5 common misconceptions of coaching
This will be familiar to you - you'll have a friend who seems a bit stuck with something, struggling to solve some problems or take the next step in life. They seem to go in circles, citing the same things over and over and saying that they wish they could sort it out. It’s causing them much frustration, even unhappiness, but whenever you suggest that talking to someone about it might help, they have a number of reasons why it wouldn’t work, and on the pattern goes. Maybe this is you?
Five reasons people give for not getting help
1. "I haven’t got time to go for coaching"
Well, it’s true that it can take time. Most sessions are about one-hour long (you can negotiate that with your coach), and often a number of sessions are needed to be effective. However, how long have you spent on this problem up until now? And, if you play it forward another twelve months, how long will you have spent on the problem then? How does this compare to spending a few hours with an experienced coach finding a successful way forward? See what I’m saying?
2. "It would be really weird talking to a stranger - they’ll just think I’m stupid"
Most people will tell you that it’s actually easier talking to someone outside your family/social circle. The reason for this is that they have no agenda for what you’re telling them - you don’t need to protect them, they’re not involved, so no matter what you say, it will have no impact on them. In addition, I have yet to meet a professional coach who will find what you’re saying stupid. If there’s something going on for you that is causing you distress, how is that stupid? Often, our problems are caused by our belief system. Over time, we will have developed a strategy for dealing with that belief that might have served you very well for years. However, it’s become less helpful recently, and the issue is now interrupting your life, so a new strategy for dealing with it is necessary. That’s where a coach can help. In addition, what’s discussed in coaching is confidential; all professional coaches sign up to a code of conduct which specifically outlines this.
3. "It’s too expensive"
Unless you’re referred for talking therapy through the NHS, most professional coaches will charge for their services. However, most will want to find a way to help you move forward, and will often offer a free first session. This might help offer some solutions immediately, and give you the chance to talk through options. And, as in number one, what better spend is there than investing in you? If you don’t do that now, how much will you invest in managing the problem, not taking opportunities, etc? Is it worth it?
4. "I’ve been for coaching before and it didn’t work"
There a couple of things about this. Firstly, all coaches have a unique way of working and, like anything, you have to find the right one for you. It’s possible that, in your previous experience, it was the relationship that didn’t work, not the coaching itself. In addition, it would be interesting to identify the meaning of 'it didn’t work'. What didn’t work exactly? How specific were you about what you wanted to solve? A good coach will help you identify a well-formed outcome right at the beginning of your coaching so that you can both be very focused on what you want to achieve and how you’ll know when you’ve achieved it. Often, the problem isn’t the problem at all, and it’s really important to get very detailed about what it is you want to change.
5. "Coaches have a vested interest in keeping you attending as it makes them money"
Hmmm. This is often an unsaid reason, as most people don’t want to offend. However, a coach gets great pleasure in helping clients find solutions to problems - it’s why we signed up for this job in the first place! Coaching is a very dynamic, forward-looking process that is designed to give time and space to work out the way forward. The client is in charge - NLP coaches will operate from a firm belief that the client has all the answers, isn’t broken, and in fact, simply needs some direction and carefully crafted thinking time. That can’t last forever, and clients can choose to stop at any time!
So, how many are familiar to you? Happily, because you’re reading this, you’ve made contact with the Life Coach Directory, so you’re thinking about embarking on your journey.
The next step is easy, isn’t it?