On occasion I have someone ask: “What does a coach do?” “Is it like therapy?” The answer is always “yes and no.”
Therapy, as described, is the use of psychological methods, particularly when based on regular personal interaction, to help a person change behavior, increase happiness, and overcome problems.”
Coaching, as described, is a professional relationship that helps people produce extraordinary results in their lives, careers, businesses, or organizations, helping them to bridge the gap between where they are now and where they want to be.
As both a psychologist and an executive coach, I can assure that effective business coaching is both. I connected with two current clients today who in speaking together spoke of the “Dottie Lama” and how in my working with them for only a few months they have already reached levels they could never have imagined. Dramatic expansions in each of their professions and personal lives are taking place.
How? They were each open to seeing new perspectives, new ways of looking at the same things that had had them running in circles, stuck, and confused, or overwhelmed. In addition, they were introduced to a different way of seeing themselves. In order to change perspective, we frequently need to look at our belief systems, our behavior patterns, and our trained approaches to life and the problems, challenges, and gifts that show up. A coach who truly sees you, has the ability to point out to you what you are not seeing. You know the saying “You can’t tell the forest from the trees.”? Sometimes when we are too close, we miss so much of what is obvious to someone who is trained to see.
Coaching helps clients to “bridge the gap between where they are now and where they want to be.” What if what we also did was help you see how small and constrictive where you want to be really is. Solely because you can’t imagine achieving so much more. Expanding your self-understanding and your emotional intelligence, while developing the practice of mindfulness, helps you to dream bigger than you ever imagined, and can support you in reaching for stars you could never even see before.
Problem solving, offering new perspectives on issues that are holding you back, providing new ways of doing the same old things, and helping you see the means of self-sabotage you use, are only a few of the many strengths someone who has dedicated their life to coaching may bring to the table. Caution, however, don’t choose either process if you are not ready to fly. Life is so much harder when you think you want a coach and then have to ardently work at resistance when they are consistently calling you forward.
Give yourself a break. Only reach out for a hand up when you are ready to let go and jump into your future. Also, for so many in leadership, realize there is no way you can achieve it all on your own. That is too common a belief. We need private reflection and integration time, yet we also need that hand-up, the wisdom of those who have walked before, and the humor and faith that keeps it all in perspective.
When you want to become so much more and reach so many higher levels, reach out to someone who already has. S/he has walked the walk and can readily support you in seeing what they learned or saw along the way and how it does or doesn’t apply to you. If you are blessed you will see, as my clients say, that they will “hold your heart while they kick your ass” straight to the you and the dream you want to achieve, or more.
If you are ready, give me a call or send an email. It’s a fantastic ride that has no limit…