Five Undeniable Signs You Need a Coach
By Jacey Eckhart
“Maybe he could use some personal coaching,” mused one of my colleagues the other day. “He doesn’t really know what direction he should be going in, so he isn’t really doing anything. He seems kind of stuck to me, you know?”
Yes. I know. Getting stuck is not one of the major signs of needing a coach. Staying stuck long enough for people to notice is a sign that a coach could really help you get going in the right direction. This is especially true when you are going through a significant life change, like job hunting, changing your major, buying a new home, or adding a family member, and you are smack in the middle of a Next Door Project.
To be your little helper, I put together this list of five undeniable signs you really need a coach:
1. You feel stuck. You have gone through a major life change and you fully acknowledge you can’t go back to your old self. HOWEVER, you can’t seem to break into your new role either. You are wandering around your life like a naked drunk in a hotel hallway with nothing but an ice bucket over your parts. This is not a good feeling.
2. You don’t recognize your strengths at all. So often people scoff at personality tests because they don’t “work.” Often, they don’t work because you took them wrong or read the results wrong or didn’t apply the new knowledge to your life. Multiple studies show that people who work in the area of their strengths are more successful and have higher life satisfaction. If you aren’t sure about what your strengths are, how can you get that kind of life?
3. You discount your best strengths. Even if you do know your strengths, you discount them as average, common, or unimportant. In my work with veterans, I cannot get over how often I hear talented, accomplished people discount the things they do best with the words, “Anyone can do that.” No, actually, “anyone” can’t do that. You are killin’ me.
4. You need someone to give your change a little structure or hold you accountable. We repeat things because they still seem true. Especially if we repeat them. I know I am in need of a coach when I am running around and around the same group of thoughts, usually about something in my life that is stuck. A coach who listens closely can hear the patterns of your thinking and help you find the kind of insights and activities that will help you get unstuck and moving in the right direction.
5. You are running on low levels of hope. Being stuck is discouraging. In Change or Die, (greatest title of all time) Alan Deutschman demonstrates how one of the keys to change is finding someone you relate to who can inspire you to believe your change is probable. This is usually someone who makes you think, If they can do it I can do it. A good coach can be that person, and you know they are good if you leave the session hopeful and ready to go do the thing you need to do next.
I wrote The Next Door Project Workbook to help everyone who is in the self-coaching stage and needs concrete activities to do to work through this part of their significant life change. I also offer one-on-one coaching because often that is the step people need to get unstuck and to start moving forward.