The top 5 reasons why coaching “doesn’t work”

W5 Top 5 Reasons Why Coaching doesn't work

John Nieuwenburg

John Nieuwenburg has been a professional business coach since 2004. Prior to becoming a coach, he held executive positions with Tip Top Tailors and BC Liquor Stores. In 2019, MacKay CEO Forums awarded him with Canada’s CEO Trusted Advisor Award in the Small Business category. Since becoming a coach, John has worked with over 350 clients, taking them through a systematic process that helps them feel organized, confident and in control of their businesses.

It might seem a little strange that I’m sharing a post with 5 reasons NOT to hire me…

But one of the reasons I’ve been so successful as a coach is that I don’t take on clients who won’t get results.

It’s a waste of the client’s time and money – and it’s a waste of my energy.

So if you’ve been thinking about hiring a business coach, you might want to read this first.

Here are 5 reasons why coaching doesn’t work.

1. Not ready psychologically or emotionally

Coaching isn’t a panacea.

Hiring a coach isn’t going to fix things all by itself; it’s not a done for you service.

Your coach acts as your guide, but ultimately it’s up to you to execute.

For coaching to be successful, you need to be prepared to put in effort and take a few steps outside your comfort zone.

Being psychologically and emotionally prepared is directly related to the second reason why coaching doesn’t work…

2. Lack of commitment to their own success

Coaching isn’t a fun, nice-to-have, interesting experience.

It’s hard work and that work ought to lead to something you really truly want for your life and business.

Too many people have “goals” for their businesses that are simply wishes.

I ask my clients to turn their decisions into declarations.

It’s no longer “I want to reach this goal” – it’s “I will reach this goal and I will do whatever it takes.”

If I’m going to commit to helping my clients achieve the success they’re looking for, they need to be at least equally committed.

And not just committed to the goal…committed to the process. Which brings us to reason #3.

3. Not trusting the process (aka: not doing the homework)

The clients who get the most value from coaching are the ones who:

  • Take the time to fill in the weekly agenda
  • Do the homework they agreed to
  • Show up to our sessions ready to work…not to just chat

My best clients tend to have a balance of bringing current burning issues to our calls, interspersed with what I call “life stretching” goals.

Solve problems, grow. Solve problems, grow.

4. Expecting results to be faster or easier

Goal-setters have a natural tendency to underestimate the time needed to reach targets.

Busy, impatient leaders can be even more time-sensitive than the general population.

We can quickly solve problems at a conceptual level by figuring out what we need to do.

Then we can itemize the steps of how to do it.

But the implementation – the actual doing of the things that need to get done – can take longer than we expect.

Especially if personal growth is required.

It’s easy to see this if we look at fitness as an example. You can set fitness goals for yourself and develop a workout plan. Those parts can be fast and easy – especially if you enlist expert help.

But reaching your fitness goals will take months of doing the hard work at the gym. If you’re serious about those goals, you’ll probably hire a personal trainer for advice, feedback, and to help you stay accountable.

You might want to think of coaching as hiring a personal trainer for business.

5. Feeling like they’re done and wanting to coast

Clients often begin coaching because they have a “burning bush” – there’s a problem that needs to be solved. Typically around time, team, or money.

I learned long ago, that it’s important to address these burning issues first. No point spending time developing a “strategic plan” if you’re worried you won’t make payroll this week.

Coaching can be so much more than simply solving an urgent problem and moving on.

Once we solve the urgent time/team/money issues, the next phase is about growth and mindset. Both personal and professional.

Coaching can be the catalyst to help you become a better owner, to have a better business, to reap the rewards, and celebrate the achievements.

All the best athletes have coaches. So do the best business owners.

If you’d like some support creating the business of your dreams, book 15 minutes on my calendar and we can talk about how coaching might work for you.

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