You might be wondering why a business and life coach is writing about not getting hired. This article is a tribute to my personal journey over the past year in working with four different coaches – two professional coaches and two coaches-in-training.
It began in January 2015 when I embarked upon a Leadership and Life Coach training program with my respected friend and colleague, Barb Pierce of Coaching Horizons. There were three of us in the course who met weekly over a period of 10 months. We were coaching each other and clients from the get-go, which allowed me to gain practical experience right away and I was able to receive the benefits of coaching for almost an entire year.
Now I can understand the reasons why someone may NOT want to hire a coach.
Change is a natural part of life. If we’re not changing, we’re not learning and growing. If you’re very comfortable with the status quo and don’t want to test your boundaries then don’t hire a coach.
A coach is a neutral person who supports you in your growth and will encourage you to see your blind spots that might be holding you back from making changes in your life. If you want different results, then you need to start by looking at yourself.
2015 was a big year of change for me, especially involving breakups – starting with a breakup of a significant relationship – and I was blessed with four coaches who helped me navigate these changes.
Early in the year, the coaching began with my colleagues and the topics I initially brought to the table I felt were pretty safe – when to start dating again, dealing with stress at work, navigating a challenging experience with a friend, etc. It wasn’t long until I realized these were surface issues and the deeper discussion was about me being willing to look at myself openly and honestly, to notice how I was showing up in life and relationships.
As a typically very confident and independent person, it was difficult for me to admit my vulnerabilities in some of the sessions. I have a high respect for my colleagues who showed me this through their actions and words which inspired me to change myself, starting by allowing myself to be more vulnerable in front of others and learning that it’s ok to do so. As a coach I should have all the answers, right? At least that’s what I previously thought. I’m learning as I go through this life journey, just as we all are.
Coaching is different from consulting. A consultant will typically analyze a situation then, based on their experience and expertise, advise you on what’s best for you, whether it’s in business or your personal life. If you want to be told what to do, step by step, then don’t hire a coach.
A coach will ask questions and will encourage you to examine your values and beliefs to see what’s really motivating you. As a coachee, you end up being accountable for your own actions and you get to set your own tasks that will support you in making the changes you need in order to achieve your goals.
Continuing with the breakup theme, about halfway through 2015 I decided to hire a coach to help me navigate a career change. I had been working in the tech industry for 15 years and felt I had accomplished a lot. I held an executive position in a great company with a wonderful team, yet I was feeling that something was missing. I felt that I had reached the tip of my learning curve and was craving something more. I was contemplating leaving my successful career to pursue coaching full-time, a scary decision at the time. I approached Crystal Lee of Beyond Maybe; as we had met previously, I already liked her as a person and I knew she had experience in working with people facing a similar situation as me.
Crystal didn’t tell me what to do in order to make this transition. Rather she encouraged me to look deeper at what was motivating me to leave my job and to venture into unknown territory. I asked her to not let me off the hook and to challenge me to keep the big picture in mind. I gave myself action items each time we met and she was there to hold me accountable throughout my journey.
Risks come in many forms and are entirely unique to each person. When you’re considering doing anything outside of your comfort zone there is some degree of risk involved. If you are not willing to explore possibilities where there is some element of risk then don’t hire a coach.
I’m talking about reasonable risk here. A coach will not blindly suggest you jump out of a plane (unless that’s what you really want to do!). Rather a coach is there to encourage you but also recognizes your boundaries and will invite you to face your fears and to explore various possible outcomes.
At the beginning of my engagement with Crystal I wasn’t exactly sure when I would be able to take the plunge to start my entrepreneurial journey, however after about five sessions things had really shifted. The coaching, combined with the tragic loss of a friend in September, was enough of a reminder to me that life is short and I needed to do something that made me really happy. So I took a big risk in December and decided to leave the comfort and security of my job to venture into the unknowns of entrepreneurship. A decision I’m very happy with so far!
I believe that everyone can benefit from having a coach at some point in their life to help achieve personal and professional goals. Had I not had the opportunity of working with my coaches in the past year I would hazard a guess that I would be repeating the same relationship patterns and probably still working a 9-to-5 job that I wasn’t completely satisfied with. Having gone through my transformation over the past year especially I can relate to the fear and doubt that often creeps in when faced with making changes and I’ve learned how to overcome this by tuning into my inner wisdom, understanding the workings of my mind and by listening to my heart.
I’m a Vancouver-based business and life coach serving local and international clients and it’s my mission to see you thrive and to help you create a life you love using simple tools that can make a difference today. Allow me to support you in your journey towards living a purposeful and joyful life.