Coaching, or the act of offering advice and guidance in focusing on specific tasks or objectives, is a secret to success in goal attainment across all disciplines. Today we have access to professional coaches in sports, education, executive leadership, acting, music…even life. As Jane A. G. Kise describes in “Differentiated Coaching”, if we can know our relative strengths and weaknesses, and adjust our beliefs and actions accordingly, we can achieve success at more frequent and higher levels. It is through the enhancement of knowledge about what works best for each individual (coachee) that we maximize outcomes.
In my work as a health and fitness coach, I experience a broad level of engagement with my clients. Some prefer a very close relationship in which we discuss practices and progress daily, and many others simply use me in an advisory capacity on an intermittent basis. All of these models can and do work, as long as they fit most of the characteristics of the coachee, such as personality type, learning style, activity and health history, work and family schedules, etc. In fact, many of these individuals are essentially self-coached, and I merely help them make small adjustments in their plans and actions, whether that be losing weight, improving health, or achieving performance goals.
The keys to successful coaching are many, but they include an ability to observe and listen and determine what the coachee really needs at the current time. Then the constructive information needs to be delivered in a manner that is well-received, understood, and easily applied. I don’t issue long-term training schedules because they do not work. They are not flexible and dynamic enough and they ultimately fail in breakdown, disinterest, or injury. Instead, we emphasize the relationship and try to keep the goal-oriented program progressing by constantly adjusting to what is happening in the coachee’s body, mind, and life.
I’ve had some wonderful coaches in this journey so far. My outcomes when coached were always higher, faster, and more satisfying when I had a good coach than when I attempted to coach myself. People get into the coaching professions because they really care about the success of others, and they love to help a person become his or her absolute best, sharing in a mutual joy that is like no other. Consider using a coach for your personal advancement.