When to Get a Coach

blog Nov 04, 2022


By Brenda Chand

Carl has two friends who seem to have landed from different planets. As long as Carl has known him, Rex has been a sponge, soaking in principles and practices from experts in every aspect of his life. The two of them have had dozens, probably hundreds, of rich conversations about Rex's career path, his finances, and his most important relationships. When Carl suggests a book or a podcast that might help him, there's a good chance Rex has already read it or listened to it.

Michael is the polar opposite. He has bounced from one job to another, one girlfriend to another, and one set of solutions to another, but when Carl asks him simple, open questions like, "How are things going for you?" Michael acts like Carl has threatened to kill him! He reacts, "Don't try to tell me how to run my life! I'm doing fine on my own!"

Carl isn't dim-witted. He has learned that meaningful interaction is off the table in his relationship with Michael—at least until Michael's pride is softened by a sense of desperation. So far, that hasn't happened.

Individuals come to coaching for various reasons. Some are stuck in an area of their lives and have not been able to make needed changes. Others are at a point of crisis where a change has to be made in order for life to continue with some normalcy. Still, others desire personal growth and development. A few may even want coaching because they are curious: "What is this thing called coaching? Does it really work, and how can it help me?" The reasons individuals come for coaching vary; however, coaches must be skilled in determining the correct timing, know when to refer, and be equipped with the proper resources that are necessary at a given time.

Timing is everything. The precise point an individual enters the coaching process can determine success or failure. The person’s readiness factor is crucial. Change does not, and in fact cannot, occur until the individual is ready. However, skillful coaching can move an individual toward change once he or she has determined the need for change.

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