When is the right time?

People often ask me, when is the right time to work with a coach?

The short answer is "it depends", though in a world where people are looking for easy, definitive answers, that's not always comforting.

The use of a coach is helpful at different points in a person's life. If any of these apply to you, you might want to use a coach;

  • You are at a junction in your life and you are looking to make decisions
  • Something isn't right and you want to make a change
  • You have too many options and need to narrow them down
  • You have too few options and need to gain more
  • A specific event is approaching and you have concerns about how to approach it
  • You are looking to create a plan for the next period of your life
  • You believe that there are things from your past holding you back
  • You procrastinate and need someone to hold you accountable
  • You don't know where to begin and feel everything is overwhelming
  • You know you can achieve more but don't feel you have the resources to support you in your goal

You'll see from the points above that there is a huge variety of ways in which a coach can help. And whatever the context, a coach really can help. Perhaps it's all round life coaching, or coaching for your career, in sports, education, your home life or business. 

Many people say, "I have a great network of friends, family and colleagues and so I don't need a coach". With that, I have to disagree. Although it's great that you might have a fantastic network around you, having an independent coach that can provide an objective view and work with you using specific techniques will provide more new ideas, perspectives and opportunities. And as much as your network will want to help, it's rare to find people around you who don't have a specific bias or expectation about what you'll do, when you'll do it or how you'll do it. Finally, let's remember that sometimes the very points you want to discuss with a coach could involve the people who volunteer to help you, and that would never do.

Another great reason to get a coach is the opportunity it provides to hold you accountable in ways that other people may not be able to do. If you have an issue with procrastination and want someone to either work with you on that to remove the root cause or to hold you to account so you do the things you need to do between sessions, then you'll really appreciate the value of having a coach.

I have clients who have used coaching as a one off event to deal with a specific aspect of their life, while others prefer a regular cadence as they work through a broader set of challenges. Make sure your coach offers flexibility to meet on a schedule that suits you, rather than them. For example, I have a client I meet once a year and although this isn't a traditional cadence, if it works for my client, it works for me and I'm happy to help. 

In my experience of being a coach, I have yet to meet someone who wouldn't benefit in some way from the process of coaching. There is a tremendous amount of value in having an independent view point that will help you see the wood for the trees and when you work with a coach who helps you clarify your options you can truly find news ways to solve problems or new opportunities that might otherwise have been unavailable to you.

There's also a great deal of value in working with a coach who has techniques for you to link your conscious thinking with the unconscious resources that reside within you, so if you're able to find a certified coach (which, to me, is a minimum requirement) that can also work in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Quantum Linguistics, you'll be getting additional benefits that will help you change your thinking over the longer term.

So, let's reframe the question and ask, "why wouldn't you want to work with a certified coach right now?".

As well as being an experienced management consultant and energetic public speaker, Rob Whitfield is a certified Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a certified Master Coach and a certified Master Practitioner of Hypnotherapy and Time Line Therapy. No Bull. Start your transformation journey here.