[This is the second of a two-part series on the role of your professional coach and your role in the coaching relationship.]
“If you want to build your business and at the same time have a rewarding personal life, you call a coach.” Denver Post
“Who exactly seeks out a coach? Winners who want more out of life.” Chicago Tribune
One of the most important criteria of any successful professional coaching engagement is a clear understanding of the roles of the both the coach and the professional being coached. It’s typically easier of us to know what we expect from our coach (I covered this in a previous post “5 Things You Should Expect From Your Coach.”)
Since a successful coaching relationship is a two-way street, I take time BEFORE we sign an agreement to discuss and agree upon not only what they should expect from me, but also what I expect from them.
Here are 5 things your coach should expect (even demand) from you.
What Great Coaching Clients Do
1. Take the coaching arrangement seriously. It is imperative that you take your coaching in it’s proper intent – a serious intervention to increase your ability to improve yourself and those around you. Of course you can and should enjoy the process – trust me, there will be plenty of times during the process you need to laugh. Yet I want my clients to always remember this is NOT about building a friendship with me (although that is an often experienced outcome) – it’s about their improved performance!
2. Diligently complete each action plan in a timely fashion. I expect every client to schedule their time and allocate whatever resources they need to complete the goals we create on time. Anything less is unprofessional and a waste of their time and money.
3. Be completely open and brutally honest. This goes both ways. I never want my clients to whitewash or bury an aggravation, complaint, or problem they have with my coaching style or requirements. Likewise, I expect them to be open to the same, to be willing to hear things they may not like but need to know to improve.
4. Take feedback constructively. Based upon #3, I expect my clients to take all feedback (positive and negative) as part of the development process, not as a commentary on their personality. I would much rather lose a potential client up front than to find out in the middle of the engagement they are unwilling or unable to take any constructive feedback.
5. Remember the role of the coach is to educate, exhort, and encourage – not to decide, execute, or own. I want my clients to remember they ultimately own the results – not me! A coach should help hold you accountable for your progress, but in the end, it’s up to you to do the work and finish the job.
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