Do You Have a Coach?


Coaching is a hot topic. Do a search on the internet and you will find there are coaches for just about every walk of life: business coaches, executive coaches, career coaches, performance coaches, life coaches, athletic coaches and instructional coaches (to name a few). What do each of these types of coaches have in common? The coaches have a passion for enriching and enhancing the lives of others in their specific skill area.

When have you had a coach in your life? Did you have an athletic or performance coach when you were younger? You may have gained specific skills, but some coaches make an even greater impact. They become role models. They guided us to become our personal best. The skills learned were applicable to many parts of our lives.

As we grew older we may have been formally or informally mentored or coached by someone in our chosen field. They were guides along the way. They were sounding boards to our ideas. They were there when we asked the tough questions. They were there to provided us new skills. They were there to pick us up when we fell and they were there to celebrate our accomplishments.

We don’t even question having an athletic coach when on a team. We seek mentors in our choosen fields. And when we want to excel in other areas we look for the advice of others who have walked in those shoes.

Yet, time and time again, I hear the reluctance or resistance of having an instructional coach.  I hear coaches who are frustrated in not gaining acceptance among staff members. So what is the difference?

The article Why Leaders are Easier to Coach than Followers in the Harvard Business Review provided some food for thought.  Studies reveals “people who identify as followers are actually less open to coaching than people who identify as either leaders or adapters (those who are comfortable leading or following depending on the circumstances).” The article mentioned that the answers to why the followers are more resistant to coaching lies in their perspective—what coaching means to them. “In order to benefit from coaching, you need to be willing to put your ego aside and accept guidance and criticism, as painful as it may be.”

Even though the article looked at coaching in the area of business it has many applicable ideas for instructional coaching initiatives in schools. Four ideas emerged from the study that you may want to check out! The article ended with a tool to access coachability. I haven’t had time to take the survey, but plan to in the near future.

To understand coaching I often look at areas in my life where I have a coach. Right now I have a personal trainer to help me achieve my fitness and healthy lifestyle goals. Together we are enhancing that part of my life. I sought her out. I knew I needed the guidance of someone with experience it the area of my life that I knew needed strengthening. My goals are the focus of our work together.  If someone told me I needed the help, chances are I would have resisted it. I may have been hurt or offended that they thought I needed more exercise or that I wasn’t eating very healthy. The more I think about it, I am benefiting from the coaching because I have set my ego aside! I am accepting the guidance.

How have you benefited from coaching? How have you you helped someone who may have been a bit reluctant in the beginning?

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slice of lifeMarch 2015, I am blogging daily as a part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge! This is post #5. More Slice of Life posts from other bloggers can be found on Two Writing Teachers.

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