Do you really need a coach?

and are they worth paying for?

Hemingway. Most people never listen. Paul Claireaux

I love that quote, don’t you?

How many people do you know who really listen to you?

And how many of those are able to give you informed feedback; Insights, Ideas and tools you can use ?

So, could you use a Coach?

Well, according to Bill Gates (founder of Microsoft) :

Everyone needs a coach.

It doesn’t matter whether we’re a basketball player, a tennis player, a gymnast or a bridge player.

We all need people who will give us feedback.

That’s how we improve.

And Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google says:

Every famous performer has a coach.

Somebody who can watch what they’re doing and say, ‘is that what you really meant?’

A coach gives you perspective.

And that’s the one thing none of us are good at, seeing ourselves as others see us.

So a coach really helps.

OK, coaching might help, but do you need to pay for it?

Well, that depends.

A friend or family member might be able to help you achieve what you want.

However, the value of their help will be a function of:

  1. The time they can devote to supporting you.
  2. Whether they have the experience and especially the listening skills to coach you.
  3. Whether they have the knowledge to help you progress in the area you’re working on.

If they can’t give you all three of these things, then paying for some time with a good professional coach could pay dividends.

It’s also worth knowing that simply sharing your goals, with family and friends, is unlikely to help you achieve them.

I know that sounds counter-intuitive, especially given what you might have heard from so many ‘gurus’… but the evidence shows that it’s generally counterproductive as we saw here

Achieve more of what matters to you

So, what should you look for in a coach?

There are as many views on this as there are coaches in the world and there are hundreds of thousands of those.Coaching word map

Dan Coyle, best-selling author of ‘The Talent Code’ has a great answer to this question – and suggests you should:

Choose someone who listens intently to you.

Someone who:

Genuinely wants to help you figure out what you want

Loves to teach the fundamentals of what you’re learning about.

Can give you short, clear insights. 

Someone with plenty of real-life experience.

That’s a truly great checklist, right?

Who to avoid as a coach:

Coyle’s guidance on this is also invaluable and I agree totally agree with what he says here.

Avoid anyone who reminds you of a courteous waiter

The truth is that people who just want to keep you comfortable and happy are useless as coaches.

We seldom learn much from our comfort zone – as we saw here.

So, there are two good reasons to not rely on a friend or family member as your coach.

They’ll either be too ‘soft’ or too ‘hard’ on you.

Either way, they’ll struggle to be balanced or objective, and that’s not helpful.

Let’s face it – we have too much ‘history’ with our friends and family to expect them to manage that!

Whatever you do, choose a coach who encourages you to get out of your comfort zone. You will need to do this if you’re to achieve more of the things that really matter to you.

That said, be sure to find someone who’s capable of nudging you nicely – with compassion and good humour!

So, work with someone who can leave you with a smile at the end of each conversation.

Bad-tempered dragons and pushy automatons are best avoided.

Choose someone who listens.

Whatever you’re aiming for, you need someone who can sit quietly and genuinely listen to your concerns and your ideas… as well as nudging you into more action when you need it.

You won’t have any problem finding someone who will talk at youwith their preconceived ideas about what you should be doing – but that’s not coaching.

Let’s be clear, over the long term, the ‘should’ word will hold you back. 

The sad truth is that very few people really know how to listen. So, you need to watch out for that and stop taking coaching from anyone who can’t listen.

The ability to listen, intently, without judgement, is the most valuable thing a coach can do.

Here’s what else I think you’ll need:

Great Life Coaches

A great coach will work with you as an equal, a friend – and here’s a great quote to sum up their approach.

This is just magic, don’t you think?

A great coach is your ‘sounding board’…

They’ll give you a safe place to ‘explore’ and talk through your challenges and your ideas for your life… and that’s where the magic happens.

It’s in those conversations that you can discover what really matters to you.

What you really want for yourself and your loved ones for the medium and longer-term.

Over to you… what do you want to achieve?

Do you want to get better at what you do now – or do you want to start something completely NEW?

If you’re a business owner would you like to get better and marketing and selling your services?

Or if you’re employed, could you use a promotion… or perhaps an entirely new job?

Would you like to start (or spend more time) doing the things you’re more passionate about?

  1. To write a book?
  2. To start your own business?
  3. To make your existing business more successful?
  4. To build a fund to escape from work altogether?
  5. To travel more?

Or to simply find more time to relax and appreciate what you have?

Whatever you want, you will find it easier to achieve – and cost you a lot less money – if you have a competent coach guiding and supporting you.

How might I help

Well, if you really want to change things in your life, but you’re not sure where to start, then my form of life coaching could be a game-changer for you.

You will not waste your time ‘stressing’ to ‘overcome’ weaknesses or to get ‘good’ at stuff that doesn’t interest you.

Instead, you’ll discover your true strengths and find ways to work with them.

If we worked together, I would help you to:

  1. Understand your strengths – and build upon them.
  2. Define your goals in areas that interest you.
  3. Transform your ideas into workable plans.
  4. Challenge and support you to achieve them.

If you want, I can also help you to understand your money and make better decisions about it, but you don’t need to work on that.

That’s only a small part of what I do.

The agenda we’d work to – is created by YOU

This is simply about helping you explore and achieve more,

of what really matters to you.

In fact, I believe so strongly in those words that I’ve put them in my logo.

Do you need help?

If you want coaching help, someone to bounce your ideas off and be challenged before you make your big decisions, go for it.

Just be careful who you work with.

The abilities (and fee levels) of coaches vary a lot, and there are some air-headed-chancers out there.

Here you’ve seen what I (and Dan Coyle) think good coaching looks like.

So, if that makes sense to you – and you believe I could help, let’s chat about that.

I hope this helps, and wish you the best of luck on the next stage of your journey.

Thanks for dropping in


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