Imagine that you are stressed out, overworked, overly pressured and don't get the recognition you deserve. This may be so close to reality that you won't find it hard to imagine! You want to grow in your career, but trapped by your current lifestyle and there's a genuine fear that you may be close to burning out. One day, a friend mentions that she has been helped by a coach and suggests that you do the same. At first, you resist. You've seen the hundreds of articles and adverts promising a silver bullet solution to organise your life, reach your dreams, orchestrate your career and get on top of your life.
So let's get this out of the way now: There are no silver bullets; no quick and easy solutions; it will not happen overnight.
You are looking for a coach, so how do you make sure that you get the most out of it?
There are times in life and work when we would benefit from the experience, wisdom and knowledge of people who have been in similar situations. If you are looking for one such person, then you are looking for a coach. Most coaches are professionals, people with considerable experience in one or more sectors, more often than not trained in coaching skills. They choose to become coaches as they are willing to help others by sharing their experience and by helping their coachees to find solutions to their issues, following them through a plan of action.
According to a report published by CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel Development), one in five chief executives claim that having had a coach was critical for their success.
Young graduates report to have found their feet in the organisation thanks to the help of their most experienced colleagues. Even people coming up to retirement have been eased through this difficult stage of their life through people that have “been there before”. Within a work environment there are many situations where the help of a coach would be appropriate.
Most individuals who seek coaching for themselves are going through (or about to embark on) a transition in their life.
- Taking on a new role or responsibility, or starting in a new industry where you have little experience, but need to gain the skills and experience quickly.
- Starting in a new job/position when you are expected to hit the ground running.
- When needing a personal assessment to determine your strengths and weaknesses, and consider what you should be doing in order to maximise your potential.
- When striving for promotion or a new position.
- When needing to talk through your thought processes, strategies, and plans in order to move forward.
- When struggling with certain skills and performance areas and you wish to improve.
- When feeling you have reached a plateau in your career and want to explore options.
- Organisations sponsored coaching tend to use external coaches for their more senior leaders and internal coaches for more junior staff. Fortunately, many organisations are realising the benefits of coaching to strengthen and enhance good performance, a few still think of coaching as a last resort to “fix issues”.