If you are thinking about being coached, then you MUST read this short post.
Many people think that they need to invest in one-to-one coaching lessons to develop. And as they want to develop quickly, they engage a coach without a lot of research beforehand or considering other alternatives upfront.
Don’t get me wrong, I think coaching is a good thing, in fact I believe there is a huge potential to develop personally during such face-to-face sessions.
I actually got coached for the first time when I had been working for three years. I had just signed a permanent contract with the company I was working for. Those sessions were eye-opening and intense. I loved it.
So, to answer the question: “Should you invest”? Here I do not only refer to money, I am talking about time, energy and money.
I’d say: “Go for it!”
What to do Beforehand
Before you get into coaching, however, for me there are a few things to consider first that a lot of people forget about:
- Be clear about the domain you want to be coached in. For example, if you are looking for a business coach, what topic do you want to tackle?
- What are your specific goals? The more concrete you are, the better.
- Until when do you want to achieve them?
- Look for an expert in the field. Ask your superior or a colleagues for a personal recommendation.
- Consult your Human Resource Partner.
- If you do not have a company network to fall back to, look at your own network of people, maybe there is someone suitable among them? Or they know someone?
- Consult official organizations or federations.
- A connection needs to exist between you and your coach (the coaches will remind you about this, but also often not). Ensure you select your ‘perfect’ coach among a selection of at least 3 people. No matter whether your company provides only one contact to you.
- Coaching sessions cannot go forever (rarely, anyway). Prepare for what comes afterwards. Discuss with your coach how you can prepare a transition.
In case you do not feel that coaching is the right way to go (yet), or you look for on-the-spot support, or you cannot afford it, there are certainly other ways to learn and develop from direct relationships with other people. Ideally we are talking about relationships with people who have been where you want to go.
Other options to consider
Here is a quick overview of easy-to-implement alternatives or even add-ons:
- Join a mastermind group on your specific topic (if it does not exist, create one via Meetup, for example)
- Find a training course which tackles your topic and establish a relationship with the trainer. Most of them are happy to help out.
- Join online communities of like-minded people and learn from them.
- Profit from on-the-spot advice via platforms like Clarity, where you can get tips on the phone from experts in different business fields.
- Look for online ‘mentors’, experts in your field, who you can follow closely online. For example, it does not cost you a dime to sign up for the newsletter of Seth Godin, or for the videos of Marie Forleo. You potentially get a lot out of them.
Check out some of the resources mentioned:
- International Coach Federation
- Clarity : expert advice on the phone, accessible from anywhere in the world
- Meetup : a great platform to connect with like-minded people on a variety of topics
- Marie Forleo’s advice via video
- Seth Godin’s newsletter
Any questions or comments? Do you think it is worthwhile to invest in coaching for your personal development? Write down your story below!