Alexander Martinez coaching solutions

Is coaching for me?

First, let’s clarify that I am referring to executive coaching in this article, which differs slightly from sports or life coaching. According to the International Coaching Federation (ICF), coaching is defined as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. The process of coaching often unlocks previously untapped sources of imagination, productivity and leadership.

My way of defining it would be as a high-impact conversation, which seeks to discover potential, unlock obstacles or generate ideas that are apparently hidden in plain sight in the client to achieve a pre-established objective.

There is an essential requirement for coaching to take place. The person (client) must have a pain big enough to justify an investment in coaching. We can also see it from another angle; the gain obtained if the person (client) can eliminate the problem they suffer must be large enough to justify the investment. The principle that the client is “coachable” must be applied; that is, he or she must be interested in improving. The coach must perceive that the problem generates some sort of emotion in the person (client).

You can’t coach or offer coaching to someone who doesn’t feel they need it or doesn’t think she has a problem. Let’s take a specific example. An executive in a company has many people reporting to him; at one point, the employees complain to the human resources area and claim to be mistreated by the executive. When H.R. consults about what happened, the executive simply denies the situation, stating that he does not have a problem and that the staff needs coaching instead. These types of people cannot be coached; no progress can be tracked because interest and effort are required to achieve the objectives.

Here are other cases in which coaching is not recommended. When the person is looking for help to advance their career, perhaps expecting to be introduced to the right people or given advice based on experience, this is called mentoring, and I already wrote an article about it. It is a process where the interested person basically receives information. Another case is when the person needs a pragmatic and practical solution in the shortest possible time to a specific problem. For example, he needs his sales team to close sales effectively. This can be solved by consulting instead of coaching. The consultant used his knowledge to deliver results quickly.

Coaching is a methodology with a high price mark; therefore, as mentioned, it is only recommended when the results are expected to justify the investment. Depending on the coach, you may hear promises of returns of up to ten times the investment.

What should be expected from a coaching session? Coaching conversations can be very demanding, so go into them with a clear head, ready to do your best. You will undoubtedly leave mentally exhausted after an hour of coaching. I always tell my clients that I even hope they get a little annoyed with me since that means I’m pushing them to the limits of their capabilities. From there comes the discovery and, thus, progress.

What should I expect from my coach? A coach is not an expert in everything. He or she is not someone who will have the magic wand to solve your problems, nor is he a teacher or guide to follow or imitate. Nor can you wait for the coach to work for you or make the effort. In general, a rule to keep in mind is that if the coach is trying his best in the conversation, he is not a good coach. A coach is a person who works holistically with you and will help you discover the solutions to your problems, but he will only guide you to the door; you must go through it if you are interested. The coach needs to perceive that the client has some skin in the game, which means he or she is interested in the process since no one knows the problem better than the client himself.

There is no better investment than in yourself. There are many options in the personal development market: books, audio, videos, courses, certifications, master’s degrees, MBA, diplomas, and specializations,… they all have their advantages and disadvantages. Coaching is one more of these options, but as you mentioned, it will not always be the most suitable option for you.

If you want to know more about the subject or schedule a coaching session to address a specific topic, do not hesitate to write to me via the web or schedule an appointment.

Alexander Martinez

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