How to Succeed with Coaching

THINKING OF CAREER COACHING?  Here’s what you need before the first session to assure success.

In my coaching practice (including leadership as well as career coaching), I find the greatest success comes when clients come to coaching prepared in three ways. 

The 3 factors for success:

1.  Commitment to action and change
2.  Time to do the work
3.  Clarity about what you want from coaching

You can be doubtful or frustrated.  You can be fearful of change.  But if you are committed, you will typically be able to get through all these obstacles either alone or with the support of a good coach.

I don’t have a set number of hours someone needs to work each week between sessions to succeed.  Everyone is different.  Every situation unique.  That’s what’s so fascinating and useful about coaching–it’s not a cookie cutter approach.  But you are probably wasting a lot of good money if you don’t do some homework between sessions, enough to make noticeable progress and generate new questions for your sessions. 

If you don’t know what you want how will you get it?  You can use early coaching sessions to refine, clarify or reshape your goals.  But do as much prework on this as possible.

How ready are you?  Answer the 3 questions now:

  1. On a scale of 1–10 how would you rate your commitment to succeeding with your career goals?
  2. How much time would you devote each week to achieving those goals?
  3. What is your primary goal right now?

If you had an 8, 9 or 10 for the first question, at least a few hours per week for the second (more if it’s working on a complex career plan), and you have a specific goal you want to accomplish, you are a great candidate for success with coaching if that’s what you decide to do. 

If not, and you feel you’d like to move ahead, try asking yourself these questions:

  1. What’s holding you back on your commitment?
  2. How you can find more time or prioritize career matters higher
  3. What do you really want with your career/job? What help do you need to get there?

Answering those you will be ready to move ahead solo or with professional support.

© 2009 Leonard Lang


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