Coaching is a bi-directional process. What does that mean? Simply that the most effective coaching process goes in both directions: from the coach to the candidate and from the candidate to the coach. You need to know a number of key items about your coach, but for your coaching experience to achieve its greatest value, your coach needs to know some key things about you.
Coaching is not about one person imparting pearls of wisdom to another person. It is about establishing a relationship with each other that leads to openness and trust. There are 5 keys to this:
#1. What is your story? The first step is for your coach to truly understand how you have gotten where you are. That involves revealing your story—the start of your career through today. This provides critical perspective to your coach’s understanding of who YOU are right now.
#2. Who were the key people in your career development? This information helps your coach see the decision points in your path and who was there with you when you made them. Over time, these individuals make up a kind of who’s who of your life.
#3. What have been your greatest successes? Your successes are much more important to your ongoing development than your failures. Your successes demonstrate where you have applied your best wisdom, your keenest insights, your most helpful partnering with others. Above all, focusing on your success will help you build your confidence for future successes.
#4. What have you left behind? All of us make decisions that involve leaving other people and places behind. This is a crucial part of growth for most business professionals. Recognizing the parts you have left behind can help your coach understand what might be holding you back.
#5. Where is There? Setting goals is a key component in any coaching process, so having a clear idea of where you want to go is crucial. Looking into the future, pointing at that goal and saying “In the next two years I want to be there” is helpful only if we really know what there looks like.
Making certain that your coach knows these 5 things about you will help ensure a truly satisfying and successful coaching engagement.