What is your personal best? I recently read an article in The New Yorker called Personal Best about a surgeon that seeks out a coach. Did you ever think you needed a coach? Are you as good as you can be? Top athletes and singers have coaches. Should you?
Whether you are a surgeon, auto mechanic, engineer or teacher, you can all benefit from feedback. Isn’t that the system we have where employers provide you feedback in the form of a review or performance review? It may be annual or semi-annual, but it is intended to evaluate your performance and help you improve your performance. Most of us focus on the salary increase that is usually associated with the review. This is true despite the employer’s best effort to separate the two functions. How effective is the review process in changing or adjusting your performance?
The thirty minutes once or twice a year an employer spends with you discussing your performance may have little or no effect on your performance. If it worked so well, why do athletes and singers need coaches? Coaches support the client through the process of achieving a specific personal or professional result. A good manager should also be a good coach helping employees reach their potential. Unfortunately, managers are responsible for much more than just their employees. They have functions they fulfill beside management. How much coaching does your manager provide you?
Sometimes we think of coaching as mentoring. Does your manager help you be your best? In teaching, colleagues come into your classroom and provide you feedback on your lesson plan, skills, or style. Does it help? Some people are more open to criticism than others and it probably depends who is giving you the feedback. I have watched fellow teachers and find it helpful even if that was not my purpose in their classroom. After ten years teaching, I may think I know everything, but I am continually learning new skills and adjusting in my profession. What do you do?
Would you want someone working with you on a daily basis to improve your skills? Are you open to learning new skills or techniques or would you feel negative? Olympic and professional athletes have coaches, singers and actors have coaches, why not you? We all ask for help occasionally, but have you considered having someone work with you to make you the best at what you do? Many of us, take classes or seminars to improve our skills. I see it as self help! You learn the skills and apply them with varying results.
Personal Finance Coach
Imagine a personal finance coach who would work with you for hours a day to change your habits, establish goals and provide strategies for you to improve your finances. The coach would observe your effort and correct your bad habits. As you started to change, the coach would add new goals to push you toward your personal best. You could discuss your goals and issues that prevent success and the coach would help you succeed. Your performance would improve and you achieve your results. Sounds good to me!
Would you consider hiring an expert or retain them to analyze what you do personally or professionally to improve your results? How much would you pay for this help? I recently wrote an article called Invest in Yourself which outlines how education and training, physical, mental and personal is an investment. We pay for personal lessons all the time. Have you ever hired a tennis, golf, speech, or dance teacher/coach? Either they were teachers or coaches, but they certainly improved your personal results. How much would you pay for coaching? What coaching could you use to achieve your personal best?
Find yourself a mentor, coach or someone who will observe you and provide good feedback in your profession, or avocation to help you become your best. This takes time and effort for the individual who should be your expert. The do it yourself mentality of take classes, does not work as well. Coaches teach how to perform at your personal best and observe if you are doing it correctly. Does everyone need coaches? No, but you will perform better, if you do! What is your personal best?
Photo by: pasukaru76
Investorz Blog says
I think the best personal coaches are parents. Nobody understands you more (other than maybe one’s spouse) than a parent.
Good role models as well!
A coach can help you avoid pitfalls that may not be apparent if you go the diy way. Getting a good coach is a challenge though!
Someone who will give you honest feedback could fulfill the position of a coach. Sometimes spouses can do that. Certainly a mentor can.
I like this message KC. I have always benefited from coaching, although I have usually only received coaching in the sports arena. I can definitely see the benefit of expanding this approach.
Thanks, honest feedback is all there is needed. A parent coaches their kids in sports and life. Seek out a mento, coach or pseudo coach. Bosses should be good coaches.
Jen @ Master the Art of Saving says
A couple of years ago, I looked into life coaching and it sounded amazing (at least it did to me). I would actually love to hire a life coach to help me achieve more and improve myself but they can get pretty expensive. I’m big into self-improvement and being the best I can be.
It may be my next career! I think I would really enjoy being a life coach. Would you do what is necessary just because you were paying for it?
Jen @ Master the Art of Saving says
I would like to think I would do it because it would help me achieve more, but spending the money could be an additional motivator.
Sometimes you can find a mentor at work to act as an objective and supportive coach. Friends, family can act as pseudo mentor or coach.
I have heard life coaches talk before and I can never get into it…that being said I think anyone holding one accountable will lead to success.
You can hold yourself accountable by just monitoring your performance. A coach or mentor will provide objective advice or criticism. I try to reflect on my performance or decisions to improve my performance. Another perspective may or may not be worth the additional cost.
Darwin's Money says
I always get energy when hanging out with someone who’s really “making it happen” – either as a high performing exec or entrepreneur, or just someone who’s doing something pretty out there. I occasionally hang out with a small biz owner, an angel investor, wall street guys, etc., and I always learn something new or get some new ideas out of just talking to them about what they’re up to. It’s good to have a diverse group of friends – especially friends who do alright.
I find I learn from everybody, children in my classes, my own children, friends and family. You do not have be called a coach to provide objective feedback or criticism which will help you grow.
Roshawn @ Watson Inc says
I am also a big fan of mentorship. We need someone to hold us accountable, challenge unproductive beliefs, and guide us to become better. It’s very important that we increase!
Kris @ Everyday Tips says
I would love a mentor. That is one thing that was clear from the conference, most of the ‘big guys’ had buddied up with ‘bigger guys’ to help them grow.
