As a business coach, I find many leaders have preconceived notions about the latest management concept sweeping businesses across the country coaching. Whether you want to be a coach to your people or hire an outside coach, the following realities should help in the decision process.
Myth No. 1: Find a coach that has a similar personality to yours.
Reality: Coaching is about growth and commitment. Having someone of the same personality may limit your growth and development. Having a coach of a different personality style may offer a fresh perspective and force you to go outside your comfort zone to reach new potential.
Myth No. 2: You have the questions and your coach has the answers.
Reality: Not always true. Many of the answers are inside you and a good coach will help you discover them. A coach needs to be a good listener first. He or she needs to correctly identify areas of improvement and not always give advice or criticism.
Myth No. 3: Professional coaching focuses strictly on your professional life.
Reality: You can not totally separate your personal life from your work. A coach has to be ready to listen to any and all challenges. Coaching is about personal growth and development that can help people grow professionally.
Myth No. 4: Coaching is only for poor performing or trouble employees.
Reality: The best coaching clients are the ones who have potential and are not reaching it or employees who have reached a stumbling block or plateau. It is much better to introduce coaching too early rather than too late.
Myth No. 5: Men cant coach women because women face work challenges only other women can understand.
Reality: Coaching is gender neutral. Sometimes coaches of the opposite sex can help people see issues from the others perspective.
Myth No. 6: You cant change a persons personality. Therefore, coaching is limited in how much it can help.
Reality: While you cant necessarily change someones personality, coaching can give you a new awareness and new skills to help you change your behavior.
Patrick J. Donadio is a national business coach and professional speaker based in Columbus. He can be reached at 488-9164 or firstname.lastname@example.org.