Quick! When you hear “business/life coach,” what comes to mind? If your response is a bit murky, you’re not alone. Coaching to help people release their potential in business and in life emerged in the 60’s and 70’s, but didn’t evolve into a profession until the 90’s. Perhaps you’ve heard of coaching as a profession, but perhaps you haven’t hired one, and it’s possible you don’t know anyone who has.
Anyone serious about sports has a coach to bring out their best. If you’re a parent supporting your child in their chosen sport, you want a coach who not only teaches the basics, but who will develop your child in the nuances of the sport. Whether it’s perfecting a swim stroke, getting a great jump off the blocks in a track meet or excelling in soccer, football, hockey, etc., you expect the coach to maximize their performance. Perhaps the word “coach” conjures up a picture of sweaty teens focused on someone blowing a whistle and barking orders, so it may be difficult to see the coach as a partner.
My brother-in-law coaches hockey in his “free time.” Whether he’s helping Midgets stay in their lane rather than bunch up on the puck or collegiate players develop “hockey sense”, he first seeks to understand the player. The coach trains the mind as well as the body, and provides structures to:
Let’s shift gears and ask, “What does it mean to have ‘a coach in your corner’ in business or in life?”
A personal coach provides a structure for success that supports their client to generate results: faster, more consistent, less stress – you fill in the blank. The best business and life coaches know your answers are within you. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” If you hire a life coach, you hire a partner skilled in releasing your potential.
Business and life-coaching is based on two things: focused conversations and powerful questions. Though we engage conversations to convey information, cement social ties or pass the time, a coaching conversation is different. It requires planning and follow through. It’s strategic. Powerful questions cause you to think in new ways. When people are told something, they don’t have to think, and it raises little awareness, motivation or creativity. Powerful questions raise all three, and reveal action steps quite different from most on our “to do” lists.
A realtor who consistently earns over a million dollars a year told me that his coach asked, “Why aren’t you building high rises in the city?” He said, “I don’t know anything about building high rises.” But the question triggered him to ask, “What would I need to know? Who would I work with?” “Why not me?” Within months, he invested in his first high-rise project.
Whether you want to grow your business, have more free time with your family, overcome a health challenge, develop your leadership skills, or…or…or…the key is that you fulfill your potential. If there’s something you’re struggling with or that keeps you awake at night, partnering with a skillful business/life coach and transformational expert might be just the ticket to move you from sleepless at 2:00am to snoozing through the night—confident of your success.