Let’s start with the sad truth. Everyone and their uncle is a self styled coach nowadays. The bar for entry is abysmally low, with the bar for actual success so high that for most, this makes coaching with a master coach financially impossible. With a recent article in the Huffington Post making the rounds on social media, a debate on whether coaching is required for success is also finding its way into coffee conversations. There are two parts to this. One , whether coaching is necessary at all in this information age. Two, if it is, how to find the right coach for you. How do you tell the good ones from the dodgy chancers?
Is a coach really required? Can’t I just you tube this stuff or pick my friends brains?
Well yes and no. A few salient points here:
- You can youtube information and or watch free webinars. Most ‘Free’ information, including my own promotional material, leaves out the real meat of transformational information. This is primarily to protect the intellectual property of the coach. We want you to smell the fresh baked bread and want some, not eat the loaf gratis. So browsing the net for info is great, and should at the very least set you up to start your self development journey.
- Using free ebooks, audios and other giveaways, will also allow you to test your readiness to begin coaching, just keep in mind that one aha moment is not usually enough to sustain you.
- Coaches had to prepare all of this info, so yes, they are still required. The field of neuroscience is discovering new information about how to better use our minds every day. Good coaches stay abreast of the latest technology then feed you just enough info to convince you to get coached.
- Many of the coaches who have fantastic marketing, from lead magnet material to opt in pages and customer service departments have developed group programmes which are like the primary school of coaching offerings. They’re designed to give you taster information, notch you up a level and prime you for the upsell.
- Don’t ask your coaching friends coaching questions and expect free help. No coach is a coach for the love of humanity alone. Like any other person, they have to financially sustain a living wage out of what they love doing, and hour for training hour, these fees can be steep. Rest assured, having paid handsomely for coaching myself, it is money well spent with the right coach. Also a point on mooching, it’s not in the habits of the successful.
- How committed are you with those you tube videos anyway? Do you show up for every one? Free content only engages when the the viewer is really in a place of difficulty and psychological discomfort. Commitment is just better when you have to get your money’s worth.
How do you find the right coach for you?
- To repeat a point above, shop around. Ask for referrals from others who you suspect have been coached. You know who they are from the results they have and you don’t. Not everyone will admit it though.
- Research your coach. Check for publications, audios and video. If they offer a taster session, book one and show up.
- During a taster session expect at least one or two aha moments. You should have a feeling of confidence that this person is able to help you to get results. A guarantee of some sort is also a favourable indicator.
- Talk about your budget. Good coaches don’t come cheaply, nor do they coach pro bono, so don’t expect free coaching. Discuss how you could afford to get coached if you feel that this process will help you with your situation, challenge or next phase of growth. Many coaches are open to negotiation of terms for the right client.
- Talk to your prospective coach about your expectations of coaching. Like any contract, you both have rights and responsibilities.
- Avoid coaches who have little or no profile, unless referred by someone who is already achieving goals.
- Avoid high profile coaches who farms you off to a junior who is also still being coached.
- Don’t buy into the snake oil and hype of marketing and assume that this rahrah and instagram is coaching. Coaching is an intimate and transformative process with a coach who will push you hard to find all your blocks and go past them, in a way best suited to your own context.
So the answer is yes, you have all you need to succeed, and no you don’t necessarily have mental access to all that you need to evict to succeed. Coaches are necessary, but use your discretion. Look for those who walk the talk. Be prepared to pay well for good coaching as free or cheap coaching is rarely enough for lasting change and the wrong type can even set you back.
Success is well within the reach of everyone, but it is not for everyone. Those who want it badly enough, do what is required. Those who don’t… well, have a look at their results. There is room and context for us all.
I hope that this frank look at the coaching industry has helped.