Friends and others who have gotten to know me often ask, “Do I need a coach? Is that something I need to have?”
I think my answer might be surprising to them. The answer is, no, you don’t need a coach.
You can be successful without a coach, much like someone who says, “I want to get back in shape.” They decide they want to go to the gym, and they can do that independently. But, often, what you will find is they will have a better return on their investment if they have a personal trainer help them along the way. The personal trainer assists them in reaching their goals.
It’s the same with an executive coach.
You don’t have to have an executive coach to be successful. But, many people find that having one allows them to identify their goals and reach them in a much clearer and faster way. The return on investment for good coaching tends to be four to seven times what the investment is.
So when people say, “Do I need coaching?” The first answer is no. And then they say, “What are the things you are looking for when you are deciding to work with someone as a coach?”
I’m looking for two things. If I sit down with someone who wants to receive coaching—and you have to want that to begin with—I’m asking questions like, “Tell me about your goals, what are you hoping to accomplish?” For example, these might be 6-month goals or annual goals, but I’m asking them to determine what those goals are. If you don’t know your goals, working with a coach can be very beneficial to you.
Secondly, if you know those goals, are you reaching your goals? Are you getting where you hope to go? If you are not, having someone work with you as a coach can be very helpful. One, because the coach can work with you on the ideas to make sure that the goal is the right one. Two, to identify the obstacles that are keeping you from reaching those goals and then help you create the action plan to get things done.
For most people who receive coaching, it’s a life-changing experience. I would love to say it is because of the coach. The reality is, good coaching changes things, but the truth is, for most people, to have time to think, time to process, time to think deeply with someone else, that process of thinking about something maybe for an hour or two a week is what really begins to allow them to see more clearly the objectives they have in mind.
Working with a coach is hugely beneficial if you are looking to identify what the goals should be and if you are looking for a way to accelerate your growth, that’s where coaching comes in to play.
You can succeed without coaching, but if it is something that you want, I do not know people that have received executive coaching from a professional coach who looked back on that with regret.
Matter of fact, we have had several people who said they wanted to start small, just trying a few sessions, and after they have done that, I can’t think of a single time when they said, “this wasn’t beneficial enough for me to continue.”
Look for help. Invest in your future. What you will find is by investing in your future, the people around you benefit as well.
About Dr. Nathan Mellor
A thought-leader, two-time TEDx speaker, author, and CEO of Strata Leadership, Dr. Nathan Mellor is recognized for his ability to connect at the heart level with a wide range of audiences. A proven executive coach, who has provided in excess of 2,500 coaching sessions for executive leaders, he believes providing the highest quality feedback requires caring deeply about others. He serves as a sounding board, sparring partner, and a source of encouragement for leaders seeking to maximize their effectiveness.