Dear Coach: What Does It Feel Like To Be ‘Coached’?

dear coach by the sea

What does it really feel like to be ‘coached’? I can read about it, but it is difficult to imagine. How can I decide if it is worth trying if I have no experience of it?  Miss AP

I’ve written about why individuals and organisations might use a coach. But this question is one that people think but don’t always ask outright. Often if people ask this, they get an overview of the principles and process. Some stuff about confidentiality, objectives and coaching questions. I find that, useful as that might be, it is often not what people are really asking about. They really want to know what to expect, how it feels more than how it works if that makes sense. And as a coach, it’s difficult for me to put myself in the shoes of someone who has never been coached before.

Until yesterday when someone said to me “Well, it’s like that kid’s game of pass the parcel isn’t it?”

She explained that for her, being coached felt like a process of unwrapping the layers. You usually start with a big package, perhaps with some initial broad goals or a particular challenge. As the ‘music stops’, in a coaching session, you unwrap a layer of paper. Sometimes there is a surprise ‘gift’ in the layer – one of those ‘ah-ha’ moments; sometimes not. Each layer gets you closer to beginning to coach yourself so you start to be in charge of when the music stops and starts. Each layer brings you a sharper clearer focus on what you want and what you are prepared to do in order to get what you want and know when you have achieved it. Until the final session when you have unwrapped the last layer and see your own success.

I thought it was a pretty good description of how it feels.

What do you think?

Coach By The Sea smiley-163510_640


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