Years ago, my wife and I decided to hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back. We visited REI, our physicians, and physical therapists. We got coached on how to prepare. One of us benefited from balance training. We learned that hiking down was harder than hiking up, the benefits of taking our boots off during some of the breaks, the importance of hydration and nutrition, and a host of other issues.
Since that first time, Sandy and I have hiked out of the Grand Canyon four times. Each time we have seen hikers suffering from folly, pain, and unnecessary risk because people didn’t seek advice before attempting the hike. That’s crazy!
Why wouldn’t you seek advice when you’re trying something new? There are no bonus points for wasting effort, or money, no benefits for absorbing avoidable pain. Wisdom is learning from others’ experience or perspective.
Several decades ago, a friend of mine was struggling in negotiations with people from a different culture. He contacted an expert and paid for advice on how to proceed. The negotiations went well. Afterward, a mentor warned him not to tell people about the coaching. “They’ll think it proves you’re weak. It will kill your chances for promotion.”
That was ancient history. Things are different now. Today millions of savvy people use coaches besides professional athletes.
What is your favorite sport? Who are the best in that arena? Are those people ”naturals” or did they have help? or both?
Professional athletes routinely work with coaches, sports doctors, and trainers. The best actors and dancers systematically seek assistance from dietitians and others who keep them nimble and strong. Business leaders benefit from executive coaching.
I’m learning to coach
I am in an apprenticeship as a leadership coach. Professional coaches distinguish coaching from counseling, mediating, mentoring, teaching, therapy, or simply giving good advice. There are schools, certifications, a code of ethics, and philosophies of coaching.
Most of those philosophies advocate the same things. The client, not the coach, sets the agenda and selects the objective. The coach manages the process and asks wise questions. The objective is to evoke deeper awareness, expand options, and systematically be aware of and prepared for foreseeable obstacles. Effective coaching increases the likelihood that clients can accomplish more than they could alone.
Learning to be an effective coach has been and is a fascinating journey. Good coaches are non-judgmental. Coaching aims to help the client develop a solution that seems appropriate for the client. The client knows more about their situation than the coach. The coach brings an outside perspective. The coach helps the client develop fresh perspectives and make wise choices.
Benefits of Using a Coach
I’ve used coaches in my life and business. Coaches have helped me deliver better brokerage service, created a far better book, Building Legacy Wealth, and superior blogs that I could have done alone. Coaching is helping in my eventual transition from brokerage success to deeper significance.
Coaching is not like having an operation to fix something wrong. It is more like sports medicine. Perspective, planning, and insight can help you select the highest and best goals and the surest way to achieve them.
Coaching can help you harness extra potential, wisely prioritize efforts with your remaining time and resources. This blog is about legacy. Coaching might help you discover and fulfill your best legacy.
Not Everyone is Coachable
Learning anything can be challenging. Being a coach is an amazing delight. My clients do things that I really admire and far exceed my competence.
Coaching is not magic and is not a cure-all. Yet it’s been astounding how my coaching clients perceive that an hour together enables them to have an increased chance of making progress, instead of continuing to be stuck. If I hadn’t experienced it myself, it would be hard to believe.
Probably you will live an additional 20 years, maybe much longer. When you think about something you want to achieve and you’re not quite sure how to accomplish it, there will be several paths that might get you closer to the goal. Increasingly, coaching will become a standard practice, not just reserved for the elite.
As an adult, have you been involved with another adult in a coaching relationship?
If so, what was that like for you?
Terry Moore, CCIM, is the author of Building Legacy Wealth: How to Build Wealth and Live a Life Worth Imitating. Read his “Welcome to My Blog.”
Click here and find out how Terry and his team can help you make the most important financial decision of your next decade.