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How to know if you’re getting great coaching pt1


Kirsty Baker has a few tips for the community about what to look for in your coach - and yourself.
So, you've decided that coaching is going to be a core part of your development programme. What's important next is to find a great coach who connects with you. The question is: how do you define a great coach – and how can you spot if you're getting good coaching?
In part of my quest to answer this, I spoke to over 400 coaches from around the world, who have all worked with their own coach at some point. I received an array of insightful answers about what makes a great coach but there were common themes and characteristics running throughout. Here are some definitions of what it means to receive really great coaching.

You connect with your coach

"I'm blown away by how understood I feel" - Lydia Puhak
"I feel heard, unconditionally loved and pushed to be my best self." - Eve Ford
"When I find myself speechless, aware, and in motion..." - Mark Hoelter
The right coach for you will connect with you at a deeper level than you might expect, truly listening to and understanding you. They will ask questions that sometimes feel like questions you would ask yourself inwardly. The way they challenge you, listen to you and connect to you will make it feel like they really hear the words you don't dare speak.
”The right coach for you will connect with you at a deeper level than you might expect, truly listening to and understanding you.
You'll recognise this when:
  • You feel comfortable with your coach and trust them with your deepest thoughts
  • You feel known by your coach - almost better than you know yourself
  • You accept the challenge from your coach because you trust that they know you can handle it

You're not afraid to be independent

"You transform." - Rebecca Elia
"When you feel you no longer need them." - Bushra Winter
"When you become aware that what's going on is bigger than 'coaching'." - Mike Bornhorst
However deep your connection to your coach may be, independence is key. You'll know you're getting great coaching when you realise that you can stand on your own two feet and you no longer need them. You will reach a stage where you know that whatever life throws at you and however high you set your goals, everything is within your reach.
Importantly, you should never be afraid to end your coaching. A great coach should be willing to risk the relationship ending for the sake of stretching you into the best possible version of yourself.
You'll recognise this when:
  • You are ready to go it alone and you can fire your coach (in the nicest way possible!)
  • You start to realise that you know the questions to ask yourself to get unstuck
  • You want to fly solo and see what it's like this time, with all your new skills, insight and perspectives

You feel empowered

"When I've had coaching, the effects remain strongly for a few days." – Roya Movahedi Ferdows
"Great coaching means you have a hard time breathing; whether it's from a ball of nerves in your gut or an uncontainable excitement, both coming from the realisation that your beliefs got rocked!" - Julia Kious Zabel
"I feel a powerful shift at my core – in my heart." - Sharon Taylor
A great coach will help you to connect with your own source of power. They'll hand you the key to your power store and help you to keep hold of it. Because of this you'll feel like you are standing stronger, walking taller, and achieving more in your life.
”You'll know you're getting great coaching when you realise that you can stand on your own two feet and you no longer need them.
Not only will a great coach collude with the stories you tell yourself but they simply will not accept the limitations that you put in your own way.
You'll recognise this when:
  • You start believing in bigger possibilities than you had before
  • You take steps that previously you were unable or unwilling to take
  • You start to believe that you can and will do it 

You are challenged and supported in equal measure

"After a challenging question I find myself having to answer from my heart, and not my head." - Andrea Owen
"Transformation through coaching is not just an idea in my head, but a fully embodied relational experience that changes both my world view and my impact in the world." - Judy Cohen
"My coach acknowledges the things I might not recognise - for example that I had a great spirit. No one had ever told me that before – it felt great." - Rona Steinberg
While many people will purport that a good coach should support you in the achievement of your goals, I believe that support on its own is not enough.

Kirsty Baker is founder of and Certified Professional Coactive Coach (CPCC). Kirsty has a proven track record of helping individuals and organisations achieve long-term change through her work

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