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?
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