I have to admit, there was a time when I thought having a coach was hooey, hog-wash, just plain silliness. What changed my mind? Getting some free coaching from a coach ruined me. I cannot think of it as hooey anymore. Worse yet, now I am a coach. A stretched mind can never go back to its original shape.
My first question should have been, “What is a peak performance coach, I mean what makes them one?” Sometimes it’s easier to be shown than told; at least that’s what worked for me. But I’ll do my best to put it into words what can only be fully grasped by experiencing. These are a few of the qualities that make a great peak performance coach.
First off, a peak performance coach needs to be a great listener. There is no other way to know where the client thinks the problem is. We all seem to intuitively know when something isn’t quite right or that we could do better somehow, that there is some ‘edge’ ‘out there’ that we could attain. Sometimes though, trying to fix it on our own doesn’t seem to work very well. It’s hard to be an inside observer from the outside. We simply cannot see the totality of ourselves. Worse yet, as Einstein said, “You cannot fix a problem in the same state of mind that created it.” We all have blind-spots.
Secondly, a peak performance coach needs to be a phenomenal question asker. Two reasons come immediately to mind. First they need to be able to ask phenomenal questions because they need to be able to solicit critical feedback they need from their client to see what’s going on, on the inside. Secondly and more importantly is the skill of asking the questions that help focus the client where they should be looking and away from anything that diminishes their abilities. Trying to concentrate on all the minutiae that brings success, at one time can actually be counter-productive. Focusing on the prize and letting our abilities naturally kick-in is where ‘flow’ occurs, it’s when we know we are ‘in the zone’.
Next a peak performance coach needs to be a great student. They need to be students of human nature, of their specific client and they need to be a student of all the varied literature that enhances their ability to facilitate the process of peak performance. They need to be able to do their craft in the most efficient and effective manner that is known to us today. The very subject of peak performance grows by leaps and bounds almost daily. Further, the subject has no clear boundary lines. A coach needs to be widely read and also deeply read in many areas to provide the best coaching to their clients. Simply, if you are not a student of life and for life you just can’t be effective for your clients.
While this list could go on and on, the last critical component of a top-notch peak performance coach that I’ll mention is caring. There is nothing that can compare with this. It is the critical component that allows synergy to form between coach and client. Actually, I don’t think it would be possible to be a peak performance coach of any caliber without caring. Peak performance is an energy intensive endeavor. And this is not only true for the client, but if the coach is fully engaged, it is energy demanding for them too. The only way to give that amount of energy to something is by caring.
This is not an exhaustive list, but it will get you started. Interview your prospective coach, find out their background, and see if they are a student of the science. Find out if you can get a complimentary session to feel if there is a possible connection. But probably most important, see if they have the qualities listed and most importantly, see if they truly care about your vision and your success. Without that you’ll have wasted a lot more than the fee you paid.
By Shane M.D. Scott, Peak Performance Coach at www.MEMBERSCoaching.com Inquire about Shane’s FREE 3 week peak performance coaching offer.
Shane spent over 20 years working in the Criminal Justice field while concurrently working as a Peak Performance Coach.