The mission of a professional coach is sometimes delicate: coaching is about helping others to achieve concrete results in the realisation of their professional objectives, providing personal support to achieve well-being at work.
According to an ICF Global Coaching Study 2016, conducted in 137 countries around the world, there are approximately 53,300 people who practise as professional coaches worldwide.
Whether it is to enhance your professional knowledge, prepare for professional development, regain self-confidence, prepare for a new job, manage stress, manage emotions, learn a new profession, etc., many people use a professional life coach.
However, before being coached through an individual coaching program, you must take a single step: identify your expectations!
Here are our tips to identify your goals before calling a certified professional coach.
Customers Expectations Of Their Professional Coach
Founding a company, managing a portfolio of clients in a multinational company, managing stress when you are a senior manager, reducing the emotional burden of a job that is too demanding or being able to take a step back, are all problems leading to personal development courses.
And precisely, when you have your head underwater, you may not necessarily realise it. On the other hand, it is impossible to step back from a concerning situation.
This is a major expectation that clients will have of the coaching profession: when you are a professional coach, you have to be empathetic and actively listen to each person's problems.
Adopting the chameleon policy will allow a better overall understanding of the difficulties encountered by clients.
Between the analysis of the client's request and the deployment of coaching tools to improve their situation, it is a colossal task at the crossroads between psychology and sociology that must be carried out.
In short, you have to go into the client's brain to know their sensibility.
But more broadly speaking: you don't call a coaching firm without having a clear idea of what you want, especially when you know that a professional coach's fees can represent one or two months' rent.
Here is a list of what to expect from a certified coach:
- Active listening,
- Ability to question oneself,
- Knowing how to adapt coaching tools,
- Be sincere about the feasibility or not of the client's life project,
- Find the right questioning,
- Underline the possibilities.
In short, career management through individual coaching or in-company coaching for human resources management, for example, requires a key value that every coach must have: objectivity.
We would even add the absence of judgment and the respect of clients' commitments.
Coaching sessions should be able, in theory, to motivate clients: give the feeling that progress has been made.
To do this, personal coaching or executive coaching will, therefore, have to confront the client's objectives with practical exercises to put them in a concrete situation: speaking out, decision-making, conflict management, non-violent communication, professional environment to be clarified, etc.
Simply to see if the methodological approach of coaching has been successful in meeting initial expectations.
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Know Your Own Case Before Hiring A Coach
You may say, all this works when you already know your personal goals.
Of course, you must know what you want: to have a better knowledge of yourself, to succeed in your professional transition, managerial coaching to achieve the objectives imposed by your management, etc.
Then there are a number of things that the coach himself cannot do.
No, the coach is not a genius coming out of a teapot when you rub it, a creature quick to grant all wishes with a single stroke of a magic wand.
The client - that is, you - must be able to describe a set of things that you would like to achieve.
It may be a good idea, at this stage, to establish an exhaustive list of criteria and wishes - no, not a list of Christmas gifts... - to be submitted to your future coach, and to which he should be able to respond in order to bring maximum satisfaction.
The definition of objectives and situations to be achieved are the fundamental elements preparing for the success of the future life coaching program.
It means thinking about problems you suffer from, questions that remain unanswered and that could be solved with a little help, with the help of an external, clairvoyant and objective third person.
This requires a particular questioning: lack of self-assertion, new role, difficulties in making decisions, time management problems, difficult stress management, etc.
It should be noted that the coachee often has the resources inside themselves to find the answers to his questions: the coaching interview will therefore not be a therapy because there is no psychopathology to diagnose, but simply an accompaniment of people in temporary difficulty.
This support - change management support, management support, marketing strategy, market research, etc. - aims to "transport" the coachee from one situation to another.
Then, ask yourself if you are able to follow a coaching program over 6 months to a year, with diligence and enough personal commitment to be able to reap a significant net benefit and a good return on investment.
Do we have the financial means to pay for a consulting firm or a coaching service provider in the UK?
To payment difficulties, Superprof replied that the coaching training programme could perhaps be financed by the company itself (for employees and managers).
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Professional Coaching: Identify Achievable Goals
Of course, we must set achievable and reasonable objectives.
If you are a freelance real estate agent, setting up your own real estate agency will obviously be more achievable than becoming prime minister, even though we have already seen real estate tycoons get elected head of state across the Atlantic....
These objectives can be defined in three main ways:
- Objectives related to personality,
- Objectives related to team dynamics,
- The objectives inherent in interpersonal relationships.
- The objective of coaching can indeed, first of all, be related to a feature of the person to be improved: work on shyness, relaxation and breathing exercises to better speak in public, or for example better manage professional and family life.
You may want to better address the understanding of human relations within your company, improve your leadership, be able to present clear-cut positions without offending, etc.
In cases where a corporate coach is required, team management issues can be crucial for the future of a group, branch or agency.
Indeed, in-company coaching can erase existing frictions in interpersonal communication: training in non-violent communication or individual sessions to put oneself in a mediator position will reduce internal conflicts and perhaps even rebuild social cohesion in a team.
After entering new functions, the current team, in the position of insiders, does everything so that I (myself, outsider) cannot implement my managerial strategy?
Does an internal social movement emerge in the company following a salary increase granted to an executive instead of everyone else?
When there is a lack of professional skills in the relational field, or in conflict resolution, it can be very difficult to ensure good team management.
You will have understood: the problems encountered induce the objectives and lead to solutions!
Professional Coaching: Success Coming Together
Defining expectations that are compatible with your personality and professional environment before professional coaching will help to motivate you.
Indeed, if aiming too high creates a challenge, the prospect of an inevitable failure can quickly disappoint and have a counterproductive effect.
It should be remembered that during a training or professional development course, a set of virtuous benefits or effects sometimes occur, and this without having been previously expected.
This is called positive externalities in macroeconomics.
If the coach gives physical exercises to do in order to breathe better, communicate better, speak successfully in public, etc., we can also see muscle strengthening and a reduction in cardiovascular risks.
Having undergone coaching dedicated to career development may have satisfied the objective of changing career paths and being paid better. As a corollary, you can sometimes feel less pressure and a better atmosphere within the team.
Finally, it is important to focus only on positive images and ideas rather than on the failures and barriers that have marked the prospects for success.
Solutions must be supported and blockages removed rather than the other way around.
This is the role of mindful meditation, which a professional coach may be able to implement, depending on the case.
Convinced that you need a personal coach? Visit our Superprof platform!