How to gain value from coaching

Many describe a technologically advanced future where most of the work still undertaken by humans will require emotional intelligence and excellent interpersonal skills. Coaching is therefore likely to remain high in demand and to focus even more on such skills. There are many benefits to being coached, whether it be for professional or personal development. Mainly, helping people to perform and thrive. However, outcomes depend on the mindsets and input of both coach and coaching client. Here I provide ten keys to successfully maximising your potential, from the coaching client’s perspective.

1. Prepare and Practice

In advance of each coaching session, whether it be on or off the job, ask yourself questions such as – what is my agenda or goal, what have I learnt recently, and how motivated am I to take action towards my goal?

2. Outcomes

A coach will typically ask you what you wish to gain from the session and make open-ended questions or observations. It is therefore helpful if you already know or visualise what successful outcomes are likely to appear like and feel like to you.

3. Focus

To allow focus during a coaching session, first be clear in your own mind as to how you will explain your issues in ways that the coach will understand. Give your full attention and minimise distractions, with your phone and emails on silent mode.

4. Change

Be clear as to whether you need something to change and take responsibility for agreed actions. If you are not motivated to change anything at all, then coaching is unlikely to go well or add value.

5. Clarity

Ensure you are clear about what you have agreed or discussed with the coach, by asking questions or repeating back what you believe to be the main action points.

6. Reflect

At times you may find it helps you to ask for a moment to think things through. It is better to reflect and raise any concerns during the session than to risk confusion or misunderstandings.

7. Self-awareness

It is important to be aware of your own values and be open about any self-limiting beliefs, fears or biases you have. Bring a beginner’s or growth mindset, whereby you recognise that growth or development is a result of your continuing efforts (as opposed to a fixed level of talent or ability). Self-awareness is part of emotional intelligence, which here at JPD we can also help people to develop further.

8. Open

Be open about your feelings and trust the coach to help you. Tell the coach when you have heightened focus, fears or uncertainty. If you feel something is, or will be, challenging then do not sugar coat it. Also, be open to feedback without comparing yourself to other people.

9. Honest

To get the best out of the coaching relationship, always be honest so you can acknowledge your frustrations, imperfections or mistakes. This also requires courage and vulnerability. Remember, learning and development comes from stepping outside of your comfort zone.

10. Determined and Persistent

Coaching sessions give you time to focus entirely on your own learning and development. Approach each session with a determination to get the best out of it, and a belief that positive outcomes will result from coaching and persistent action or application. Mindset is causative. In other words, your mindset determines your beliefs, and your beliefs influence your experience and may even create your reality. So, be careful what you think! It takes two to make a great coaching session, and you will take more from it with a great mindset if you wish to maximise your potential further faster.

Coaching with JPD:

A great coach can help clients to visualise how they can be successful and fulfilled by thinking differently. At JPD, we strongly believe that effective organisational and personal change must first come from a change in attitude followed by habits. We work collaboratively with you and your team to gently affect attitudinal and habitual change to ensure success in the long term. Whether you or team members wish to further develop your emotional intelligence, interpersonal, management, coaching, leadership, customer service, human resource or team-building skills, or combination of those, we are one phone call away.

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