It sounds silly to "not be ready" to work with a coach, doesn't it? They're supposed to help you when you need it, right?
Well, the thing is that you really may not be ready.
I want to tell you about two interesting interactions related to the business coaching services I offer. One was someone who reached out to me because they were stuck and were looking for guidance on how to get unstuck and get their business off the ground. Another was someone with an out-dated business model looking for a way to turn the tides and increase revenues.
They had two very different reactions to coaching.
One individual was always seeking guidance and asked thoughtful questions around how to go deeper. They were prepared by taking notes, being engaged, and brought good ideas to the table. They took an active role in finding solutions to move their business forward with me.
The other individual was much different.
They were shooting down ideas, and always seemed to have a "but" for every solution. They missed the opportunity to fully hear what was being said and to be a positive contributor in changing the situation their business is currently in.
When you're looking for a coach the first thing you should ask yourself is, are you really ready?
Are you prepared to listen?
Communication is crucial in any relationship, that goes for coaching relationships too. Communication should not be one sided -- both parties should be willing to explore options and work through things together. If you catch yourself getting defensive with every suggestion and idea brought forward the chances are high that you are not ready for a coach.
There are many coaching styles out there and the reason most people hire a business coach is to get results faster. If you are not prepared to communicate and listen to what is being offered to you, you won't get the results you are looking for and it's not necessarily the coach's fault. It may be because you're just not ready to listen and you might be better suited to a self-led program like the Pilot To Profit Program.
If you are really ready to listen, explore options and collaborate with your coach - you are on the path to making changes.
Are you ready to take action?
They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. It's true - when you engage in a coaching relationship, you are looking to make a change. Change requires effort, commitment and for you to take action.
A while ago I hired a coach and the timing of the work they suggested I do was completely off. I couldn't get any of what they suggested I do done because I didn't know how, and my team didn't have time to work on the project. Unfortunately, I ended up not fully taking advantage of this opportunity because of timing.
I couldn't take the kind of action that I needed to. The coach showed up fully, gave me great suggestions for everything I wanted to do but I wasn't able to implement the work as quickly as I should have to fully take advantage of working with them.
Sometimes this happens when you hire a coach and you overextend yourself. You invest so much in the coaching program that you are financially tapped out and then you can't hire the required resources to help you get things done.
If you're ready to work with a coach, you should expect that there will be work to do and either you, or someone you hire, will need to do it. Be prepared, willing and financially able to take action.
Are you ready to be vulnerable?
Not everyone is okay with being vulnerable and open. Some of my clients show up 100% in the vulnerability department. They are not afraid to share their successes and their shortcomings. They know that being completely honest allows me to help them find the best solution to their problems.
Being honest like this requires a relationship of trust, and a certain level of vulnerability on your part. If you're afraid to be completely honest about what is going on in your business, the timing might not be good to hire a coach.
If you really are ready to work with a coach, you should be willing to talk about all aspects of your business, including financial problems, personal challenges that are preventing you from moving forward, and even challenges within your team. If you act as though everything is perfect because you are afraid of looking bad, you won't get the results you need from working with a coach.
In the virtual world of social media, some coaches are rising to almost celebrity status. If being around a coach like that intimidates you, you won't feel comfortable being vulnerable with them. Choose a coach that you feel okay being completely honest with if you really want to get results.
I have one client who hired me specifically because I don't live in the same city as her, and she likes my "don't kiss and tell" policy that allows her to work with me without having the world know.
If you are looking for a coach, be comfortable with them and allow them to help you stretch, don't be intimidated by their success.
Do you know what you want?
If you are not clear, it will be hard for you to evaluate the success of the coaching relationship.
I have a group coaching program Profit Pods, and the participants who gained the most from the program came prepared in advance. They knew what they wanted to get out of the program and stayed on task the entire time.
If you don't know what you really want then you might not be ready for a coach. Make a list right now of the things you would like to see change in your business. Knowing what you want to accomplish by working with a coach is one of the most important first steps you can take.
Lastly, if you have never worked with a coach before, consider whether or not a group coaching program might be a better fit. One of the things I valued the most about working with the participants in Profit Pods was how every person's challenge seemed to always be exactly what someone else needed to learn. Sometimes there is extreme value in being coached with a group of your peers so you can see the challenges other business owners have.
Leave me a comment below and tell me the one thing you really want to accomplish with your business.