man showing his laptop to a woman

Coaching can help you get past barriers

May 19, 2022

Posted by Sara King

bicycle parked in front of a road stop in a desert

Imagine yourself at an impasse. You have been given some feedback on an improvement area. Maybe it was your leader, or your team, or someone else whose opinion you genuinely respect. An important shift, and if you could do this, it would make a big difference in your performance now or in achieving your career aspirations in the future. You have tried all your usual strategies. You are genuinely committed to achieving the improvement. You have gritted your teeth, summoned up all your willpower, put plans in place – maybe even got some traction for a while. And then nothing – you have slipped back into old patterns of thinking and behaviour. You feel stuck.

Most people have been in that situation at some point. Sometimes we put it to one side –it clearly wasn’t that important in the first place. Sometimes we are self-critical – if we just had enough willpower, maybe we would have been able to make the change. The reality is that willpower alone isn’t enough to make and sustain change.

This is where coaching can help. How, you ask?

  1. Coaching provides a confidential supportive setting for you to explore, challenge yourself and grow. Coaching is not just a nice chat. Nor will it provide the type of advice you might get from a trusted mentor. An effective coaching relationship creates a safe space, an appropriate balance of challenge and support. Your coach will partner with you in service of your goals. Effective coaching is generally both goal-oriented and solution-focused. It’s a conversation with a purpose, a process, and an outcome.
  2. Working with a coach can help to clarify your values and goals and help you act in alignment with them. Sometimes we unconsciously ensure our lack of success by having values or goals that compete, or by not being clear on what they are. At other times our core beliefs, our unhelpful thinking patterns or our emotions interfere with our success. Your coach can help you explore your values and goals and identify hidden barriers to success. Once you have that clarity, it is easier to move forward.
  3. Great coaches have great questions rather than great answers. At the core of coaching there is a belief that people have the answers within them. A skillful question posed in the right way at the right time can help you shift perspective and identify how your thoughts and emotions might be acting as barriers to change.
  4. Coaching is a flexible process that can be adapted to your needs. A variety of strategies and tools can be tailored to support your success. Your coach can work with you to identify where you can make the most effective changes in your thinking, behaviour or environment in service of your goals.

So if you are at that impasse, a coach can support you to explore what is important to you, challenge your thinking with great questions, and provide tools and strategies to help you move forward. Time to get unstuck?