What is a COACH?

While a good consultant has the right answers, a good coach asks the right questions. The approach to coaching is quite different than consulting. Everyone knows what a baseball or football coach does. But, what does an executive, corporate, personal or life coach do? Simply, he asks questions - lots of questions.

A coach knows that YOU have the right moves or answers inside but don't yet know it or know how to get them out. It is the coach's job to let you see that you can win given some guidance - just like any sports team. Being an external observer, the coach can see where you are and what you are doing as you make your way to your objective or goal. He then asks questions to get you to travel in a direction that will bring you closer to winning. There is magic in asking the right questions! A coach asks questions to light a brighter fire within - to turn on and satisfy your passion. He often supplies you with tools to permit your journey to be faster and more rewarding. He doesn't suppose to know the answers although he may have ideas or opinions that he should keep to himself. Personal coaches are impartial partners who support their client's programs, not his own.

How can someone say they can take you down a specific path when they themselves have never been there? Would you get on an airplane with a "pilot" who has never flown before? Would you ask for a guide through the tangled jungle when he himself has never hacked his way through? So, reader, what's your answer to these questions? No, of course you wouldn't unless you're sporting a death wish! Neither should you retain a coach if he doesn't have the personal experience himself. Don't engage him if he hasn't been there himself. It's that simple.

While a consultant should be matched with his specific assignment, it is far less important that he be matched closely with the person. It helps, but it is not essential. On the other hand, a coach should be aligned with the personality type and speed of the individual. He should be someone who listens fully, brings a larger vision to the table and inspires creativity. The coach should be one who offers unconditional acceptance of the client - this is not an easy task. The coach should be tailored to the individual, rather than attempting to tailor the assignment to fit the coach. Failure to do so will only bring failure to the coaching assignment. Devoted coaches will eliminate unsuited clients as soon as possible.

In addition, the coach should be fully committed to the client's success. That will mean understanding other portions of the client's life, even the client's personal side. A coach will be attuned to the brilliance of his client. He will see the genius in each client under his wing. Only then are both able to fly together. A good coach will not have an agenda of his own. The agenda should always be the client's. A coach will assist clients in doing more than they would have done on their own. Progress must also be benchmarked and measured along the way. The coach and client focus on solutions rather than problems. Therefore, Bob seeks positive, creative thinkers or, in his opinion, those who have the ability to arrive at a reasonable level of competency in this area.

The coach and client together must decide where they are going and establish firm objectives. A typical coaching assignment may be a few hours each month with the client over a period of time. The assignment may focus on a single, specific purpose. Others will be for day or more once every month or two. Still others may be on an "as required basis." The telephone and Internet are suitable avenues to hold down costs. Bob finds it particularly beneficial to schedule specific times so goals can be created and measured. Many coaches are paid in advance for their services. Bob is willing to work with you to satisfy your needs. As in consulting, and towards this end, Bob may also consider an equity participation plan if the assignment is right. At this point in his career, Mr. Cederdahl only considers 1 out of each 15 or 20 coaching assignments or so in which to become involved. His philosophy is, "If it doesn't fit, don't wear it."

© Copyright 1999     Cederdahl Consulting and Coaching
4109 Nabal Drive La Mesa CA. 91941-7039
Phone 619-670-1122 Fax 619-670-9363