12 Mar Asking Ourselves the Hard Questions
As coaches, we are expertly skilled in helping clients achieve more together than if they continued to “go it alone.” We do this by using the tools of coaching, including active listening, and by asking very powerful questions; both help us assist our clients toward solutions that can result in their next level of success.
But how often do we ask ourselves the same powerful and insightful questions about our own business?
Chances are, as small business owners who are focused on our client’s needs, we put ourselves—and our own growth—low on our list of priorities, if on the list at all. But, ignoring ourselves won’t help us or our clients.
Why Clients Seek Our Help
Let’s take a moment to reflect on some of the common reasons why clients need our help in the first place.
For many coaching clients, they:
- Feel stuck and want to get unstuck
- Believe they have stopped growing, personally and/or professionally
- Are ready for change but don’t know WHAT changes to make or HOW to make the changes
How many times do we feel these same things? How often do we feel that we’ve stopped growing or that “something” is preventing us from reaching our own goals?
When it comes to helping clients, we know what questions to ask but for our own business, do we ask ourselves the tough and insightful questions that should be asked and answered? Do we challenge ourselves to make the changes necessary to reach new levels of success in our business? I know for me, the answer has, at times, been no.
That recently changed when I embraced being uncomfortable.
Finding Our Path When We are Uncomfortable
People tend to resist change. We get so set in our ways that often our first instinct is to reject change—especially if changing isn’t our idea. Our clients’ growth relies heavily on our ability to help them see where they want to be. Change might take the form of challenging the way they think or helping them rethink the very issues they are experiencing.
We also resist change because we like to be comfortable. But when we choose to stay comfortable, we may miss amazing opportunities. Worse yet, we may also miss out on becoming the coach or person that we were truly meant to be.
Recently, I found myself in an uncomfortable place when I was asked to give a keynote speech and lead an interactive workshop for a large corporate audience. While these activities were outside of my comfort zone, helping people at organizations with change is, in fact, consistent with who I am and with my mission to help people overcome the challenges they face. Before accepting the opportunity, as I do with my clients, I asked myself some tough questions to make sure this opportunity matched up with my mission and vision. By taking this step, I was able to navigate through the discomfort and make a great decision to be uncomfortable and to grow.
Because I accepted this challenge and spoke to this audience, many new opportunities have opened up, which I would have certainly missed had I simply avoided being uncomfortable.
As coaches, it is our responsibility to invite our clients into what’s uncomfortable and then help them see their way through it so they can achieve the results they desire.
Two Good Questions to Ask Yourself to Help Your Growth Journey
As with our clients, we too must stay on a growth journey, which may sometimes mean being uncomfortable. Below are two questions coaches should ask themselves.
Why Did I Begin My Business?
Do you remember why you wanted to be a coach? How often do you reflect on who you are and who you said you wanted to be? Successful brands never stray from their core principles and values but instead seek new opportunities that reinforce who they are.
Should I Find a Mentor or Coach?
As coaches, we are often asked to help others clarify and move forward. But who do we call to help with our success? Developing a close, ongoing relationship with a mentor or coach can help keep us grounded, hold us accountable to our values and encourage us as we navigate our growth journey.
The Key Takeaway
Our clients count on us to ask the right questions that will help them on their journey. If we don’t regularly ask ourselves the tough questions, we may end up missing opportunities that could lead to personal and professional growth, new business opportunities and increased revenue.
So, what do you need to ask yourself today?
by Marc A. Wolfe, ACC – International Coaching Federation