Wait a minute Kevin…isn’t coaching supposed to be about the person we are coaching, not about us?
Yes, the best coaches do put 100% of their focus on helping the other person become more successful and confident.
So if this is true, then why are you writing about how the coach will benefit? Don’t you have your priorities wrong here?
Not at all. Let me tell you why . . .
The improvements to the coaching life that I will describe below can’t, by definition, come true without the coach being 100% focused on the person they are coaching. This is a deep principle of life – that it truly is better to give than receive; that we can’t harvest until after we plant the right seeds; that when we do things in the right order for the right reasons, good things will flow to us.
I’ve written, spoken and trained a lot about how we can become better coaches. I am fully convinced that we can build those skills, and that when we do, we can help others grow, learn and improve.
And when we do that, good things can come to us, as a result, not because that was our goal. So then, how can coaching improve our lives?
I’m glad you asked.
You make your job easier. If we are coaching at work as a supervisor or manager, this one is the obvious one and perhaps the most immediate benefit. If you help people get better, they are able to do more with less of your input or help. This provides you the chance to delegate new things and in general to do your work with fewer interruptions and less frustration. Who doesn’t want that?
You gain deep personal satisfaction. In nearly every instance when I ask a coach what is in it for them when they coach successfully, they say, there is a sense of pride and satisfaction when they know they helped someone else overcome a challenge, improve significantly and more. My personal experience echoes this sentiment. There is a tremendous wave of positive emotions that comes from helping others be more successful. This deep well of positivity and pride makes us feel better about ourselves, but also makes us more confident in our own abilities.
The skills you gain apply to the rest of your life. Think about it; the skills of coaching others are skills you use not just at work but in all parts of your life. If you become a better listener, better at asking questions, more aware of how and why people change, or if you build your capacity to be persuasive and influential; do you think you might be able to apply those to become a better neighbor, parent, sibling or spouse?
You learn more than they do. It may seem counter intuitive, but it is completely true. First of all, great coaches ask lots of questions, so there is learning for you there right away. Secondly, through these conversations, you get access to their experiences, and what is working (and not working) for them. Also, when you share your ideas in words, you clarify those ideas making them more real and powerful for you too. Perhaps most importantly of all, as you help others navigate through their situations, you learn more about yourself.
I could lengthen the list for you, but you get the idea. Plus, ask yourself this question: is there one of these things that you currently desire for yourself?
If so, start building your coaching skills today.