Are You Using Your Coach Effectively?
Whether it’s a personal trainer, a teacher or a mentor, what you get from your coach is largely up to YOU. Making the most of a coach is a skill that you get better at with practice. Think back to your first visit with your trainer. I dare say you had quite a few nerves, anxiety and a level of cautiousness at that first meeting. Now think about how you feel after spending time with your coach on a regular basis. You’re most probably a lot more at ease with the relationship. Now, if you can master the ability to leverage the coach or coaches in your life, you can accelerate your success, drop bad habits like a sack of spuds, grow new skills and abilities and make the most of what you’ve got.
Luke Skywalker, Danielson from The Karate Kid and Rocky Balboa all had coaches. And what did those three have in common? They all worked their ass off at changing themselves and they made the most of their coaches.
So what are some ways to make the MOST of your coach?
Actually DECIDE To Make The Most Of Your Coach
Your attitude goes a long way in enabling OR limiting what you get from your coach. There’s a saying, “When the student is ready, the master appears.” Making the most of your coach means actually deciding to make the most of them. You can start by asking yourself, “What do I want to accomplish?” and “How do I make the most of their experience, insight or feedback?”
You Change Yourself
There’s an old saying. Im sure you’ve heard it before. “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.” You change yourself. Your coach doesn’t change you. Your coach is not a crutch – but rather a potential change agent, but change is up to you. An effective coach will ask questions and provide feedback that helps lead you to your ‘lightbulb’ moments, but it’s ultimately YOU that changes you.
Expect Change To Feel Awkward Or Even Hurt A bit
Again, think back to that first training session… it probably hurt and yes, you probably felt awkward. What about now? Not so much? That’s what growth feels like. Work through your bumps and know that practice will get easier over time. What’s important is that you don’t get hung up on how it feels awkward, and instead focus on doing the things you know you need to do to get the results you want to achieve.
Accountability Is Still With The People With The Job
A coach can help you navigate risks and add another brain to your problems, but they aren’t the worker bee, so to speak. You have to be able to hold yourself accountable.
A Coach Doesn’t Change Who Makes The Decisions
A coach is an influencer. You still own your decisions.
Your coach is Consulted or Informed. It’s you who is still Accountable for the work getting done and Responsible for doing it.
Feedback Is A Gift
Treat it as such. You can choose what to do with it. An effective coach holds a mirror to you.
You have three ways in which to respond:
- You can just take it in at face value without any filters.
- You can put it into context and consider it.
- You can ignore it.
If you want feedback, ask for it. If it’s not specific enough, then clarify.
Don’t Let Style Issues Get In The Way
Style issues are things like communication approaches. For example, some like direct communication, some like a little more tact. Some are more audio while others are more visual. Some prefer face-to-face while others prefer email. Find a way to communicate that works for everyone involved. Being flexible in your style can help you avoid limiting yourself, and finding ways to bridge styles can greatly improve communication.
Stay Focused On Goals
It’s easy to get lost along the way or focus on improvement for the sake of improvement. It’s more compelling to have a goal in mind that you can test your results against and checkpoint progress along the way. This helps with motivation and more actionable feedback. It also helps you ask you coach more specific questions. While you stay focused on results, enjoy the process along the way. The process is your growth and goals are simply a way to pick a path and measure.
So make the most of your teachable moments. Learn all you can, from everyone you can, and make the most of what you’ve got.