a skill or move past an obstacle in your life, consider reaching out to a coach. An excellent coach can help you get where you want to go — and even further.
And plenty of excellent coaches out there can encourage you as you navigate any personal journeys. Reaching out for support and trusting a stranger with your inner thoughts and feelings feels vulnerable, but that in itself is an opportunity for growth. No matter your goals, finding the right coach whose techniques and values align with your needs can push you forward for the better.
Looking to start a coaching business yourself? Find coaching tools at Practice to help you make that step.