The Real Value of Coaching
The value of coaching and training for Entrepreneurs, Executives & Employees
Whether you are an entrepreneur, executive or an employee, you are an individual human regardless of the type of business you’re in. As an individual, you possess characteristics, beliefs and habits that you have developed from the time you were born to the present day. It’s these beliefs and habits that make up our personalities and who we are. Some of these beliefs and habits support our goals and make us great leaders, and others don’t. The beliefs and habits we have determine the decisions we make, our attitudes, how we treat others and how we respond to situations.
For an individual with the desire to grow and achieve success, situations and challenges occur that are common in life and business. How we handle these moments, even when they appear negative, dictates how we respond, the actions we take, and our attitude toward them, which determines the outcome. Does the outcome of these situations support your growth, your goals and the direction you desire to go in? These situations, also referred to as “key moments” can be big, but oftentimes it’s the small key moments that are more frequent that are often overlooked and not given thoughtful consideration. As a result, these small key moments we encounter continue to shape us over the course of our lives and are a bigger factor in our success than what you may think. When our behaviors, habits and beliefs, shaped from these small key moments, are not supportive, they hinder our success more than the obvious significant moments. Our response to the smaller, more frequent key moments during our lives will determine how we respond to the bigger defining moments.
As an individual with the desire to get more out of life, a career or business, how do you change these beliefs, habits and the paradigm from which you live to support your future growth? Changing habits, behaviors and beliefs as an individual can seem an insurmountable task; it’s the reason there are thousands of self-help books. If it were an easy feat, and with all the information readily available to us on how to change, why is it that many of us don’t?
Where you are today is a result of the choices and the,
conscious and unconscious, decisions you’ve made in life
Coaching has been proven by many individuals and organizations to be a valuable catalyst to help a person or organization shift directions and change habits, behaviors and perspectives that will alter the outcomes of their future decisions to support their goals, dreams, and the direction they choose to track.
Does coaching work? Is coaching valuable? That depends on how important success is to you. It depends on your level of desire and commitment to change and grow to achieve more out of life. If the desire to achieve more and to change is absent, then coaching will be of little value to you or the organization. However, when desire and commitment are present; coaching has been proven to be a viable catalyst for great growth and success where many realize exponential results.
Why do some people succeed and others don’t? Simply put, people that succeed have desire, commitment and discipline and choose to live with intent and focus on the right things that get them the right results, thus achieving success.
For many individuals and organizations, their belief system and perspectives see coaching in life and business as something nebulous, and, as a result, they grossly under value coaching as a catalyst for change and growth and continue down the same path of limited or backwards growth. Continuing to do the same activities and expecting different results is a misalignment between realistic goals and actions. Oftentimes this can be seen as competing priorities or a lack of focus, ultimately resulting in little or no results and frustration.
Coaching and achieving results or success is a process. If you look at it from the perspective that it is nebulous or mysterious, then how would you ever develop a plan that allows you to achieve repeatable and predictable results?
What does a coach do?
There are many professional coaches today that an individual or organization can hire as catalyst to support change and growth. Coaches are all unique and come with their own sets of experiences and approaches and specialties.
Your coach operates as your trusted and impartial partner to support you in your efforts through the process, to challenge you when needed, to acknowledge and celebrate your wins, to hold you accountable to the goals and priorities you’ve defined, and to be your thinking partner, asking powerful questions that provide you with insight and clarity to overcome challenges and fears while on your path to growth, leadership and success.
What is the coaching process? Some of the areas the coach may explore with you to create, clarity, focus and balance for growth and leadership are but not limited to:
- Assessing the current – Understanding the current situation and concerns is an important consideration during the coaching process, as it gives insight into the behaviors and beliefs that created the undesirable conditions that are inhibiting growth. When there is clarity and awareness of the issues, it can be taken into consideration during the discovery and planning phases of the coaching process to free up what’s holding you or the organization back.
- Developing alternative perspectives and a winning mindset – The perspective on where you are today and want to be in the future will determine the decisions you make. Making intelligent decisions involves looking at circumstances and the future from a different viewpoint, one that provides an avenue to other alternatives and approaches. A healthy winning mindset supports positive attributes, opens the mind up to fresh ideas and possibilities and achieves growth.
- Discovering possibilities – Each person and organization has their own definition of success and an idea of what they would like to achieve. The coaching process helps you flush out the ideas through discovery and why those ideas are important to you or the organization and your growth.
- Identifying and clarifying realistic goals – What are the important goals in your life or the organization? If there is a lack of clarity in the direction and goals, it creates competing priorities and a lack of focus, leaving little or no results. This is a chronic problem that triggers frustration and conflict individually and within organizations and strips away confidence, positive attitudes and enthusiasm, which are replaced with fear and doubt.
- Designing and planning actions & priorities – Designing and planning actions and priorities that support the realistic and meaningful goals defined for the individual or organization is a key factor to getting results. When actions and priorities are not in alignment with the goals, the expected results are not achieved.
- Executing, staying focused, progress and accountability – One of the biggest challenges we have is the ability to stay focused and to apply consistent effort over time to achieve the results we’re looking for. Regardless of the goals and actions defined if you or the organization cannot execute the plan with focused and consistent effort results will not be realized. Your coach is your accountability partner to help keep you focused on things you’ve identified will create progress for you or the organization by helping you stay focused and hold you accountable to the actions.
What causes a lack of focus?
Lack of focus or clarity is one of the reasons people seek coaching. The belief is that when a person or organization can increase their focus the results will change, which is not always true. A lack of focus is a symptom to an underlying issue. If the underlying issue is not addressed, then just increasing focus on the same things oftentimes will not generate the expected results.
