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Howard Le Cornu

13 January 2020

So your boss just sat you down and recommended that you get a coach. Are you concerned that you have a performance issue? Are you skeptical about how it could work? Are you worried that you might be seen as a problem child? If you’re thinking anything other than ‘this is terrific news,’ you’re in good company.

Our first conversation with most people who come to us for coaching entails untangling what the referral means, with clients too often assuming the negative.

Companies don’t invest in coaching for their floundering workers though; they do it for their high potentials – the people they want to cultivate.

Coaching helps support a step-change in personal growth.

Photo by Jake Hills on Unsplash

Companies don’t invest in coaching for their floundering workers; they do it for their high potentials.

Instead of worrying about why you’re having coaching, you’re far better served to figure out how to get the most of out of an opportunity that few are actually given.

So, here’s six things we recommend you do make sure you take advantage of all that coaching has to offer…

#1: Be clear about what you’re being asked to work on. 

When someone is referred for coaching, they aren’t always given the context. This is a failure on the manager’s part, and can lead to less than stellar results.

From the start, understand exactly what your manager wants you to focus on in your coaching.

While a coach can help you narrow down the topic area, it will help you use the time to your best benefit if you know what’s important to those who influence your career.

Understanding what your expected to focus on will help get results. 

Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash

#2: Understand the expectations for measuring success.

Establish how you’ll know you’re on the right track. What will progress look like?

You want to be able to point to milestones around each area that show your growth and success.

Instead of worrying about why you’re having coaching, you’re far better served to figure out how to get the most of out of an opportunity that few are given.

#3: Make sure a 360° is included.

360° feedback is still the most popular way of measuring coaching’s success.

The results will help you see how your intention may be deviating from the perception, and how far you need to move the needle. A 360° at the end of your coaching can be helpful to gauge how well your experience boosted your skills – and where your focus should be next.

#4: Involve an invested stakeholder.

Make sure stakeholders, who will take an active interest and role in your coaching, are engaged.

Your stakeholders should be just as invested in this process as you are, so establish that they have regular check-ins with you to discuss your progress.

Embrace coaching as a true learning experience.

#5: Be open to learning and show it. 

Embracing coaching as a true learning experience is instrumental to the process.

What you learn from this experience will aid you throughout your career. Come in open-minded and ready to learn, and show this attitude to others – people are paying attention to how you receive coaching, as it’s a sign of how adaptable you are to feedback and growth.

#6: Be vocal and proud. 

Be proud of of having a coach. Realise that your manager’s gesture demonstrates your company is invested in you. 

Finally, use what you learn as a chance to pay it forward to others. Share the new concepts and behaviours you’re using so others, who don’t have the benefit of a coach, can grow along beside you.


Adapted from an article by Kristi Hedges. Kristi is a leadership coach, speaker and author.