“I don’t really need a coach.” These are words I’ve heard often enough that I decided I needed to come up with a reasonable reply. And believe it or not, I’ve heard it from someone who won two hours of coaching—no cost or out of pocket. This post isn’t about selling people on coaching; it’s about helping people understand what coaching can do for them.

Let’s start with what coaching is…

Coaching is a process of self-discovery that leads a person to raised awareness. You cannot improve or change any aspect of your life you are unaware of. When awareness is raised, possibilities expand. Choice is a function of awareness. Awareness is the performance gap in life between what you know and what you are going to do.

Carl Jung says, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”

A coach asks questions to help you figure out the answers—answers you may not even know you have the questions to yet! But you do have the answers locked inside for any question or idea that comes up. Coaches help us discover a different perspective and are able to help us develop or build up habits that will bring us to the top of our game. A coach is not an expert who gives advice—that’s a mentor.

So why do I believe in coaching?

First let me share with you that the Leadership Harbor coaches use coaches ourselves! Yes, plural: coaches. We each have a leadership coach, a business coach, a speaking coach, a coaching coach, a marketing mentor, and a sales mentor—all of them thinking partners helping us to be at our best right here, right now, and helping us to get better for all of the tomorrows. These people are my encouragers and my thinking partners. When I have success, they celebrate with me. When I have failure, they ask me what I’ve learned and encourage me along. When I run into a challenge, they work through it beside me. They believe in me even when my self-belief falters. The accountability is scary fabulous!

I have coaches because I want to empower others and achieve my goals as quickly and efficiently as possible. Coaching is at my pace. The question is really how fast and how far do I want to go on a path? How intentional I am about what I desire to do and be determines our sessions. I prepare for each session by coming up with a question, topic, or challenge I’m facing. We break it down and come away with a plan of action. Sometimes, I bring the same question, topic, or challenge with me that I’ve brought before, but each session I can walk away with another step toward the answer or goal.

I have coaches because I want to go farther faster with others, rather than labor with less focus on a slower, closer scale.

Real-Life Application

I’ve been a coach for years—since 2009. I worked for a mainline denomination helping congregations identify Ministry & Mission plans (strategic planning for congregations, especially in times of transition) and coaching pastors. I was looking for a better way to communicate leadership to pastors and church volunteers. I used a variety of leadership books to guide my thoughts and teachings but felt I wasn’t communicating well enough. I joined the John Maxwell Team because I thought John communicated leadership well, and I could have access to resources that would improve my ability to communicate to the churches. I’ve had mentors before, but never a coach. I began absorbing the information and teachings and participated in coaching sessions with a coach for coaching. Then I added a coach for speaking to learn to better communicate. Over the next year, I learned, applied, and taught leadership principles. When I was told my position was being eliminated, I knew immediately what to do. I was ready to become an entrepreneur, and Leadership Harbor was born. I had no doubts or second thoughts. I jumped and have been growing my wings on the way down (as my thinking partner, Paul, would say). Coaching had prepared me for this very thing—even though I began being coached for a different reason.

Coaching helps a person today and prepares a person for the future—farther faster with others.

So, what’s my response to the statement “I don’t need a coach”?

If there are no questions, fears, or uncertainties facing you or your future—career, business, or personal life—if there is nothing you want to change for the better, then yes: You don’t need a coach, at least not yet. But let’s face it… everyone needs a coach. The real question is when will you be ready to start?

All Leadership Harbor coaches offer a free one-hour get-to-know-you session. This helps you and the coach know if you can work with each other. It also gives you a taste of what coaching is. You begin moving toward unlocked potential in that first hour. The hardest part is taking the first step—saying you want change (big or little). There is no risk in testing the waters. Brian, Chris, and I want to be your thinking partners. If you’re concerned about the investment you are going to make in yourself, talk to one of us. We have coaching that fits every budget. Which method you choose has a different rate of return. How far and how fast do you want to go? What is your hunger for change?

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