The Real Power of Having a Coach

You can’t really understand the value of having a coach until you experience it. This is why most coaches offer one to two hours of complimentary coaching before you hire them. They know that to invest in coaching you must experience the value — it’s neither cheap nor passive.

Getting coached can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars for three, six, or 12 months, and it requires you to show up and commit in a bigger way than you probably have in a long time. Yet working with a coach has become the number-one tool I use to gain satisfaction in my life.

I completed my first six months with a coach after three turbulent years in corporate America where everything that worked for me before… didn’t anymore. The experience of coaching rebuilt my confidence and spirit. I became overcome with the urge to share how amazingly helpful coaching can be… especially for ambitious professionals.

Why didn’t more people know about the power of coaching? Why was I the only person in my friend group who had hired a professional coach? Many had received some level of coaching support at work if they were on the executive team, but it was nothing like what I had experienced. It was one-dimensional, focused on leadership only, and stayed on the surface level of skill development: communication, presence, managing priorities, etc.

Once my coaching engagement ended and I emerged with all the pieces of myself feeling as if they’d found their home again, I told everyone I knew about it and wanted everyone to try it. But most didn’t. Most didn’t see the value. Many didn’t know what they’d talk to a coach about. A few saw how helpful it was to me, but doubted it’d help them.

Here is the thing. Coaching works. I’ve seen it work for myself and hundreds of others. Here’s why:

1) Perspective

Our point of view drives how we live, from how we eat to how we raise our children. Perspective is based on our life experiences and what we’ve been told… and what we hear turns into our beliefs, our truth. It’s our way of making sense of the world, of feeling safe. The challenge is, sometimes who we want to become or how we want to live is very different than where we come from or what we’ve experienced thus far. If that’s the case, clearly what you’ve known isn’t going to help you get to where you want to go…. You need new insight, new ideas. A new perspective.

Coaches give you just that. They see the full possibility for you and your life. This is what they are trained to do: remove bias, remove old stories, remove practical and linear thinking and open up the mind to new possibilities. Through your coach, you begin to broaden your perspective and see that what you took as truth may not be; there are other ways of thinking/being/doing. This is required to change your actions. If you do not shift your perspective, you will not shift your behavior.

For example: When I was miserable at work, on my third job change in two years, and feeling drained, uninterested and down, I told my coach I felt trapped. When she asked why, it was because I assumed, because of my perspective, that I had to work a 9 to 5 job to make enough money to support my family and I had to do this until I retire. If I didn’t do this, I wouldn’t be able to survive, we’d become homeless, and my life would be ruined. That is how deep my belief was. I developed that by growing up in the ’80s with two working parents who did just that — worked no matter what at their jobs to support their family.

When my coach challenged that belief and asked me if there were other ways to have a fruitful life besides working in an unfulfilling 9-to-5 job, I could easily come up with several examples of other people, from friends to famous people, living with passion and purpose and thriving. Why wasn’t I able to see this myself without a coach prompting me? Because we don’t question our beliefs. They dictate our behavior and they seem real, very very </