First of all, I want to apologize for my lack of posting at my blog lately, I have been busy working, moving, being sick, having sick kids and a lot of other energy draining activities that have stolen my creative mood. But I want to be able to keep posting and hopefully give you some great tip on how to become a great employee or a better boss. So yes, I am still alive.
Today I want to write about being coached. I have been coaching a lot of people during my career. The outcome and attitude differ from person to person, so I want to give you some pointers about coaching and how you as an employee can get the most out of it.
1. Be positive and open.
A coach can bring on methods and tips that can seem “far out” for some. I have myself experienced skeptic thoughts when others have been coaching me, but I do not regret being open and trying new ideas. You might experience that a coach might guide you into thoughts you did not know existed, for some this might be scary, for others it is a joy and eye-opener.
2. Be prepared!
At a coaching session, you decide what you want to get out of it. The coach is supposed to be a guide to illuminate your options, possibilities and choices. Prepare yourself to this session, what do you want to achieve? If you want to get a promotion a good coach will help you to see clearly what you need, and help you to get the knowledge and focus to get there.
It is essential that you trust your coach, this is a confidential talk, and you shall not worry that the coach will report to your boss, co-workers or others. You should be able to share your thoughts with your coach. If you do not trust your coach, find someone else.
A coach might open with the following line: “What do you want to get out of this session?” – So it is very much up to you. A good coach will challenge your mind, you must do much of the thinking by yourself, and only you have all the answers, a good coach has all the right questions.
There is a difference between a coach and a mentor, a mentor is often an experienced person, mentoring/teaching a less experienced person. A mentor listens, and gives advice. A Coach does listen, and ask you questions, you must find the answer. A coach main purpose is to get you to see what is already inside you, or help you to realize what you need to do for yourself to figure it out.
There is professional coaches that have high education, certificates and diplomas and there are managers, leaders and other people that use coaching techniques. This is a difference that you should know about. I have been coaching for a while, and read a lot about coaching, I have been working as a coach and I coach on a daily basis, but still I do not consider myself a professional coach. Anybody can call themselves a coach, life coach, business coach. This is not a protected title like doctor or psychologist. That is why you should be careful. Even if I am not an educated coach, I am a believer of a protected title. But still the most important thing about coaching is trust; a trusted person can be a great coach. If you are in doubt whether or not the coach is a professional, just ask.
To illustrate my point about trust
One of my best talks of all times happened when I was a young teen, I had a good friend, still one of my best friends today, that always listened to all my problems. He usually picked up a magazine or comic book, when I started ranting my thoughts and troubles. He did not pay much attention and nodded once in a while. I got to talk and he got to read a good comic. A win-win situation for us! I never heard anything from others, and he is still trustable to another dimension. He was not a coach, he was a good friend pretending to listen, and it made my days back then. What two qualities was the most important in this setting? – Good to be back!