Do you have a coach? You should. I'll explain why in this article. We all have blind spots. We all have rough edges. Working with a coach will help you improve your relationships or business or health much faster than if you try to improve on your own. I just finished coach Marshall Goldsmith's epic book, What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful. This book reminded me of the importance of coaches in our lives. I'll share 12 reasons below why you need a coach. I'll also share the names of 8 coaches I personally know and recommend below.
1. Read Marshall's terrific book. It is an important book about how we succeed early in our careers based on our technical skills. As we advance in our careers, technical skills are not enough. We need top notch people skills. And those aren't always easy or natural for smart technical people. You need to pivot from being a technician to being a diplomat if you want to advance in your career. This book will lay out why this is the case and what you can do about it.
2. You need a 360 degree review. Have you ever done one? It's not exactly fun. But it is critical to do. Marshall smartly shares in his book how we all have blind spots. We all have behaviors that can hamper our careers or relationships or health. And sometimes the only way to bring these blind spots into the light is through a 360 degree review while working with a coach.
3. Coaches aren't necessarily going to tell you what you need to improve. Ideally your circle of colleagues or friends will tell you what you need to improve through a 360 degree review. The coach will then share the themes of the 360 degree review. What you're doing well. What you need to improve. And the coach will work with you to decide which one or two areas you should focus on for improvement. Don't try to improve more than a couple areas at once or you'll likely fail at making significant improvement in any area.
4. Coaches will hold you accountable to your goals. Once your goals for improvement are set, the coach will work with you to think through what action steps you need to take to meet your goals. The coach will then check in with you regularly to ensure you're making progress on your goals.
5. A good coach will not "go easy" on you. Look, if you hire a coach you should expect to be challenged. This is good. This is healthy. This is what you need to improve. If you hire a coach that only says, "wow, you're doing great. You're great. Nothing you need to really improve." Well, then you've hired a "yes-person" and this is not what any of us need. We need to grow. We need some friction to grow, just like muscles need friction to grow. You need a coach that will challenge you while also encouraging your growth.
6. You can work with great coaches for your business or relationships or health. It's probably a good idea to only work with one coach at a time. However, you may want to find great coaches for different arenas of your life in different seasons of your life. One coach may be great at helping you grow your business skills. Another coach for improving your relationship skills. And another coach to help you improve your diet and/or fitness. It's possible to find one coach that can cover all of these arenas, but somewhat rare I think.
7. Hiring a coach is a good investment. Coaches are not free. They cost money. But I think it is generally money very well spent that is an investment in YOU. Is there a better investment you can make than an investment in yourself?
8. Ask if your company will pay for a coach. While I think most of us will need to pay for coaching on our own, sometimes your company will help pay for a coach. Particularly if the coach is helping you improve your business or relationship skills at work. Put together a plan and request for your boss as to how and why the company could help pay for a coach. You might be pleasantly surprised to find that the company will pay for 100% or maybe 50% of the coaching costs. I also think your boss will be impressed that you want to continue to grow and challenge yourself through coaching.
9. There is no shame in working with a coach. In fact, I think it says something great about you if you work with a coach. It means you want to continue to learn and grow. You want to get better. You are okay being challenged. And you are making an investment in yourself. There is no shame in your game!
10. Sometimes you need a therapist, and not a coach. Coaches are awesome. But they are generally not therapists. If you are going through a significantly hard time in your life, please hire a therapist ASAP. Therapists are trained to help your mental health. If you've lost a loved one or someone near and dear to you is sick or you're feeling depressed, please hire a therapist. Men, this includes you. I wrote a blog post for men recently about depression, panic attacks, mental health and suicide that I encourage you to read here: "Men, please read this! Man Therapy. Kevin Love's panic attack. DeMar DeRozan's depression." Let me encourage you to contact my wife, Marcia Pritchard, if and when you or someone you know needs a therapist. She's a terrific Licensed Professional Counselor! And she will keep your call in complete confidence. I have no idea who her clients are. Learn more about Marcia's counseling services here: www.marciapritchard.com
11. Coaches, what points have I missed about why someone would want to hire you? I am sure coaches will read this blog post. I'd love to hear from you in the Comments section below about what additional points you'd like to share? Are there books or resources you'd recommend? Thanks in advance for sharing!
12. You can be "coached" by authors, podcasters, YouTubers and leaders you've never met. I read a lot of books. One a week is my goal. And I do absolutely believe that you can be "coached" to a degree by authors or TED Talks or other leadership resources you consume. However, this is only a one-sided coaching relationship, so you are very likely not addressing your blind spots and you won't be held accountable for growth. That being said, I do encourage you to consider some of your favorite authors or podcasters as coaches. Their experience and great work can coach you from afar. A few of my favorite long distance "coaches" include: Chris McChesney, Sheryl Sandberg, Cal Newport, Amy Cuddy, Gary Keller, Carol Dweck, Jocko Willink, Angela Duckworth, Darren Hardy, Melissa Faye Green, and Jim Collins, to name a few.
I'll close this blog post by sharing some names and website links of coaches I personally know and recommend. Please consider reaching out to one of these coaches TODAY! Don't procrastinate on this one. Take the next step by contacting one (or more) of these coaches. Most coaches will do an introductory meeting with you to make sure they're a good fit for you and your goals.
Jenn Peppers: www.vergecoaching.com
Doug Slaybaugh: www.thecpacoach.com
Renelle Everett: www.insight-cc.com
Clay and Philippa Cousins: www.elevatemomentum.com
David Dye and Karin Hurt: www.letsgrowleaders.com
Kendall Colman: www.colmancoaching.com
Jan Rutherford: www.selfreliantleadership.com
Tasha Eurich: www.tashaeurich.com
If you have a coach you'd recommend, who is not listed above, please share the coach's name and website and/or contact information in the Comments section below. Thanks!
Productivity Equals Happiness,
p.s. I blog about "Productivity Equals Happiness." I'd be honored if you'd subscribe to my blog's emails on my website at: www.mikepritchard.com/subscribe.html