First let’s get this off my chest – there are too many unqualified people setting up shop as coaches. Going to a coaching school and paying for a certification really doesn’t do it. If you want to really be of assistance to people, you need to learn about people. You need to learn about human behavior and about organizational behavior. Then you need to be able to connect deeply with someone by understanding their motives, values and aspirations. It can actually come together quite quickly in skilled hands or dissolve instantaneously in incompetent ones.
I hired a coach some years back – my first one. He was terrible – even though he was “highly recommended”. Our first conversation went like this:
Coach: So what do you want to work on?
Me: Organization – (not really, but this is what I said since his opener left me cold)
Coach: Okay, what are three things you will do by our next meeting to get organized?
Me: Clean up my laundry pile, clean off my desk, pay my bills.
Coach: Great! What might get in your way of doing that?
Coach: So how will you prevent that?
Me: I don’t know…
Okay, I was terrible too! But, here is the thing. He took no time to get to know who I was and what made me tick. He could have been an app pre-programmed to say what he said. There was no charm…no attempt to learn about me – which at $500 an hour, you had better take that time!
I had to cancel the next meeting due to a death in the family. He was insulted and told me he could not understand why THAT threw me. $1000 bucks into the trash can and I severed the relationship. I was a weanie and made a lame excuse. But, years later, I must say, Dear Coach, YOU SUCKED!
I coach students at Harvard Business School on resume development, personal branding and interviewing skills. Every conversation begins with a power-packed download of who you are and what you want to achieve. Our sessions are intense and wonderful. Why? It’s the exponential power of the coaching relationship that is nurturing, safe and often tough. but always, always personal.
The folks at HBS already understand the value of coaching. They have it at their fingertips when they need it and they use it. I have zero doubt that this is part of the reason (they are also brilliant!) that HBS students are so successful.
I need a coach, we all need coaches! If the people at HBS and in the corporate world already get the value of coaching, that’s good enough for me! Next week, we begin working with a new cohort at HBS and I will work diligently with them to provide a meaningful experience.
Truthfully, the psych-hacking IS coaching! It is the extraction of principles of human psychology in a focused way to get results quickly.
If you are interested in learning more, please contact me @ firstname.lastname@example.org.