What are the reasons people choose coaching? I’d be interested to know. What would lead you to choose coaching? What kind of coaching? Lifestyle? Weight loss? Career?
In some areas like weight loss, I wouldn’t benefit from intermittent advice. It feels patronizing, and I’m not interested. I don’t lack knowledge, clinical or experiential for exercise or healthy diet lifestyle. My challenge is an internal personal battle, exacerbated by chronic stress and the decline of the dreaded 30’s. (boo, hiss)
What I choose need for my weight loss/health battle would be time and a dedicated place rather than a teacher. A retreat where I pay to literally live my life entirely differently for a while, 24/7, for weeks if possible. (Which, not so coincidentally, was my business plan in college) I most definitely do not need someone to tell me via the telephone that I should cut carbs. Some folks hear advice, then implement it. I don’t. If I sprung for a personal trainer he must be there 12/7, working out with me, overseeing each meal, not leaving me to my own devices. But who can afford that?
On the other hand when it comes to my job path, I needed a coach. Someone at my shoulder acting as good angel, little devil, brilliant observer and a bit of a drill instructor while standing back most of the time, holding me accountable to accomplish the tasks myself. And I definitely need someone to help me know what to do, where to go and how to make deeply informed decisions about my future.
Initially I wanted an easy coaching/headhunting solution (I still kinda do). Someone to ask 1000 questions and find the perfect position for me, easy peasy.
You see, I work 50 hours a week (not counting 50 minutes daily of mandatory bus transport time-suck) in white featureless rooms with no windows, and horrid florescent lights that have wrought havoc on my skin and vitamin D levels, in a job with no autonomy and less innovation. I have 15 minutes of time between the bus and bed time, and must wake up quite early in the morning just to have an hour or two to myself before it starts again. As you can imagine, the last thing I want are obligations that take me away from my half comatose recovery time outside of work.
But like exercise, there’s no such thing as effortless coaching. And that ultimately is a good thing.
Easy peasy isn’t what I found, but I’m benefiting from a coaching relationship with a foundation in personal knowledge, self awareness and systematic exploration. I love this, I just don’t always have the energy, time or ability to focus on it the way I should.
I try to look at my career coaching the same way an athlete, or a ballerina has a coach. (Gosh, I wish!) In those fields the skill is there or at least the core talent. Drive, interest and motivation are often there, as is knowledge. Their coaching is utilized for real-time improvement of the clients performance. In my case, I don’t want or need coaching for my current environment. I need coaching to get out of and improve it.
I chose coaching because I’m fed up. Because I cannot focus. Because I know I’m in the wrong place, doing the wrong thing and because I know there’s something perfect out there for me… I just don’t know what it is or how to find it. I chose coaching because I need someone else to look at my collective picture and help me pull it together and display it on a canvas that makes sense to my overworked and stress addled brain, while ensuring that the core responsibility is mine.
And who wouldn’t benefit from the presence of someone whose career focus is literally the improvement of yours?
So I’m trying to approach coaching with Stacy as an athlete, systematically and seriously so I can make the best choice – as a normal part of my professional life, not as an extra or a luxury.
And because I’ve made so many poor career choices, I’m working on my humility. There are many people who offered me absolutely correct input in the last 20 years, most of which I ignored.
In what arena would you choose coaching, if you could?