Who Needs a Coach Anyway?Posted by Arthur Anzalone
Simple. Anyone who desires to accomplish the ambitions, goals, and desires of their heart in an effective and efficient manner while staying true to their values, strengths, and personal integrity. Obviously, this hope is common to all of us, but hope is not a strategy. All of us have dreams, but without structure and diligent planning, a dream will be relegated to the realm of fantasy. All of us have an idealized version of who we want to be and what we want to have. In order to be that person, have that life, or do the things we want to do, we have to a) understand and enhance our areas of strength b) know what our weaknesses are and how to manage them and c) develop the ability to use both to our advantage. That’s where we come in.
We at Mastery Coaching promise four things in our journey with you:
Our society likes to say that “perception is reality”. But perception is rarely the truth, and it’s certainly never the full truth. We’re not talking coffee house philosophy. We will not ask you (nor advise you) to scale a cliff somewhere to seek answers from a shaman or wise man. What we’re referring to is an honest and credible assessment of your strengths and also your areas of “non-giftedness”. This will be done by formal diagnostic tools, a comprehensive interview, and consultation with other members of our staff and professional network (with the client’s consent). The extent to which we explore your strengths and possible gaps in your business or approach is up to you. However, no matter how deep you want to dig, we’ll not only help you get there, we’ll also be there.
Our society is also fond of saying “The truth hurts.”. That saying is actually a conveniently condensed version of the actual quote which is “The truth hurts, not the searching for; the running from.”. “Running from the truth” is essentially attempting to suppress reality (actual and factual reality, not perception-based). And suppressing reality is like trying to hold a beach ball under water. It’s exhausting, tricky to say the least, and ultimately impossible. Eventually it will not only come to the surface, it will shoot up in the air for everyone to see. At Mastery Coaching we’ll tell you the truth in a meaningful and helpful way conducive to accomplishing your objectives. More importantly, we’ll help you not only discover your inner truth or the truth about a situation, we’ll help you convert data to discovery and discovery into decisions. This is the only way truth “will set you free”. Sun Tzu said it best when he wrote “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.”.
We’re here to encourage you. We will not enable you. The difference? One is creating a relationship based on trust, mutual respect, and a desire to serve. The other is simply the avoidance of what is and an attempt to perpetuate patterns. Encouragement is helping the client develop courage, intestinal fortitude, and the will to overcome. The definition of encourage is “To mentally support to motivate, to inspire courage, hope or spirit”. Encouragement is what we need to overcome change which is not only a reality of life, but also a necessity for success and significance. Enabling, on the other hand, is comfort which simply maintains the status quo. The definition of an enabler is “One that helps another to achieve an end, especially one who enables another to persist in self-destructive behavior (such as substance abuse) by providing excuses or by helping that individual avoid the consequences of such behavior.”. “Courage, hope, and spirit” are not commodities which we can give you. However, with a good coach, these things can be cultivated and grown within you (provided you do the work). Even if your “status quo” is great, eventually the market, technology, and your industry will pass you by. Remaining rooted in the status quo will not only ensure that these things will pass you by, it’ll also ensure that your clients or those you serve will pass you by as well. Mastery Coaching’s philosophy regarding courage is best summed up by a quote from Winston Churchill; “Courage is rightly considered the foremost of the virtues, for upon it all others depend.”.
Mastery Coaching does not believe in opinions or advice. We believe in providing counsel. But what exactly is “counsel”?
Before I was a coach, three images came to mind when I heard the word “counselor”. They were a) a psychotherapist b) a consigliere or c) my high school guidance counselor. In psychotherapy, effort is geared towards mental stability, often with the aid of medication. For most people, psychotherapy is a last resort. Once a patients’ “death spiral” levels out, chances are treatment will cease because most patients prefer to “carry on” rather than utilize the therapist for future growth (I know this because my wife is one). We don’t do that at Mastery Coaching. The duties of a “consigliere” include advising mafia bosses in times of war and personally delivering messages meant to “motivate” others, usually in the form of severed animal heads. We don’t do those things either. And finally, there’s the high school guidance counselor. Mine was similar to the Loch Ness Monster. There were reported sightings, some credible, some not, and even a photograph or two. But overall, the question of whether high school guidance counselors exist or not remain a matter of conjecture for the logical, and a matter of faith for the hopeful. The search continues.
A counselor provides counsel which is different from an opinion or advice. An opinion is defined as “a personal belief or judgment that is not founded on proof or certainty”. Advice is defined as “an opinion about what could or should be done about a situation or problem”. Basically, an opinion is either a) an uninformed regurgitation of “folk wisdom” or b) veiled criticism and advice is usually an attempt to manipulate you into a specific course of action (if you don’t believe me, think back to the last time someone told you “Let me give you some advice.”).
Counsel, on the other hand, is defined as “a) The act of exchanging opinions and ideas; b) guidance, especially as solicited from a knowledgeable person c) A plan of action.”. Those three things are what everyone needs and what Mastery Coaching is all about. The first definition uses the term “opinions” because it treats the act of exchange as a singular event. Exchange is an ongoing process and is critical because the nature of effective coaching is both collaborative and dynamic. A coach is not an “answer man”. If you want to be lectured, spend some time in a college auditorium. Instead, we’ll help you discover your own answers which reside only in you. Ideas are awesome when they appear, but they can’t evolve into solutions and opportunities in a vacuum. A solution implemented without guidance will often backfire (or at a minimum reduce efficiency). And, an opportunity without a good plan for implementation will be impotent. At the end of the day, the true character of coaching is partnership, availability, and is tailored to the clients’ wants and needs. Everyone has an opinion and anyone can dispense advice. But a good coach won’t sit on the sidelines and critique. Instead he’ll walk with you every step of the way
Truth, encouragement, and counsel are necessary to develop the mindset to persevere, to grow in a certain area, or to expand into new ones. And, results not only require proper mindset, they require resources. The staff of Mastery Coaching includes financial planners, nutritionists, website developers, physical trainers, historians, psychologists, writers, and other professionals who are equipped to empower you with the tools to succeed or to fill in the gaps of your operation. Moreover, we meet frequently and consult one another on various issues and trends so that our counsel is developed in a holistic and comprehensive manner. More importantly, we have the means to not only launch the plan, but also the people to assess and ensure its progress.
This article communicates the core essence of who we are. Our services are not limited to the 4 fundamentals listed above. There are many other methods and offshoots, but all coaching concepts eventually lead to the “Big Four”. This is a method which works because it’s rooted in personal experience and validated by science, history, and formal analysis. The bottom line regarding the “Big Four” is this: The truth will reveal your talents. Courage will allow you to use them. Council will show you your fears. And resources will render them irrelevant.
If this sounds good to you, we invite you to investigate us further and find out what we can do for you. If it doesn’t we’ll leave you with one more quote; “For of all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest of these is ‘It might have been’”