When Coaching Won’t Work for You

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Thinking of finding a coach?  Here’s when coaching doesn’t work:

When there isn’t a deep commitment to change

When you want to see “a little progress” in an area, it isn’t likely that anything will be different in six months. If, for instance, you receive feedback that you’re hard to work with and you acknowledges it but goes no further than just saying the words, “I would like to try to get better,” you likely won’t.

For real change to occur, the concerns not only have to resonate with you, but you needs to make specific, time-based commitments in order to improve. You need to share these commitments with a coach and your team so that you have accountability.  Like applying fertilizer to a dead plant, it’s a waste of time, effort, and resources.

When you can’t (or don’t want to) focus

For coaching to work, it has to move to the center of your “concern plate.” Sometimes that’s about timing. If you (even if you’re on an upward trajectory) can’t make the time or don’t have the desire at present to make coaching a priority, it’s probably not going to accomplish much.

To increase performance, add structure. Think of how things progress as you move up in a sport. When you play a game of road hockey in the street, you come with your own stick after your homework’s done and go home when your mom calls you in for dinner. The rest is made up on the fly.

When you play beer league hockey, you pay some money for ice time, buy some equipment, show up (everyone hopes), and skate around and get sweaty and have a good time. It’s more structured than road hockey, and your results are better, too—but not great.

But when you play NHL hockey, structure prevails. Your eating, exercise and sleep habits are structured. The way you play the game is carefully planned and constantly examined. You get regular, immediate, feedback about every aspect of your game and how to improve it; as a result, you play at a much higher level.

By all means find a coach, but make sure you’re in the right headspace.  When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

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Written by Trevor Throness
Trevor is a veteran coach, keynote speaker, and the author of the book “The Power of People Skills” released by Career Press NY in 2017. He’s also written for or been featured in places like Forbes, Inc, The NY Post, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, CEO Magazine, and numerous podcasts and interviews.


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