Finding a Coach

Learning new things that affect the core of your being is a challenge not many people take upon themselves.  Yet it could be the personal pivot you need to make a genuine change.

Many years ago I took a Dale Carnegie course, it showed me a side of myself that I couldn’t get from my friends and family who are always trying to be nice and avoid confrontation. Those people accept you for who you are and will not challenge you to change.  That course taught me that I cannot speak loudly. Through exercises I got better at conversation and assertiveness.  It helped change my behaviour at work and grow as a person.  It’s something that I could not do on my own, nor could I get it from the people around me.

I needed a coach.

A coach will analyse you and provide constructive feedback on how to get better by suggesting exercises to do, changes to make, and perspectives to consider. A great coach has a keen eye to spot areas for improvement and will hold you accountable to work on them.  This is something you cannot expect to have from your friends and family who will typically avoid candid conversations. Chances are you need to hire a coach.

Last year I took sailing lessons. It was a chance to learn something completely different from what I do all day and gave me a very different sense of accomplishment compared to, say, learning another Javascript framework. Part of the difference is that with sailing I had a coach who suggested areas to improve on all the time and with each lap I got better.  At the end of the course it changed me, it had opened the door to many other perspectives which were not even on my radar prior to taking the course.

This is the power of a coach.  To show you things you cannot see for yourself.

For years, when I was in meetings I spoke at a low volume which created the perception that I was shy and not confident.  NOBODY TOLD ME!  It took years, and then when fishing for feedback on an annual performance review my boss suggested taking the Dale Carnegie Course to build some assertiveness.  Why didn’t anyone say something sooner?

We continue to need coaches in our lives.

Even the best sports players of all times at the peak of their careers still rely on their coaches.  With that in mind perhaps we should all have a coach to help us improve with some aspect of our lives more often. A piano teacher, or speech coach, CEO coaching, or business mentor. If there is something you could say “I am not awesome at X”, then perhaps it’s worth finding a coach for X.

It’s something I hope to make part of my routine more often, accept that I have areas for improvement and find a coach to help work on them in-person.