Like many, I’ve utilized the services of coaches throughout my professional career. Depending upon the situation, I’ve hired sales coaches, life coaches, physical fitness coaches and, of late, because I’ll be speaking next month in China, a Mandarin Language coach.
Joy, my Mandarin coach, told me recently that she was going to show me something that would make her services “obsolete” to me. It was a way to utilize the Internet to help with pronunciations that had been difficult for me.
While it was a helpful suggestion, as are the Pimsleur CDs I’ve been listening to, it hardly made her obsolete. I explained to her that the actual language learning is only a small part of the benefit I derive from her coaching.
It’s the same with Diane, my awesome personal trainer. I work with her six days per week and she puts me through resistance training and cardio, as well as an eating program (ahem, she actually cooks all my meals for me in advance – I think I love her). 🙂 With her help, I’ve gotten rid of 14 unwanted pounds (6 more to go to hit my goal), added muscle, and my suits – that had somehow shrunk since I’d bought them – are fitting more comfortably.
And yet, I don’t train with Diane only so she can show me the exercises and prepare the meals.
I find that, while indeed, the actual teachings of the coaches whose services I’ve used have benefited me greatly, that wasn’t the only benefit I received from them.
Once the basic skills had been learned, the huge benefit was the accountability. It was both an encouragement and a “forced discipline” – that helped me to achieve success in the specific areas I desired.
And, accountability, aside from just the showing up (yes, especially with regards to working out) 🙂 for further instruction ensures that, in terms of skills, the fundamentals continue to be practiced correctly. Without the constant and consistent instruction, it can be too easy to fall back into bad habits.
Of course, those are just my thoughts. Have you ever utilized the services of a coach? Do you now? And, what have you/do you find the biggest benefits to be?