Approximately 10,000 to 60,000 random thoughts go through our minds each day. Managing these thoughts and ideas while pursing your goals can be a real challenge, and when you’re an organization with multiple employees, and each has thousands of thoughts and ideas, it’s no wonder organizations lack focus, have competing priorities and conflict, all of which inhibit growth. To effectively manage these thoughts and increase focus requires clarity and alignment of your purpose, your strengths, your core values and beliefs, and your goals and actions. When this is achieved, you shift yourself into a mode where you are moving forward with intent and deliberate action, which is recognized as being “focused.” Not moving forward with clear and meaningful intent means that your mind is in an idle position and more susceptible to the 10,000 to 60,000 random thoughts we have, thus creating distractions, which show up as a lack of focus. It’s the lack of focus that is more easily recognized as the problem, because it’s at the surface level, but oftentimes it will go unresolved because the real ailment is never addressed. As this cycle continues, frustration, doubt, fear, and stress continue to build from expending energy without getting results. The phrase “spinning my wheels” has been used to describe this state, which strips away your confidence and energy and leads to a point of major frustration also referred to as a WTF Moment as described in Mike Brenhaug’s book WTF Transform what appears negative into a positive to become unstoppable!.
How do I gain more confidence?
Confidence is a state of mind and is based upon previous experiences, failures, beliefs, skills and knowledge. When a person is clear on who they are, their passion, beliefs, strengths and mission are in complete alignment with their goals and actions. This cathartic process shifts a person into what I call the “Core of Success.” It’s operating from the Core of Success that produces confidence, perseverance, a positive attitude, enthusiasm and other characteristics associated with success and replaces the attributes that create the undesirable. A person virtually becomes unstoppable when living from the Core of Success, which is recognized as confidence, drive and determination.
How do I overcome fears?
Your coach will work with you to identify what’s causing the fears to create a plan of action. Many times fear has set in as a result of lack of clear purpose, planning and goals. Just creating awareness around the fear won’t necessarily eliminate the problem. Fear is an emotion and a symptom, not the problem. You overcome problems, which can reoccur. Symptoms are indication that something is wrong, which needs to be diagnosed to solve the real problem, thus eliminating the symptom, which in this case is fear. When the real problem is solved, fear is replaced with confidence, a much more positive and desirable emotion that supports strong growth and leadership.
How does training fit in with coaching?
Coaching and training oftentimes are separate, as there are coaches that specialize in coaching and trainers that specializes various training topics. The two go hand in hand like sales and marketing. You can operate them separately, but they are extremely powerful and effective when utilized together. Which comes first, coaching or training? It depends on the situation, but for many, engaging a coach comes first because it’s the coaching process that will assist you in assessing the situation and planning the future and will allow you to determine what, who and how much training is necessary to support the future direction. Training alone, without clear purpose as to why, or not addressing the real problem, will result in a low ROI. If you’re not certain which to do first, then it’s a pretty good indicator that you should choose to work with a coach to bring clarity to what your desired outcome is.
How long will I need to work with a coach?
There is no definitive answer. It depends on what you want to get out of your life, business and the coaching engagement. If you’re looking for a quick fix, then coaching most likely is not the answer. Coaching is a powerful collaboration partnership to guide you to greater growth and leadership. Some coaches offer short-term packages and others choose to work with individuals and organizations that are committed to greater results. In any case, coaching and training should not be viewed as quick fixes, as this will set you up for false expectations and disappointment. Quick fixes are a temporary solution until the real problem can be resolved. This works in some areas of our lives, such as when our car is broken down and we need a quick fix to get us to the professional to diagnose and fix the real issue. Growth, leadership and success are achieved from decisions that are made from commitment, and a “quick fix” mentality is not supportive of long term, “all-in” commitment. Do you begin toward growth and your goal and then stop at some point, or are you committed to the end? It raises the question: when considering personal and organizational growth, is there such a thing as a “quick fix?” Our life and success is not a destination but a journey.
How do I know if coaching will work for me or my organization?
Three key attributes are necessary for coaching and training to be effective and are good indicators if coaching will work for you: Desire, commitment and discipline. If desire is absent, then the willingness to be open to fresh ideas, to look at things from a different perspective, the willingness to change behaviors and develop habits is absent. When that is absent it’s extremely difficult to be committed to growth, leadership, and success. Without commitment, the discipline to follow through on necessary actions that create positive habits for change that support growth won’t occur.
At the end of the day, the question still exists. How valuable is coaching for me and/or my organization?
Well, that is up to the value you place on growth and success as an individual or leader as well as the organization. Only you can determine how valuable your future is to you. Do you value your future success enough to invest in yourself and/or the organization?
To help clarify the value of coaching, ask yourself these questions:
If you as an individual or organization had a clear purpose and goals that were in complete alignment, that allowed everyone to be on the same page and were living each day with intent, clarity, focus, balance how valuable would that be to you and/or your organization?
How would that change your life and/or business?
How would that change the life of those around you, your employees or your clients?
How much more valuable or effective would you be to yourself or others?
How much more time, balance and happiness would it bring you?
What are the cost to you and/or your organization in time, happiness, results, and revenue if you continue as you are today?
Your answers to these questions will allow you to determine how valuable coaching is to you and/or the organization. You either choose to live life with intent and move forward or not. There is no in-between.
Live from the Core of Success, Be Unstoppable, and Win The Future!
Mike Brenhaug is a professional business coach and author of the bestseller WTF: Transform what appears negative into a positive to become unstoppable! Mike coaches and speaks with entrepreneurs, executives and organizations on focus and shifting into the Core of Success, where results will be realized.