Mentors can be hard to come by. Where I work, most people work from home and you can almost feel like you are on your own. With our global workforce, it is more difficult to interact with coworkers and ‘connect’. So you have to put yourself ‘out there’ even more, and also keep your mind open for lessons to be learned.
You are right, You have to put yourself out there and buddy up. Just find someone who will provide objective criticism and grow from there.
I think you can hold yourself accountable, however you do need someone who will give you objective criticism.
Miss T says
I too would like a mentor. I am really into self development and I have come a long way the last few years, however I have more to go. I must admit I don’t get any mentoring in my workplace so I have to figure a lot out on my own. I wish there was a program I could take that helped groom me for succession planning. As far as life goes, my hubby and I try to mentor each other by sharing the different things we have learned. We are a great team.
That is a good start if you can remain objective and supportive. Self reflection will help too, but there needs to be more.
Imagine a personal finance trainer! “Get down and give me 10% more for that savings account!” “You want to be rich? You’re wallet’s gonna burn! No pain no gain!” HAHA!
I thinking seriously about this as my next career.
Jana @ Daily Money Shot says
I think having a mentor is so important. I was a mentor in a program at work so I got to see some of the benefits first hand. It was amazing!
I’m thinking that I really need a blogging mentor but I’m too timid to ask. I know I need to get over that. But it’s so hard to put myself out there.
Mentors can take a lot of different forms. A coach or mentor just needs to be objective and supportive. I think it would be really helpful if a senior person in every profession would seek out talented juniors to help them achieve more.
Our forum provides the opportunity to ask questions and everyone is real helpful
Kellen @ Accountant by Day says
Mm, I’d like a blogging mentor one too – but how to find one!
I think you can emulate some of the members of the Yakezie network.
Maybe we should start a mentor program in the Yakezie network.
Barbara Friedberg says
My husband has been my lifelong mentor,champion and life coach. My dad and mom are my financial inspirations. I think mentors are really important!!!
It is good to have someone who can objective and supportive. Role models are similar to mentors/coaches as well.
Having is mentor is very very valuable. I took a job without much training/knowledge in the field, but having a mentor cut my learning curve by many folds. I am forever indebted to him.
I would love to have a mentor for blogging. Just don’t know how to go about finding one…
I think our network provides some of the elements although it is not the same as having someone on a consistent basis. Maybe that is the net step where senior bloggers take on junior ones to mentor.
101 Centavos says
I’ve been fortunate to have had bosses who take a serious approach to mentoring. My current mentor likes to teach by examples and metaphors. That positive effect filters down to my own direct reports.
You are one of the lucky ones. Mentors pull you along the ladder and gets you ready for the next step.
World of Finance says
Nice article. 🙂 Self-important is a never-ending task. Some people welcome it more than others.
I think it is constant! I reflect on almost everything I do , to improve the results.
Mango Money says
Thanks for another great post, KrantCents! I agree– it would be wonderful to be able to hire a personal finance coach. Unfortunately, many of the people who would benefit most from this kind of service are the very people who just can’t afford it. And in this economy, “coaches” of all types (personal trainers, finance coaches, voice lessons, piano lessons, etc.) are seen as somewhat expendable. It’s a bad time for coaches and trainers, but as consumers, this is a great time for us to a) save some money, and b) teach *ourselves* how to do things, like manage our finances! I mean when you think about it, isn’t the thought of *hiring* someone to coach you on finances a little bit contradictory? If they were any kind of coach at all, they’d probably tell you to stop paying them! :o)
Mentors and coaches can be friends or family. Anybody who can be objective and supportive to help you make changes.
Kellen @ Accountant by Day says
Which is why most consultants would recommend you don’t give only annual reviews and link them to pay raises… I have seen some companies do a review after each project you finish, but the best is a manager that offers you feedback throughout your time working with them, of course.
Finding a mentor, or even just a role model, where you observe their behavior and emulate them without them giving you direct advice, can be very beneficial.
My mother works with a woman who used to be rich but now is pinching pennies. That woman observed that my mom doesn’t have money problems, saw the nice lunches she packed herself each day, and then the woman began packing her own lunches, and asking my mom for advice on everything, haha 🙂
When I was in the business world, I never felt my employees should be surprised with the review. They should know how they are doing during the year. I even tried to develop some of the promotable employees. Mentoring can be being a good role model and providing objective feedback and criticism.
Buck Inspire says
Terrific post. With your knowledge and experience, I think you would make a great coach/mentor. A lot of folks are seeking mentors, but I also think a lot gain be gained by mentoring as well. Bigger boys helping big boys will of course help get to the next level, but if you can convey your messages and coach your mentoree properly, your own skills go up another level, too.
Thanks, but I am still learning. I think your idea has some merit though. Perhaps, put it on a wish list for Yakezie network.
Marie at FamilyMoneyValues says
In The Middle-Class Millionaire The Rise of the New Rich and How They Are Changing America by Russ Alan Prince and Lewis Schiff – the authors indicate that according to their survey, middle class millionaires do spend money on life coaches, where as the merely middle class do not.
It’s an intriguing idea, but like others have stated – how do you find one you can trust?
I am available! 🙂 I think there are life coaches, mentors and coaches all around us, however they may not call themselves one. All it takes is a objective supportive person who can help you achieve more.