A Coaches Conversation

Bob, (not their real name), is a business professional in NE Wisconsin.  I’ve known Bob for about five years and admired his professionalism and approach to business.  I was surprised one day by a phone call from Bob.  It seems Bob was having performance issues with his Business Coach.  As a Business Coach myself I occasionally receive calls of this nature, Business Professionals unhappy with their Coaching relationships and wanting advice.  Bob was different because we had been friends for years and I never knew he was working with a Coach.

Bob was unhappy.

Bob:  Hi Don, I was wondering if you can help me with a Coaching issue?

Me:  What do you need help with?

Bob:  My Coach.  It isn’t working out.

This is where I learn that Bob has a Coach and the conversation reveals he has been working with this Coach for over a year.

Bob:  It isn’t working out because nothing is happening.

Me:  Have you talked this over with your Coach?

Bob:  Yes I have.  They tell me that we are making progress.  I just don’t see it.

Me:  How do you measure progress?

Bob:  Nothing specific.  My Coach tells me that I am more relaxed and focused on what I do.  But I want numbers.

Me:  Have you and the Coach talked about specific numbers?  (Bob is in a sales role, and numbers are obviously of value and a part of his work culture)

Bob:  We have, but the Coach says the numbers must come from me.

Me:  That makes sense as the goals should be your goals.

Bob:  You don’t understand.  They told me those types of goals are my goals, and I must work on them.  They will help me with behaviors and actions, stuff like that.

Me:  Then establish goals, Bob.  Develop a target goal and use what you are being Coached to do to accomplish the goal.

Bob:  I have and am.  The Coach won’t get into my goals other than to tell me I have to keep trying.

Now, this conversation lasted almost an hour.  Ultimately Bob blurted it out.  All the Coach he was working with was doing was focusing on behaviors and not on tangible results.  Bob wanted more sales, he wanted more control over his weekly work schedule, and he wanted to change some things he felt were important.

Me:  So if you know all of this what are you going to do?

Bob:  I’m going to talk with my Coach about it.

Me:  And…?

Bob:  We are going to set measurable goals, or we are going to end the relationship.

Bob and I chatted a bit more, and the call ended.  About a month later I ran into Bob at a Chamber event.

Bob:  Hi Don.  Got a minute?

Me:  Sure, what’s up.  We then moved over to a quiet corner of the room.

Bob:  This is embarrassing but can I hire you as my Coach?

We talked about that.  Bob had spoken with his Coach and wasn’t happy with the response.  He felt that he was being strung along and was not going to get the results he wanted; so he ended that relationship.  Bob and I had a long conversation a few days later, and we entered into a Coaching relationship.  Over the next 18 months, we improved Bob’s work results and exceeded the goals he set for himself.  We continue to work together today some two years later.  I never asked Bob why he didn’t hire me to begin with, but one day he did tell me.

Bob:  I was embarrassed.  I knew you and while we weren’t anything other than business friends I was embarrassed that you would know I was having troubles with my work.

It took Bob awhile, and a lot of money, to realize that selecting and working with a Coach is a process that requires careful consideration.  It also means that not everyone who says they are a Coach is the right Coach for you – All Coaches Are Not Created Equal.  If you have ever considered hiring a Coach, are considering doing so now or are presently working with a Coach, I encourage you to read my free epub, Identifying, Selecting, And Working With A Business Coach.

I’ve been Coaching Business Owners,  Leaders and Professionals for over 25 years.  As a Certified Professional Coach, I have helped my clients move from their possibilities to their impossibilities.  Perhaps I can do the same for you.