What Kind of Change is Actually Possible from Coaching Services Provided by a Professional Coach?
“Performance Improvement” and “Greater Results” Are More a “Shift” Than a “Change”
Before We Get Started, I Am Not Asking You to Agree with Me
Don’t agree with me; consider this for yourself
I preface this article with a caveat: I am asking you to listen to what I am saying as something for you to consider, not something with which you “should” agree. Put another way, I am not asking you to agree with what I have to share here; I am asking you to inquire with me about what is presented here, and then look for yourself in your life and in the world and discover what there is for you to discover about it.
Change is Paradoxical for Human Beings
“I want change; and I don’t like change”
As Human Beings we are inherently dualistic about change. I say:
“I want things — like my life, my performance, and my results — to change for the better.” Meanwhile, we are all too comfortable in our discomfort of “life is fine” and “good (enough).”
So, even though I may say that, “I want things to change,” I am actually more resistant to the discomfort of effort and endeavor than I am motivated to embrace actions or practices of self-expansion that can yield the “change” that I say I want. That’s just one aspect of how it seems to go living as a Human Being. Is that how it seems to go for you?
Is it “change,” or is it a “shift,” that is gives you a real difference?
Almost always, clients come to me for coaching to solve or fix a problem, overcome a challenge, or improve performance for themselves or their business. Sometimes, clients even come to me fix or solve other people! Like their employees, other team members, and even their spouses or children. Clients come to me to achieve change. It seems that the basic Human assumption about the change I want will look like: If I do something differently, then I will have better results.
The phenomenon of “change that truly makes a difference” in performance and, then ultimately, in the reality of someone’s or an organization’s future results is not a phenomenon that is so obviously realized like some would say as, “common sense.” Change that really makes a difference in the performance and, later, in results for someone or for a group, team, or company, is more like a “shift” than change per se.
Radical Change Is Not a Product of Common Sense
It’s really all about you anyway
To succinctly emphasize the point I want to make here, I am focusing for now on the desire of one person, let’s say, You. You want to wake up each morning feeling more enthusiastic about your day today than you did yesterday and, as far as you can recall, more than you did many of the days that came before. You come to me, a Coach, for what some people refer to as “life coaching.” (As Achievement Coach Greg Kilgore, I offer Executive and Leadership Coaching, Business Coaching, Professional Performance Improvement Coaching, Career Coaching, Relationship and Romance Coaching, Family Intervention Coaching, and then there’s the industry-invented catch-all of Life Coaching.) Somewhere behind your everyday “living less-than great” malaise are complaints about the circumstances and results, or lack of results, in your career, your business, your family life, your health and wellness, and/or whatever may be going on for you. You want things to change.
You are a Human Being, so change is what you want, yet taking a do-it-yourself or self-help approach to just hasn’t been accomplishing what it takes to experience a difference in your circumstances and results. That’s where coaching comes in. There are quite a few compelling principles* at play when coaching is effective that allow a person, or a team or group of people, to achieve a great new future. Whereas 999 times out of 1,000 do-it-yourself self-improvement, self-help, or me-against-the-world tactics do not produce change for individuals or organizations.
So, great! You realize that hiring a coach and being “coachable” is what it will take to achieve change, let’s say for example, in the area of your overall satisfaction with your life. Now, is when I, your Coach, break it to you: This “change” you want, it is not going to work-out how your, so-called, “common sense” expectations would have you believe.
There is some perhaps-not-so-good news about how coaching causes change
When it comes to truly taking-on the possibility of change that makes a difference in your endeavors, what for there is to prepare yourself is: The “change(s)” you seek don’t happen like, you learn something new, and next you understand it and so you do something new, and then there is a different experience just happening for you or to you. There is not an overnight fix that gives you, “Now I wake up every morning just clear-minded and excited for my day.” There is no “magic wrench” as I like to call it. (By the by, I am not accounting for here the chemphisistry of psycho-active chemicals and the pharmacology of psychiatry. I am emphasizing an organic, holistic, and unconventional approach to dynamic human development and achievement.) Coaching is not a quick-fix of the application of the magic wrench to the just the right mental bolt at the back of your psyche, and so now you wake-up each morning automagically “bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.” Nope. Just doesn’t work that way.
There’s good news about how coaching effects change, so keep the faith!
Rather, there’s really no telling when you will “wake up” so to speak — in a moment driving in the car while sitting at a stoplight, standing in line at the grocery market, or waking from a nap on a Sunday afternoon — but there will be awakening “ah ha” moments when you will suddenly realize: The coaching in which you have been collaborating and the practices you have been practicing while living your commitment to be coachable have given you a new awareness of the world in which you live — where how you relate now to your circumstances, how certain scenarios now occur for you, and how you now perform in these scenarios of interest to you have all shifted for you. Shifted forward and, perhaps, upward and outward as if expanded. Shifted also such that, how circumstances of a scenario now occur for you is altered for sure, yet also shifted such that YOU are brighter, easier-going, more free and more enthusiastic for what is happening and what is possible.
Expect the Unexpected — and Anticipate Unpredictability
Your greed for know-how and fear-driven obsession for certainty can diminish with coaching
Believe it or not, the greatest joys that come from hiring a coach and collaborating in your coaching do not arise from achieving results that you say you wanted — and, by the way, that you also desire will be predictable and reproducible. The most fulfilling rewards of taking-on being a coaching client actually arise from being in the discovery of what was previously seemingly unknowable to you and also from experiencing unpredicatable results. Transformative development in your life, career, love, lifestyle and purpose is not linear. It’s not systematic. It’s not obvious or common-sensible. It is however a fulfilling and rewarding life worth living. It happens in real-time, it happens over time, and then it seems as if it happened in no time at all.
“Wisdom,” if that’s what you want to call it, may be what you’re actually craving
Also, consider this: What enlivens and empowers you is not knowledge that you learn or what you do to accomplish your goals; rather, what makes a truly amazing difference in your life and powerfully develops your actions and performance is perhaps something like wisdom. This wisdom is other than informational know-how knowledge. Wisdom, a shift that gives you a level-up in the fulfillment of your experience of living, empowers you about that which you are experiencing, rather than necessarily enabling you to be able to put it into words, point to it, or talk or gab about it.