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Is Coaching a ridiculous concept?

Published: 17-Sep-2014
Is hiring a coach a ridiculous concept and a waste of money. The Harvard Business Review clearly thinks differently when it quotes that the coaching industry generates $1 billion dollars a year.

$1 billion dollars a year of revenue to the industry is one thing, but what do the customers get for their money?

Let’s start with the top echelon of sport. Athletes at the top of their game all employ coaches for VERY good reason. The Coach isn’t the athlete but is able to see performance from a completely neutral and independent perspective. The athlete generally cannot coach themselves.

Add to the athlete’s skill, drive and persistence an expert coach trained to see where improvement can be achieved and you have a magic mix.

Clearly to gain the most from a coach the customer must want to change in some way. Often this can be expressed as “more success” and that in turn often can mean “make more money”.
The trouble is we often focus on the cost of hiring a coach and not on what we can achieve by doing so.

How about we reverse the focus and consider “What do we want” and “How might we go about getting it”. Once we do that we then have to ask ourselves the one question we know the answer to but do not want to use. “If I keep on doing what I am doing – will I keep on getting what I have got?”, and we know the answer to that. The answer is a resounding YES.
Before considering hiring a Coach we must each ask ourselves the question. What is it I want and how badly do I want it?

In some circumstances Coaches have been hired because there seems to be no way out of the current situation (which isn’t good).

How about think about a Coach when things are really good, for the simple reason you would like things to be even better. Is “even better” available, and if it was, would you want it?

The real key to thinking about a Coach is to ask your-self the question: Am I prepared to work with someone, to open up, to share my dreams? And (if if the answer to that question is Yes) the next question is “Am I prepared to do what it takes to get to where I want to be”.

If you, dear reader, have read through to here and your answers to the questions above lead you to the conclusion that “I am not prepared to open up to someone, and I am not prepared to do what it takes to meet my dreams” then indeed Coaching may be a ridiculous concept and a waste of your money.

If, on the other hand, you are of the mind-set “I do want my dreams to come true” AND (and this is an important part of this mind-set) I am prepared to do what it takes AND I am prepared to accept I need others to help me get there” then you may be on the road to actually reaching your dreams.

If those dreams were greater income, and if by spending $1 now you were able to see a $3 return, just how much would you invest? Because that is the only way to view coaching costs.

Many of us have dreams and goals that are not wholly financially focussed, but let me for the moment just focus on financial goals, because if we can see that the concept of coaching works for financial goals, then there is every reason to understand that it works for any other aspect of our lives.

Once we are of the mind-set that says – “I am prepared to consider that Coaching MAY be able to help me get to where I want to be”. Then we may begin the search to find the right Coach for you.

It is self-evident that selecting the right coach for you is fundamental. We all think differently, we all go about life differently, we all have different goals, we all have different strengths (and weaknesses). The right Coach enters an intensely personal and private relationship with you, and you have to let them in. They will get to know you better than you know yourself.

They can provide the insight and inspire the motivation you haven’t discovered yet. They will ask you to ask yourself the questions you haven’t yet asked. Push you to see the wheat from the chaff enabling you to “open up”. To do what needs to be done and not do what does not need to be done. To actually make and work through priority lists, to do the important things first and to ask you questions that do not have Yes/No answers.

The problem is we cannot see what we do not know. We have probably got to where we are and do not know what it is that will enable us to get to where we want to be. Perhaps it is our personal arrogance that says .. “I know me better than anyone .. how dare anyone come along and suggest they could know me better”. There is some truth in that, but to gain the enormous benefits Coaching can provide you have to be prepared to say “OK – I am prepared for you to come and challenge me .. there may be aspects of my life I cannot yet see clearly”, just like the top Golf players, Tennis player, top athletes.

Reconsider the opening question. Is coaching a ridiculous waste of money? For many it is an essential investment. Could it be the essential investment for you without which progress will not be made?

The IRCM is the right place to start your search for Coaches and find out about Coaches worldwide.  It’s time to take action.