by Cara Lumen
A coach is a professional guide, an accountability partner, a skilled motivator who can only do her best work if you do yours. Here are some ways that people have sabotaged their own success.
We were both shaking our heads in dismay. “She’s gone back to where she was before we started, she’s shutting down again.” I said to my web designer partner, Judy. “And she doesn’t listen” she added. And she can’t make a decision,” I added, “I have to write an article about how to be coachable,” and we started listing the important qualities you must bring to the mix if you are going to be coachable and reap the results of the knowledge and guidance of the people you hire to coach you.
Trust your coach
First be really clear that you need help. Your business is stuck, you don’t know what steps to take, you want to start a new blog or signature information product and you don’t even know where to start.
Second. Decide that a coach can get you moving forward. Then you go coach hunting. Sometimes that person just shows up on your radar when you most need her. Sometimes she’s someone you’ve been following and knew when you were ready that would be your choice, and sometimes you really go hunting. But you will know your perfect coach when you find her. You will feel a connection. You will choose her because you resonated with what she or he does and how they do it. You are excited to work with that person and ready to learn what they can teach you. You are going to pay good money for this learning experience and motivational jump start. To get the most out of the coaching experience there are several things you must learn to do.
Listen to your coach. Listen to yourself.
You coach is going to listen carefully to you. She is going to ask you questions that help you recognize and make your choices. And then, she is going to set up a program to get you to where you want to go. She can see the overview and knows which steps come first.
But you won’t get there if you don’t listen. If you don’t do what she says, in the order she gives it to you, you are sabotaging yourself.
I know you are filled with ideas, but my job as a coach is to recognize, out of my own experience and training, which are the best ideas for the goals you say you want. If you disagree, do so, but express clearly why you disagree. Sometimes you’ll discover that the barrier or resistance is from another source. Let your coach help you discover what is holding you back. Your coach will help you reevaluate your direction based on those objections. For instance, I always ask my clients if they are willing to do the assignments I give them. If not, we talk about why and adjust it according to what we discover together. It may be a reality check time issue; it may be the suggestion needs to be tweaked to increase the clients’ willingness. You are a partner participant. Let your coach help you in and around and through your stuck places.
Make decisions with confidence
You are the captain of your business ship. You are the decision maker. Be in charge. Make those decisions based on what you feel, what you know about yourself. I had one client take ten days to decide between a web site proposal, working on a Mac in a program she knew nothing about or having a WordPress presence up in ten minutes for very little money. Ten days and two coaching sessions! And she didn’t understand why the process took so long. She was in an indecisive mode partially because she didn’t understand her options. I explained them to her and she made her choices.
When Nancy Hendrickson and I decided to partner on Magnetic Blog Builders we had a site up within 48 hours. Sure we may tweak it, add content, change a few things, but we were open for business in 48 hours. The professionals you work with are fast and capable. Make up your mind. Trust yourself to know what you want.
As a web designer Judy Stewart is incredibly good at capturing the essence of the person she is designing for. But sometimes the person doesn’t recognize it and suggests small changes and shows her three more sites she likes but can’t tell her why. And inevitably the client comes back to the original design. Begin to look consciously at what you want – what colors do you like, what shapes are you drawn to; what feeling do you want people to have when they arrive.
Know yourself and trust yourself
Which brings me to the cornerstone of being a good coaching client – know yourself. It’s not about being inflexible, or being unwilling to change direction, it’s about trusting your intuition, listening to the discovery questions offered by your coach and taking time to go within to find your answer and then making a decision. “I’ll know it when I see it” is a bit hard for a designer or a coach to work with. Begin with a vision. Understand your target community. A web presence is not about you, it is about the people you plan to serve – what they like, what they will respond to, what they need. Know yourself and know your clients.
Take responsibility for doing the work
The most disheartening thing to have happen with a client is for that client to disengage, to not do the work,, to not make the decisions. When the client is excited and making decisions and allowing the results to happen we are all feeling productive and successful. But when a client shuts down, puts off making decisions, will not take the responsibility to learn how to do the next step, we are both soon stuck and disheartened.
Commit and give it everything you’ve got
What point is there in taking a class if you never pick up a book? What point is there in hiring a decorator then insisting on ignoring their advice? What point is there in hiring a coach and ignoring her suggestions? If you have the wrong coach, change. But when you have the right coach, commit to doing the homework, making the decisions and go search out new information and ideas to bring into the project.
Hiring a coach in an investment in your success
A coach has developed an area of expertise. She spends a lot of time developing coaching systems and learning more about her field. She offers you’re her expertise, her knowledge and her insights which translate into short-cuts to success.
In Magnetic Blog Builders we focus on creating a web/blog presence in 4 weeks. Nancy will have it physically up for you in one week, but you and I have some decision making to do – branding, community development, marketing and content development. We develop a magnetic web presence.
As a Book Yourself Solid Coach I help you build a strong niche-targeted foundation for your business and help you decide what marketing strategies are best suited for you and your target community.
As a Signature Product Development CoachI help you organize your ideas, develop and create your product, and create the landing page to help people buy your book, or telecourse, or product.
Choose a coach that has your same values. Choose a person who is supportive, smart, focused and is the guide you want to help you move forward. Then be the most coachable person you can be.
©2010 Cara Lumen