Mastermind Groups, Mentors, Accountability Partners, and Coaches.
So, today’s blog marks the 4th and final in the series on Your Success Team. Over the last 4 blogs I have discussed and introduced how each of these groups of your success team plays and integral role in your success and who you should consider for each role as well as how to go about finding people or set up your groups.
Today’s final blog will be about Coaches. There are several coaches that you may find useful and finding a good coach is not always easy, but allowing yourself to even acknowledge that you need a coach is often the biggest hurdle to overcome. I have personally struggled with this debate and more times than not realized after the fact it would have been a worthwhile investment.
For example, as my career really began to take off, I decided to venture out on my own with a new business, and although I had a financial business partner, I ran all of the day-to-day operations. This was just fine, as far as I was concerned, as I thought I knew everything anyway. I quickly realized that although I knew quite a bit about running a retail operation, there were other aspects I needed help with. I chose to do most everything on my own, including researching better merchant solutions, banking considerations, and maintaining the bookkeeping. As you can imagine that did not work out so well and ended up costing tens of thousands of dollars.
A Coach, whether it is a Life Coach, Business Coach, Marketing Coach, etc, is someone who may have experience in a certain area that they coach on. However, they could also be a Generalist Coach who acts as someone that you can bounce ideas, scenarios, and challenges off, to help in coming up with the best solutions. If you asked 10 people on their thoughts on coaches, my guess would be that you would get 10 different answers. The reality is the uses and needs of a coach are as varied and different as we are as individuals.
The key to a good coaching relationship is having trust. As the coached individual, you must be willing to share your real circumstances, thoughts, and ideas, not what you think you should share. A coach can’t give accurate advice if you are not sharing the true circumstances you are dealing with. Additionally, a good coach will also get to know you as an individual and understand how you think and respond to different situations. This allows them to help make the most effective suggestions.
Another key component of an effective coach is that you must also be willing to follow their guidance and you must respect their opinions. An unwillingness to appreciate, follow, or execute on the suggestions of your coach will very likely lead to short relationship. No one wants to feel like their opinion isn’t valued and if you don’t see the value in the feedback, you most certainly won’t see the value in the fees that you are paying to that coach.
The synergy created by a good coach is immeasurable and worth so much more than the cost. A good coach should challenge you to not give into your own excuses. Rather than telling you though, a good coach will help you see your opportunities by your own accord by asking good effective questions and challenging you to be honest with yourself. This takes trust and honesty on both sides of the equation. A business coach will challenge you on your business needs but may carry over into personal circumstances, particularly where it involves processing limiting beliefs or blocks that are keeping you form making the best business decisions. A Life Coach will likely focus on more personal circumstances, so knowing specifically what you are looking for in a coach is equally important. Remember, finding a good coach should be like interviewing for any key partner, Accountant, Lawyer, etc. You must ensure that this is someone you will want to work closely with and you can see how they can help you.
There are many different coaches and several types of coaches, so you need to evaluate what you are looking for, and then begin your interview process. Don’t get caught up on cost, focus more on value, what can they help you with and what will that return look like. A good coach should return at least five to ten times what they are costing. That may be hard to assess at first, but once you see how they reduce poor or hasty decisions, increase productivity by sharing best practices and leverage their insight knowledge, and experience.
It is my assessment that everyone should have a coach, possibly even two or three depending on your needs. If you think about it, the high performing athletes, artists, business executives, etc, all have and use performance coaches to get the best results possible, why wouldn’t everyone follow that same logic? As you evaluate your needs for a coach take time to assess what all you need and are looking for, consider personality, approach, experience, and style, this will help ensure you find the ideal coach for you.
Best of luck in your search!