Don’t let your career search dreams be ruined by careless suggestions.
I am so mad I could spit. I just returned from a wonderful workshop on living your dream conducted by Montrie Rucker Adams (check out her new book, Just Do Your Dream). A young woman volunteered that she had a BIG dream, gigantic, that could change the world. She approached a coach to get insight into how to achieve her big dream. The coach said, “That is just too big. You will never achieve that dream. Instead why don’t you water it down like this?”
The COACH said that!
This talented young woman had not worked with a coach before so did not see anything wrong with that response. She intended to pursue her dream anyway so this coach did not deter her. But really?
A good coach would never say that.
It is not up to the coach to evaluate or judge someone’s dream. The coach’s role is to support, ask questions or perhaps propose something the client has not considered. The coach can provide structure for breaking down big goals and problems into achievable pieces like eating an elephant one bite at a time. A coach can help you hold yourself accountable to achieving your dreams.
Coaching is about the individual being coached. It is NOT about the coach. The coach’s opinion is just not relevant.
I bring this up to you, dear readers, because I know some of you are seeking support to achieve big dreams. Often we cannot do that ourselves. We need to add people to our team to achieve our goals. I have had a coach for 13 years now. I cannot imagine functioning without her because she accepts me as I am and helps me hold myself accountable.
Be careful when adding coaches to your team to select people who will work on YOUR agenda. Here are some tips to choose the right coach:
- Interview them first. Do you feel a connection to this person? Can you imagine working for months with this person without feeling annoyed? If not, find another coach.
- Does the coach listen well to your issues? If not, find another coach.
- Does this coach have experience in the issue I am working on? I coach business executives on performance achievement and folks interested in careers and job search. There are many times I forward an individual to another person with a different specialty. That is the way it should work.
- Do you feel validated when you speak with this coach? If not, find another coach.
- Is this coach practical or theoretical? Each style is valid but select the style that matches your approach. I am a practical coach and my coach is practical which fits me just fine. But I know many fine coaches that come at coaching from a psychological or emotional point of view that would fit someone else just fine too.
- Will this coach focus on you completely when you meet? If not, find another coach.
- How will this coach help you hold yourself accountable? Ask for examples. If this is not a primary function of the coaching then find another coach.
- Will this coach help you create a path to achievement? If not find another coach.
Do not tolerate dismissive, negative behavior from a coach. Do not accept the first coach you stumble upon (unless you can positively answer all these questions!). Find someone to be in your corner who cares about helping you achieve your BIG dream in the style that makes you feel supported.