Seven things you should keep in mind when you engage a coach:
A coach is not a consultant;
A coach is not a therapist;
You need to be committed to changing;
You need to have realistic expectations for success;
You need to tell the coach everything that is on your mind;
You gotta believe!
It’s up to you to do something.
We often say to our clients, you will get out of this coaching program what you put into it. Although sometimes there is an ah-ha moment, usually growth in management and personal effectiveness comes with work, persistence and patience.
Here’s a list of seven (it’s always seven!) things you should keep in mind when you engage a coach:
1. A coach is not a consultant.
Consultants are retained to solve problems; a coach is engaged to help you solve your own problems yourself. In particular, AFS Consulting provides coaching in interpersonal effectiveness: the art and science of influencing others to do what we need them to do. We don’t provide coaching in the mechanics of management, dealing with specific operational, strategic, planning or marketing issues – that is more like consulting.
It is useful for the coach to have good understanding of organizations and sound business acumen; and he/she needs enough information about your actual situation to challenge you with relevant questions. He may even provide helpful suggestions, but don’t expect the coach to solve the problem for you.
2. A coach is not a therapist.
Your sessions with your coach may be extremely restorative for you – it is always helpful to have someone listen to you empathetically and provide support. But if the problem is a deep-seated psychological issue, your coach isn’t going to solve that for you either. It would be very unwise if your coach even presumed to try, though he may be very experienced in observing human behaviour, and may even have an opinion. A good coach may help you identify that the problem is more than situational and can encourage you to find the help you actually need. As Rajesh Setty* suggests, you get a coach because you can benefit from figuring out how to perform more effectively or even to resolve dysfunctional organization behaviors, but not when something is