Here are some suggestions for how to get the most from your coaching relationship.
Coaching is a Designed Alliance.
Leverage this for structure, challenge, focus, and accountability for you to achieve more than you can on your own.
It is an alliance because the power comes from the working relationship you form with your Coach. It is designed so that each relationship is customized to fit the coachee’s needs and agenda. Coaching is for anyone determined to be better and want more from work and life. Coaching provides the support and strategic perspective necessary for elite-level performance.
Commitment to be brutally honest with yourself.
What is your level of commitment, and what are you committing to. What is at stake for you? What are you willing to invest in getting what you want? This choice will be different for each person. The clearer you can be about your commitment to coaching, both with yourself and your Coach, the higher the level of return you will receive. Declare your level of commitment and what you are committed to with your coach.
Customize the Relationship. Let your Coach know what you want from them.
Tell your Coach how they can give you feedback most effectively. Let your Coach know where you want to focus, what support you want, what you want to be held accountable for, and how to challenge you for your success. Ask your Coach to be rigorously honest with you. Let your Coach know how they can most effectively work with you. Design your relationship with your Coach so that it works for you. Continue the design process as your relationship evolves.
The more you take responsibility for setting the agenda, the more you will get from your coaching.
Come to your meetings prepared with a topic. You are the expert in your work and life. Your Coach is there to help you play a bigger game. Your Coach is not a consultant who gives you answers or tells you what to do. They are there to facilitate your learning, provide perspective, and help you develop yourself. It is your responsibility to lay out the playing field.
Coaching works best when you have a clear set of goals based on your values and needs.
Set goals with your Coach that excite you. Don’t pursue someone else’s goals or the Company’s goals at the expense of your own. Set tangible goals you can measure, the results of which are under your control. Set huge goals, so you have a game worth playing — enough to challenge and motivate you.
Step out of your comfort zone. Your comfort zone is where the status quo lives.
Unless you are willing to step outside your comfort zone, nothing will change. One definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Be willing to risk failure. Experiment and try new things. Bring your failures as well as your successes to your coaching meetings. Admit when you are stuck or don’t know. Inevitably in your coaching, you will not follow through on a commitment or will fail at something. When you stop trying to look good, or be the expert, or please your coach, then you open the door to real learning. Some of the best coaching takes place in working through such breakthroughs. This is where the real meat is, so take the risk to go to those places with your coach. Step outside your comfort zone.
Try new things and experiment. Pay attention to the results and useful feedback you receive.
Change your behavior. Increase your level of commitment. Redesign how you spend your time. Look at the assumptions and decisions you have made and tell the absolute truth. Raise your standards and be playful with all of your options.