Whenever I ask people what coach is, I get a plethora of responses. Here is one take that I like. Look at these six characteristics of a coach.
What is coaching?
A coach is a personal change expert. Coaches help people grow faster, per¬form at a higher level, understand themselves more deeply, and live with greater purpose and fulfillment. They help people get results in your relationships, business, workplace, family, or school. In the same way that a personal trainer helps a pro athlete maximize performance, a coach helps others get the most out of life. The power of coaching lies not in knowing what to do and telling others how to do it, but in the ability to help others develop, believe in and implement their own solutions.
1) Coaching is a Transformational Conversation
The best coaches don’t give advice or tell people what to do. This is what consultants do. Instead, they use powerful, incisive questions to stimulate you to examine those things that matter most from new angles. Coaching is a conversation; a dialogue, not a monologue. Coaches don’t foster dependency like consultants or counselors, but empower you personally develop to reach your goals and be successful.
2) Coaching is a Transparent Relationship
A coach is a friend and confidant, your greatest supporter, someone who knows you well enough to recognize your greatness and challenge you to develop further.
3) Coaching is a Support System for Change
With support, encouragement and accountability from someone who believes in us, we can do far more than we’d ever accomplish alone. A coach helps you stay on track, overcome obstacles and convert your goals into concrete steps that get in your date book and get done.
4) Coaching is a data driven conversation
A part of the of the coaching conversation should be based on real feedback and data. There are many who want results and would like to measure their progress. There are many tools that can be used to get this type of information. This will bring a level of objectivity into the conversation.
5) Coaching is Continuous Leadership Development
Coaches don’t always give solutions: they help you solve your own problems. Coaching is helping you learn instead of telling you what to do. By le¬veraging every situation to build your capacity, coaching prepares you to conquer much bigger challenges in the future. It will build your confidence and create forward momentum to experience break through and success.
6) Coaching is About Personal Responsibility
In a coaching relationship, the client sets the agenda, develops the solu¬tions, makes the decisions, and decides on what actions to carry out. This type of ownership will help you achieve your goals with greater consistency.
Does this sound like something you would like?
Find a coach!
Blind spots can make you crash and have the potential to erode good relationships and career success. Learn more about blind spots.
Have you ever been in a meeting or working with a leader and they have some personality quirk that they continue to do even though it damages their leadership effectiveness?
Success can have a down side. What if you get so full of yourself that your ego gets the way so you can’t receive feedback? Arrogance can be blinding. Basically, it says I have been successful and I know what I am doing, so your feedback and perspective is not needed, thank you very much.
The sad thing about this is, when it happens to a leader and they have drunk the “kool aid”, they have shut off a life line of information that could help them be more effective. Blocking out constructive feedback empowers blind spots to grow. This can be very damaging.
I know brilliant leader who can’t deal with details because of his visionary ability. In a meeting, he humiliated a team member because they asked a well justified, sound question. Guess what? The question made the leader feel challenged and insecure. That poor soul who asked a legitimate questions was cut with a razor of his words. That person doesn’t hang out with that leader anymore.
The tragedy about his situation is that the gifted leader can’t hear feedback about how he treats his followers. And you can guess correctly. He has a high attrition rate for those who don’t want to put up with the abuse. This guy could increase his effectiveness significantly if he only had “ears to that could hear”.
Some things about blind spots:
1. You can’t see your own blind spots. That is why they are called blind spots. You need the eyes of another person to help you see them. You may get a glimpse of the shadow but they will flicker on you.
2. They can be very damaging to your your leadership and relationships. They can create internal confusion because the individual understand the cause and effect relationship related to blind spots. People will make the wrong associations about their behavior. You can get pretty messed up.
3. People who want to develop personally and professionally typically have the courage to face the unknown territory of blind spots.
4. Feedback is the breakfast food of champions. Don’t leave home without it. Learn how to decipher and distill the feedback you receive to make it work for you.
5. The best way to discover your blind spots is to invite someone you trust to give you feedback. A coach or a mentor might be a good person to do this.
6. Once you discover an area, invite people to give you continued feedback on your progress.
7. If blind spots go unchecked, you will like the emperor with no clothes.
8. If people see you making intentional changes about your blind spots, you will win their respect, and loyalty.
The bottom line: Get feedback and have “ears to hear” so you can see how your actions are impacting your outcomes in life.