You Need a Coach

For the better part of my life I have played sports and I have had a wide variety of coaches. I have had some really great coaches and some really not-so-great coaches. Regardless of the quality of coach I had, I always learned something from them. Sometimes it was what to do, and other times it was what not to do. Either way, the coach always added value to my experience inside the lines of the game.
The game of life, though, doesn’t really have lines or boundaries, and navigating the challenges in front of us can be overwhelming. For some of us, we have been around the block a few times, tried a few different careers, and are finally figuring out what we want to do when we grow up, but are unsure how to make it happen. For others of us, we are trying this adulting thing out and all we really want to do is chill on the beach with a good book or a close group of friends. Wherever you find yourself, I would imagine you have at least figured this out…life is hard and is a team sport.
active-activity-balance-414012The best memories are the ones we have with the people who are close to us, who invest in us, who champion our hopes and dreams with us even when those hopes and dreams are unrealistic. We jump in the car together for a spontaneous road trip, or we skip work to take in an afternoon baseball game. These are the memories that last deep in our souls because we do them with people, not by ourselves.
The other day I was talking with a friend and he was expressing his frustration because he was at a point in his life where he was unsure of his direction. He wanted to do something of significance that he loved, but he just wasn’t sure what that was. He felt like he needed a mentor, but it didn’t quite feel like the fit he was looking for, and he was asking me my thoughts. After talking, I decided to share with you, the Modern Inklings community, what I shared with him, because I feel like to may help some of you clarify what you need to help make sense out of the chaos we call life.
When we are stuck we often look for 1 of 2 things. We either want an advisor to tell us what we should do, or a mentor to show us the way. Advisors are more readily available because most people are happy to give their perspective on a given subject, and for those who are like me, there are very few things I don’t at least have a half-baked opinion about. (Which drives my wife crazy. Sorry, Babe.) Though advisors have value, the biggest problem I see with seeking advice is that we are handed answers rather than explore our own answers. When things go wrong we are able to shrug off the responsibility because we didn’t come to the conclusion ourselves, we were handed it. At the same time, when things go right, we feel a hallow victory because we may have navigated the situation successfully, but we can’t take credit for it. This robs us of the ability to grow our confidence in ourselves as well as our ability to tackle tough problems in our lives.
The other option we can seek out is a mentor to show us the way. We seek out someone who has ‘been there, done that’ and we want them to show us how they arrived at their location. For career development or skill transfer, this can be a very effective way for us to grow into the person we believe we need to be. In fact, in my upcoming book, the role of a mentor is one of the primary pieces of the Millennial Leadership Model, however, it is only effective if one thing is true…you know where you are going. If we don’t have the clarity of direction, then a mentor’s effectiveness is limited because they can only lead us down the road they are familiar with.
This is why I believe that what most of need in a lot of the situations we face is a coach. A coach doesn’t have a predetermined destiny they are taking you toward. They don’t have an agenda they want you to accomplish. A good coach who is trained to coach well is a partner who is coming alongside you providing an extra set of eyes and ears to see your situation. They are not hindered by the emotion of the circumstances, and they can help you pull out of the weeds to see the whole field. As a coach, one of the greatest satisfactions I have had in coaching happens when the lightbulb goes off for someone I am coaching and they say, “why didn’t I see that before. It is so obvious!”
abstract-arrangement-art-457713In the situations of our lives, we are all tied up in the details of what we are facing, and sometimes we are just too close to the glass to realize it stands between us and our dreams. As a coach, we take you by the shoulders and pull you back far enough to where you can still see your dreams, but you can also see the glass in front of you that stands in the way.This equips you to navigate around the glass to make your dreams a reality.
This week I did a coach training session with some outstanding leaders at my church, and I thought I should share some of the stats I use in that training on coaching (Coaching and Coach Training in the Workplace, Carol Wilson). Those who receive coaching:
  • see an 84% increase in their personal performance and goal achievement
  • have a 60% increase in their teachability and skill growth
  • see a 69% increase in their productivity
  • enjoy a 62% increase in life balance
  • see a 57% decrease in stress levels
  • and benefit from a 52% increase in self-confidence
Now, if you are good in all these areas, then maybe a coach is not the thing for you, but most of the people I know could use some of these changes in their lives.
Life should be lived to its fullest with joy, fulfillment, and a sense of purpose, and here at Modern Inklings that is our goal. We want to help individuals become the people they feel they were born to be, to impact the lives of those around them, and to build the relationships that last a lifetime. If you want to explore having a coach, Modern Inklings is here for you and I would love if you scheduled to chat with me about your hopes and dreams.

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