Professional Coaching Benefits and How to Choose Best Life Coach

Professional coaching is the collaborative and co-creative partnership along a client’s journey to reach their visions and goals.

Coaching is defined by Timothy Gallwey as “the art of creating an environment, through conversation and a way of being, that facilitates the process by which a person can move toward desired goals in a fulfilling manner.” Whether you are a CEO or Executive, you have two paths, professional and personal, and only one journey…life. Professional coaching elevates your living by processing and improving your professional and personal behaviors.

Professional coaching to overcome unbalanced forces

How many people have you known that seemed to have it all? the family, the house, the career, friends, money, and health. In the flash of an eye, they were struggling with a divorce, layoffs, or health related issues. The higher we move in business and in life the harder it is to maintain positive movement. As Newton’s First Law of Motion reminds us, “an object in a state of uniform motion, tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external unbalanced force is applied to it.”

Professional coaching creates a foundation for meaningful internal movement guarding against external forces.

Professional coaching to deal with hard realities

One of my past goals was to earn an offshore sailing certification. The certification was a week-long course that took place on a 50’ sailboat. During this process I learned that sailboats are perfect reality machines:

  1. It is important to know how things are made. Sailboats are powered by wind and they are built to be very sensitive and responsive to it.
  2. Be intentional. Everything on a sailboat has its place and must be able to be secured or it gets thrown about when underway, so there is careful consideration for the purpose of the stuff brought onto and kept on the boat.
  3. Harsh environments require constant awareness. Good owners are aware of the environments effects on performance, understand the areas with the most stress, and pay careful attention to the slightest changes by conducting thorough maintenance.

Getting from point A to point B in a sailboat, as well as life, is never a straight line. You have to find a way to fit together your desire with reality. For example, if you only focus on wind direction and set your course, the currents will push you off course. A the three-foot drop in tide may run you aground. A low front moves in bringing 10 foot swells, 30 mph gusts, fog, someone falls overboard, you lose steering, a leak in the boat, etc. Life coaching helps us understand and be aware of our reality and thrive amidst the hardest realities.

Professional coaching insights to improve our journey

Your ability to survive hard realities depends upon understanding how you are made (limits and capabilities), your attachments to the stuff (baggage), and understanding the effects of environment on our sensitivities. Life coaching raises the level of care and maintenance we give to our stress points, and the things we pay attention to that define our reality now. Life coaching allows us the freedom to focus on the journey, seeking harmony with reality and enjoying the ride.

Professional coaching questions to help you thrive amidst hard realities:

  1. How have events in your life made you who you are? How are you improving your self-awareness?
  2. How are you structured to be sensitive to the right things?
  3. What are your biases? Where are your blind spots?
  4. How is the environment in which you live? What baggage are you carrying?
  5. How much do you know and understand about your current reality now?

Professional coaching toward a life of integrity

Warren Buffet was quoted saying he looks for three things in people: integrity, intelligence and a high energy level. He said if you don’t have integrity, the other two will kill you. Warren Buffett understands the value of self-made or self-selected qualities like integrity. Integrity is the internal consistency to act within your values, allowing no gap between intention and behavior. Buffett has proven time-after-time the power of integrity, for instance his $5 billion dollar preferred stock purchase in Bank of America. Amazingly, the deal was struck within twenty-four hours. Subsequently, he purchased McLane Distribution from Wal-Mart on a handshake.

Professional coaching puts a mirror to proclaimed values and beliefs, shedding light on the hypocritical actions, and building integrity based behaviors.

How to choose a professional coach, Executive coach, or Life Coach?

The topic of professional coaching certification is a big issue, as anybody can say they are a professional coach. Does a professional coaching certification guarantee a good coach? No, it only shows that the coach has met the requirements of the certification. Tony Robbins may not have any certifications, while I have two coaching certifications as a certified life and executive coach. You want to find the life coach that connects with your gut, challenges your mind, and inspires movement. Consider coaching certifications last.

A successful professional coach is passionately curious about you. Impactful coaches seek to understand you by the questions they ask, more than the statements they make. Judge a coach by the questions they ask rather than by their answers.

Professional coaching at its best is the shift from reacting and surviving, to thriving on your own terms.

The best coaches accept you for who you are, where you are, and where you want to go, no matter what, without judgement. Impactful coaches create environments that allow you to speak honestly and openly 100% of the time, and accept feedback. Life coaching helps you explore possibilities to stimulate action for you to find solutions for yourself.

Key qualities of professional coaching experience:

  • Accountability: Your coach has a responsibility to hold you accountable for your growth, development and integrity in the things you say and do, or don’t do.
  • Confidence: Your coach’s confidence in you will be higher than your doubt.
  • Challenging: Your coach will challenge you to embrace discomfort at levels you never thought possible.
  • Passionately Curious: Your coach will inquire and listen at a level of passionate curiosity that you have never experienced before.

"The best professional coach connects with your gut, challenges your mind, and inspires movement." Kirk McMillan is a certified professional coach in Charleston, SC.

3 thoughts on “Professional Coaching Benefits and How to Choose Best Life Coach”

  1. I like that you talked about how a coach is able to keep you on course when a problem comes into your life. I have been looking for a way to feel more direction in my life. I can see how it would be nice to hire a coach because it would be easier to stay motivated when things get hard.

    1. Thank you for your comment Scott. Sometimes the act of sharing your goals with someone in you life is enough to stay motivated when things get difficult. Wishing you a healthy and fulfilled year. Kirk

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