Posted by: mikeduckett | March 4, 2010

Things are great so why do I need a coach?

Good question – the answer is you don’t!

I don’t believe anyone ‘needs’ a coach, like you might ‘need’ a doctor or a psychiatrist – but every one of us could certainly USE one. If you think of meeting up with your coach only when you’re stuck or things aren’t going to plan then you’re missing out on getting the best out of your coaching time.

I started out my coaching work with a professional sports person and so maybe that’s why I have this model at the back of my mind when I work with clients so I’m not waiting to hear ‘the problem’ before we begin. Think of any sports and mostly we expect the exponent to spend more time with their coach the better they are. The British Cycling team put in an astounding performance at the last Olympics and they had plenty of coaching contact during the winning streak.

It’s simply about always having your goal in mind and reviewing performance continually. If you treat the coaching relationship as a therapeutic, problem solving one then you’re likely to only analyse your performance when it’s not been good. That’s fine as far as it goes; you will be learning from your mistakes.

However, I’m reminded of a folk story I heard about a famous actor (was it Gielgud?) who came off stage after a wonderful performance to standing ovation and stormed into the dressing room in an apparent rage. Eventually someone was brave enough to enter and ask why the rage when it was such a great performance? He angrily replied “I know, I know but I don’t know why, so how can I repeat it!!!”

So if you restrict your coaching sessions to times of difficulty you may never get chance to reflect on what you do when you do things well.

This is especially true with business clients who’s careers are flying. It’s a job sometimes to ask them to take a couple of hours regularly (not necessarily frequently) to meet up to review what’s going well and what they have been doing, what strengths they have been playing to etc.  That is, what’s behind their current success?

Most careers go through ups and downs – like life in general! The danger of riding the ups with a big grin and your eyes closed is that you’re not doing any work on keeping that trend going.

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