If your coach doesn’t do these things, then start looking for a new one.

Be held accountable: we just don’t do stuff otherwise, sure we can willpower our way initially for a few weeks maybe even months if we’re lucky but without a doubt willpower will run out and we go back to doing what we’ve always done. Don’t believe me? How many diets have you started, gyms have you donated to, goals have you not achieved?

Protect your Mindset: it’s normal for us to have 50,000 thoughts a day and more than 80% of those be negative and 90%+ of those negative ones be the same ones we had yesterday and the day/week/month before.. Our brains are wired to keep us safe, not happy and that usually means being on high alert for any threats.  These days it’s not so much physical threats, but more emotional/social threats that leave us feeling alone, isolated, separated. A coach helps you to focus on what is working well so you can see progress consistently and develop greater confidence to keep taking action to create a greater belief in the ‘future you!’

Consistently Measure: being consistent, sticking to the routine, is essential for achieving long term goals. Your coach should keep you on track with measurable indicators that actually mean something to you. A coach helps you identify what the best measurements/indicators will be to support you to achieve your goals.

Support Emotional Agility: it gets hard any time we’re outside our comfort zone (in the growth zone). We will experience lots of negative emotions about ourselves, those around us, and life circumstances in general. A 1:1 coach helps you to process these and avoid accumulation, which will weigh your progress and performance down.

Sometimes we just need a good uppercut to the face to come to a realisation/insight that triggers new behaviours and patterns

Deliver Upper cuts: Coaches are good for delivering uppercuts and plenty of other combos when required, in the right way, and without damaging the relationship. When it needs to be said straight and issues need confronting, a good 1:1 coach will not hold back and let you keep falling/failing.

Actively Listen: good 1:1 coaches don’t answer all your questions. They ask questions to help you discover the answers that you need to support your progress. They’re not there to talk the whole time, give advice, counsel and woffle on about their own lives. The whole focus on 1:1 coaching is helping you to progress in the most sustainable way.

Keep you on Track: if you’re like me, you get excited about new goals and new opportunities… especially when the current goal/process is feeling hard and boring! You start looking somewhere else, convince yourself that you need to do this other goal now, and basically don’t stick at something long enough to see a result! 1:1 coaches are good at forcing us to keep our eye on the ball – the one ball and not the 50 others distracting us.

Keep the Vision Visible: often a 1:1 coach will have a bigger vision for us than we will have of ourselves. The coach helps to hold that vision for us when its tough and we’re talking ourselves down. They gently remind us of the vision we wanted to achieve, throw it back in our face when we need it, and force us to be honest with ourselves more often.

Keep it Real: We can get really good at justifying, excusing, blaming and basically explaining our way out of what we haven’t done. We don’t always like an honest look in the mirror. Our progress requires speaking truth to ourselves and 1:1 coaches are there to keep us honest, pull us up when we start to lie to ourselves and justify our way out of taking action.

Encourage Action: 1:1 coaches know that it’s more likely that you’ll ACT your way into feeling better, than feeling your way into action. That’s the why of taking consistent action, along a predetermined and agreed path, towards a definite aim.

If they’re not doing these things, if you’re talking lots but acting little, or worse they’re talking lots and you’re just passively listening, you’re just going for a walk.

You need to be inspired, intellectually engaged and emotionally committed. This builds your own motivation, which pulls you towards the vision of who you want to become.

Need some further inspiration?  Check out this TED talk about the role of coaching in helping us improve professionally: https://www.ted.com/talks/atul_gawande_want_to_get_great_at_something_get_a_coach?utm_source=linkedin.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=social&utm_content=2021-4-27-cutdown