Coaches and Why You Need One

Written by Dr. John Townsend

January 9, 2020

Life has lots of demands and challenges. And it is very very difficult, if not impossible, to get life done well, without relational support. Through a great deal of neuroscience research, it’s been established how important it is to have a few supportive individuals to help us navigate family, relationships, self career and our careers. This is vital.

One particular kind of relationship which has unique value, is that of a coach. A coach is someone who has knowledge, experience and skills that we don’t have in some area of life, in either our personal or professional realms. It’s a broad term that includes more nuanced role differences such as mentors, counselors, advisors and directors.

You and I don’t know what we don’t know, to do life right. Nor do most of us have the time or capacity to know everything we need to know. For example, I love YouTube videos and podcasts, they give me great helpful information. But having a person who knows a lot, and can coach you through the situation, is irreplaceable. That second part is a big deal. A lot of people have great knowledge and skills, but they don’t understand the science of coaching, and take people through a successful growth process.  There are principles and methods that have been proven to help people grow. At the Townsend Institute, for example, we provide an accredited online Masters degree or a certificate in coaching and consulting, because a person needs to know how to help an individual grow.

Research indicates that a coach will pay off 3-4 times what they cost, in terms of benefits. And there are lots of people who are available to help someone without charge, for example mature business people who want to help those just starting off, or older parents who are involved in a church ministry working with younger parents. 

I always recommend a coach who works holistically  as well. What this means is that the person deals with the personal as well as the “task” end of the process. The old stereotype of the coach who only deals with the plan just doesn’t work as well. For example, “Hi Beth, how did the homework assignment we worked out for you about your website go?”  “Well, Coach Lydia, I didn’t get to it, bummer.”  “OK, Beth, no problem, let’s try to make sure you get it done next time.Compare that toSorry to hear that, Beth, you were really motivated and determined about this last session.  Let’s dig into why you weren’t able to get it done; could have been discouragement, or not saying no to others’ requests for your time, or maybe some perfectionistic paralysis.” 

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Life goes better with a coach. What area could you use one in this week?

Best,

John 

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