Who needs coaching? Well, um, actually, I do. You’re probably thinking what the woman was thinking when I mentioned in a recent talk (on how to work smart) that I’d hired a coach to help me get clarity on the direction of my evolving business. She declared incredulously when I invited questions before closing, “I just can’t get over the idea that you’re a coach and you need a coach. That just doesn’t seem right to me.”
My response to this woman was that, contrary to her assumption, it wouldn’t be right for a coach not to have a coach – whenever real roadblocks arise, as they do for all of us. It stands to reason that if my role as a coach is to guide clients toward greater success, I need to know where I’m going in my own life and work to lead the way. If I am to practice what I preach, which is always my intention, then it’s essential that I consult a fitting coach when my professional or personal objectives are too over my head to manage on my own.
I’m a pretty accomplished, happy person, not to mention an expert at resolving human predicaments, but I am not immune to the overwhelm all of us face amid a culture of constant distraction and change. And so when I start to sense those familiar signs of entering ambitious new territory — confusion about what to do next in one or more areas, frustration because I am filled to the brim with ideas and don’t know where to go with them, fear that if I don’t find my way soon I will never find it — I look for the best coach available to address my particular issue.
I know from past experience that the right coach will help me cut through the clamor and get to my destination more quickly with much less stress. Consequently, I have great confidence in the power of good, solid coaching to transport me to a new, more enlightened level every time. Never seamlessly or without hard work of course (because transformation is never a one-shot process devoid of labor), but certainly in a way that is affirming, energizing, deliciously challenging, and richly rewarding.
When I worry about the financial investment of coaching, as I always do when the need surfaces — because, come on, who has a pile of cash set aside for coaching? — I quickly remind myself how much money – not to mention time and mistakes — coaching saves in the long-run. I remember how much easier it was to integrate coaching into my psychotherapy business (after I earned my coaching certification five years ago) with the right coach in my corner. I recall how much better I slept when my next coach assisted me in traversing the minefield of a particularly difficult consulting assignment. I think fondly of the subsequent coach who helped me and my husband create new spending habits after we got married. Then there’s the next coach who kept me on task as I wrote Life Your Way. And soon, I’m pleased to report, I’ll be reminiscing about my current coach, who has helped me to move through another complicated career phase – that of re-structuring my business to encompass the opportunities and pressures brought on by my book.
As I consider the incredible value coaching has brought to my life and work, what I’m most looking forward to is getting together with my present coach to celebrate what every successful coaching experience brings: liberating awareness of a clear path ahead and firm ground beneath my feet. Now that I’ve reached this new place of greater certainty, competence and contentment, a place that would’ve taken me oh so much longer to reach on my own, I know more than ever what I’ll do when the next enticing yet hazy goal appears on the horizon. I will recognize my need for a navigator and find the best coach for whatever life-altering milestone is beckoning. And as I sit here feeling rejuvenated and free in an area that was maddeningly confounding just three short months ago, I know that I will respond with even greater conviction to the next mystified person who can’t quite grapple with the idea of a coach needing a coach. “Does the coach need coaching, you ask? You bet I do!”