How would you know if you need a coach? by Anu ShroffConsulting

How would you know if you need a coach?

“When would someone need a coach?” A friend asked me over dinner one night. As I reflect on what makes people seek coaching sessions with me, I see some common patterns. This question also made me think on my own journey and why I had sought a coach about 2 years ago when I was going through a transition in life – and I still continue to be coached today.

For me, coaching is a developmental conversation, in a safe space, which encourages people to unfold deeper layers of themselves so as to live to their full potential. I believe that people have the resources within them to take charge of and move forward in the challenges they face. My role as a coach is to support people in a reflective inquiry as they embark on their development journey and walk alongside them by offering multiple perspectives, stillness and compassion. I believe learning about ourselves is a lifelong process because there is no single point where we can know all the answers – and life will keep guiding us towards new questions.

Reasons people have sought my coaching sessions are when they:

  • Feel stuck in job/life

It doesn’t matter what stage people are in their careers or life, people from all levels have said to me that they feel stuck. It feels like they have no choice in their careers and where they are in life. There is a sense of resignation that “this is just how it is” even when there are options available for them to change their situation.

  • Have a major life decision

Major life decisions can range from changing jobs/professions/industries to re-locating to another country. Even accepting a promotion can be a major decision as it could impact family time and work-life balance.

  • Want to discover what’s next

Perhaps there is no major “burning” platform but people feel that there is more for them in life. All is well at work yet there is a sense of emptiness and a lack of purpose in their work. They are not sure what to make of this emptiness and feel that they don’t have a direction in life.

  • Nearing a breakdown

Feeling overwhelmed with work or life because there is too much going on and no clear priorities. People find that they need help to talk through their priorities and what is most important to them.

  • Have been assigned a coach as part of a corporate leadership programme

It is becoming increasingly common to have a coach assigned as part of leadership training to support participants work through their development goals. This gives people an opportunity to put in practice the actions they are working on in their workplace and then to check-in with their coach on the progress they are making.

These are the 5 common reasons I have noticed for why people seek coaching with me. An invisible thread weaves through these reasons – which is a sense of fear. It could be the fear of making a change, fear of losing out or simply a fear of being in the same place in the future with no progress. Read my blog on the role of fear here. While many people turn to family and friends for support, some people see the benefit of working with a neutral coach as it provides them with clear boundaries and a sense of safety around the work they want to do for themselves.