I’ve noticed lately a dramatic increase in the number of individuals calling themselves “coaches”. In many cases they have been “certified” by well-known knowledge experts who in fact are excellent coaches and teachers. For example there are individuals today being certified by Brian Tracy’s Focal Point Coaching. Others are pursuing certification through the John Maxwell Team.
I’ll be the first to admit that I have used and learned from material from both Tracey and Maxwell. And, I know and respect some of their coaches. In fact, I have referred folks to them. Why? Because they have credibility. But just because someone has become “certified” doesn’t mean they’re any good at what they do or are able to transfer their “certified” knowledge in a practical and effective way to their client.
In many cases these “wannabe” coaches are themselves in a steep learning curve. The last thing you want to do is engage them and pay them, while they learn.
I think it would be safe to assume that anyone of us who engages a coach would like to have an individual who was actually successful as a coach and has been equally successful as an entrepreneur or leader prior to them becoming a coach.
From my own observations many of these “wannabe” coaches are really very good at saying the right things and posting interesting quotes but the real question is do they have the right experience to help you? Do they have the black and blues and battle scars of business? More importantly are they able to transfer that knowledge to you to help you become a better you. In many cases, they do not.
If you’re seriously thinking about engaging a coach to help you grow and find and achieve your level of success then I think at a minimum you should consider the following:
- What are their credentials?
- Do they have a great reputation based upon their accomplishments or do they have a reputation that’s great in their own mind.
- Can you connect with them?
- Can they truly establish a relationship and rapport with you to guide you over the barriers that you are facing?
- Are they someone you can trust and talk to about your biggest business or personal challenges?
- Do you want to work with someone is going to address what you need in a unique / just for you approach? Many of the wannabes are going to try to force your issues into their solution versus helping you develop your “right” solution.
You want to work with someone who values truth over feelings and is willing to tell you what you need to hear over what you want to hear.
I place a tremendous amount of value on the relationships I have with my clients because they have engaged me to help them become a success. In that regard, I have no fear whatsoever in telling them in a respectful and professional way what they need to hear even if that means they decide to terminate the relationship.
You want a coach who will challenge you and not cuddle you. You want your coach to be able to push you to use the skills and talents you already have. Any coach who offers you a silver bullet or a one-size-fits-all solution is akin to what we used to see in the old western movies – the snake oil salesman.
I was recently attended an industry association award dinner where I was a sponsor. During the dinner while I was talking to one of my table guests, out of the corner of my eye I noticed a hand going under my elbow heading towards my lap. I looked behind me and saw the waiter reaching for my napkin while it was still on my lap.
I asked what he was doing he said, “I’m taking your napkin to fold it”. I asked “Why? I’m using it and it’s doing its job perfectly”.
Despite my objection he took my napkin folded it and placed it on the table next to my plate.
While I admired his polite determination, I asked him why he did it? He responded very confidently – “Sir I folded the napkin in a certain way depending upon which meal you requested so that I would know which dinner to serve you”.
Again, I admired his honesty and innovation, but suggested that maybe he come up with a different approach other than taking napkins off customer’s laps while they were still using it.
It’s one thing to encourage employees to be innovative in how they deliver service. But there has to be a limit otherwise like the airlines we’ll be seeing more brawls taking place at every table at an event as they are “surprised” when their server is groping around their lap looking for their napkin. While unique, I’m not sure the bride and groom would welcome having those brawls as the highlight of their wedding video.
I gave the waiter my napkin; he folded it and placed on the table next to my plate. I picked it up and placed it back on my lap and he moved to my next guest and took their napkin!
You’re at a great time in your life and it’s time to “get in the game”. In other words, it’s time to make the decision to “Step Up and Play Big”. But, what does that really mean? Consider the following:
To Step Up and Play Big:
- You recognize that you alone are responsible for your life, career and future.
- You know that you can have more but also recognize that you must be the right person to work for it and earn it.
- You recognize that it does not require as much extra effort as one would think to perform at a higher level.
- You regularly question the “status quo” and be open to finding or creating new opportunities
- You recognize that your habits define you. As such, you’re always looking for ways to enhance existing habits and learn new ones to help you elevate your game
- You see mistakes as an opportunity to learn something new
- You know that as you learn and apply new habits and behaviors you begin to stretch the limits of your capabilities. This “stretching” will make you feel uncomfortable. Your long term success will follow as soon as you realize that you must “get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable”
- You don’t play it too safe and accept less than what you are truly capable of doing.
- You act with “quiet confidence” – that is, there is no need to talk about what you do or how well you do it; your actions are all that others need to see.
- You are willing to confront fear and take risks to move forward. Nothing will come to you unless you act first and that’s where taking risks enters the picture.
I recently received a “form” e-mail from someone who provides services to my business. They wanted to know if I had a minute to provide them a testimonial about the service they provide.
What this business owner failed to release is that every now and then some personal contact with a client is a good thing. You get to know your client better and the challenges they face. That one on one contact also allows you to remind the client first hand about the value you offer. And once they acknowledge that value, you’re in a great position to ask for a testimonial; a referral and even more business. Call me old fashioned but “form” letters are just that “form”. Now I’m sure this business owner was thinking about a fast way to make the request. Sometimes speed needs to take a back seat to building and maintaining a quality business relationship. The only time speed is important is in how you deliver your service and solution to your client. Continue reading
Paula and I are wrapping up a fun trip to California where we visited with our son Andrew and his wife Gina and our newest and 7th grandchild Allison Kate Ruisi – born on 3/11/16.
On one day of our visit we took a trip to the Kids-R-Us section of Toys-R-Us to pick up some baby supplies.
While Paula and Gina searched for supplies, I roamed the aisles and eventually gave in to one of my deepest addictions – I cannot resist pushing the “try me” button that toy manufactures include in their packaging to lure more buyers. Continue reading