My last post was on the Cost of Change, and addressed an obstacle that keeps many people from getting the coaching they want and need. My friend, Julie Poland, addressed another obstacle, Choice of Venue, in her blog. Today, I want to address a third obstacle to getting the coaching you need which digs deeper into the third element of cost – Commitment to Change.
Do you have a brochure?
I’m always a little bit shocked when someone finds out that I’m a coach and, having just met, very quickly asks the question, “How much does it cost?” or they ask me to send some information about how I would coach them. Honestly, I don’t know the answer to either question at first. Any coach who does is merely selling a commodity and you are trusting good fortune that it will meet your needs.
Buying or selling coaching in this manner is something like going to a medical doctor and saying, “What can you prescribe for me, doc?”, without any discussion of symptoms, health goals, examination or diagnostics.
As a prospective consumer of career, business or “life” coaching, wouldn’t it make sense to know your Commitment to Change before you make a buying decision? Wouldn’t it make sense to become clear about what you want and need as a result of a coaching relationship?
One way to determine your Commitment to Change is to seriously consider all the personal rewards such coaching would create for you, as well as all the personal consequences if you choose not to hire a professional coach. These things determine perceived value, which should inform your decisions, and your coach’s decisions, about price and time investment.
Before a coach should describe how he or she would coach you, or the price, or how much time is involved, both of you should develop a shared, clear agreement on your Commitment to Change. I do this through a brief, up-front discovery or diagnostic process. I help you gain clarity about your Commitment to Change, establish some specific goals for “why you are hiring me.”
These are the types of questions that you should be discussing before buying (or selling) into a coaching relationship:
- What’s going on in my life, career, team or business right now that makes me want to consider hiring a coach?
- What is the challenge I face, the obstacle I want to overcome, the gap I want to close, the opportunity I want to pursue, the problem I want to solve, the goal I want to achieve, the difference I want to make…?
- How might my life be different if I successfully address these issues?
- How would I want this “coaching relationship” to look like?
- How am I stuck?
- How might a coach be able to help me? What kind of help do I want?
- Am I prepared to allow myself to “open up” and make myself vulnerable enough to grow from this coaching relationship? Do my instincts tell me that I can trust this coach to make it safe for me to be honest about my dreams, doubts, desires, fears and failings?
- What are the personal rewards for me if I achieve all I want from coaching?
- What are the consequences and costs to me if I choose NOT to hire a coach?