Posted by: Cathy | June 11, 2012

What do you want from a coach?

Now that we’ve talked about why you might want a coach, let’s explore what you want from a coaching relationship and whether you could do this for yourself.

Here is an excerpt from my journal a while back:

I don’t think a life coach has to have answers for all of life’s problems, I think a life coach is more to help you start a dialog with yourself, to be an audience for you to almost talk out your own answers, or help you reframe the questions to get at what the root really is; basically a sounding board who can also give you opinions and feedback. Also, I think a life coach and coachee should have similar values and/or goals.

So I would expect a life coach to talk with me about ideas or issues and, if I feel a need to take action on something, we would come up with baby steps and/or action plans, then they would help me follow up, as in “you said you would try to do X by the end of the month, how did that go for you?” but not to be a task master – if X didn’t happen in the time frame, figure out why and what I was prioritizing instead, and if that other thing really is a priority for me or if I was just using it as an excuse to procrastinate on X. I think life lessons are fluid and circular – some change into something else, or lessons come back around for another go – so the process shouldn’t be rigid or results-oriented. It’s about learning and growing, connecting with someone else on a deep level, and being happier in my life, my skin, and my creative projects.

I feel good about trying to accomplish this on my own, or with a close friend or three as my sounding board. Perhaps your goal is to expand your own business, for which you probably need to seek out a professional coach. However, my goals are personal so I think I can go it alone for a while (and maybe ask Santa for a coaching session later!).

Also, I’m an introvert so I like exploring inner questions and spending time with myself. It’s important to be honest with yourself whether you can make a plan and check in regularly to keep yourself on track. If you really need outside help, find a supportive buddy to do this work with you, or save up for a session with a professional coach.

So, try a free-write in your journal to explore what you want from a coach and if you can do this alone or with a friend. If the answer is “yes”, stay tuned for ideas and prompts to get going!

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