Many people think of their coach or the coaching structure as the solution to their problems, assuming the coach is going to tell you what to do. That's not the case. While each coaching program is different, there are some common elements always included along with some universal expectations.
What You Get
Before you initiate a coaching program, ask for details up front on how much time is involved, how you will interact and how the coach supports you in between calls. However, don't expect your coach to explain every last detail, since they can't possibly foresee all the potential questions you could ask. Make your own list, and get them answered.
Expect your coach to help create a clear action plan on how to move ahead and make progress. Remember, coaches aren't mind readers, so provide as much details on your needs, aspirations and goals as possible. The coaching and action plans are only as good as the information you provide.
Expect support from your coach for questions and situations that arise before, during and in-between coaching calls. Most coaches offer laser sessions via phone to handle a quick need as well as unlimited email support during your program.
Ask for Feedback
To truly benefit from coaching, ask for and expect feedback on your performance. Coaches look at your behavior, actions (both taken and avoided) to evaluate and refine your program.
Your last expectation is improvement. Every program should result in improvement – whether personally or professionally. However, even with the best coach, don't expect miracles, as success depends on your actions.
How To Get The Most From Coaching
Coaches ask lots of questions, make suggestions and encourage you to set goals that you truly want. And most importantly, they listen. So come prepared to each coaching session.
To start, think about how you are, what's happened since the last call, what you're working on and how your coach can help.
Also, complete your assignments. Each week you'll decide on the actions or goals you want to focus. Coaches expect you to keep the commitments you make and will work with you to make sure you are setting worthwhile, realistic and achievable objectives. If you know that a busy week is ahead, your assignments might be as simple as thinking about a new perspective. If you have more time, you might decide to handle a big task. Regardless, coaches will hold you accountable and encourage you to do your best.
Coaching is proven to work if you are willing to learn, grow and take action when there is a gap between where you are now and where you want to be. That's all that's necessary for a successful coaching relationship to support you in achieving your goals.