3 Reasons Why We All Need To Make Time For Coaching
We’ve all been there. A frustrating email comes through at work. We fire off a reply that probably isn’t the most reasonable way to respond. And then, inevitably, regret it later.
In an ‘always-on’ working world, where being run off your feet has somehow come to mean being important, our thinking time has been squeezed to the point of being non-existent. Colleagues annoy us; we snap. Big changes happen; we have a quick moan in the kitchen while the kettle boils. We don’t get on with our boss; we hand in our notice and leave.
But what if we had the time to think through our workplace stresses? To talk, constructively, about what we’d like to get out of a situation? To plan our responses – and our future – rationally, instead of being led by emotions?
This is exactly what having a coach gives you. An opportunity to stop, to think, to find a way to be a better colleague and the best version of ourselves.
The chance to pause
So what does coaching actually offer that a quick chat by the water cooler wouldn’t? These are the main benefits, in my experience of both talking to professional coaches myself, and setting up sessions for other people:
1. There’s no judgment
Speak to anyone else within your company – including someone from HR – and they’ll have their own vested interest in what you’re saying. A coach, on the other hand, won’t know the people you’re talking about and can act as a safe, impartial sounding board.
You can get everything off your chest, tell them your wildest ambitions to take over the company, talk through the stuff you wish you’d done differently – and then leave feeling lighter, clearer and happier. (Ready to respond calmly when that email arrives.)
2. It’s all about you
Should I apply for that promotion? How can I tell my team this big piece of news? Why am I finding it hard to manage some colleagues and not others? Training and development sessions are all very well, but they often end up being too generic to make a real difference to everyone.
With a coach, you can dig deeper. You can spend a whole session talking about that one email if it’s what you need. And the more you see them, the more they’ll get to know you and your exact situation. Meaning everything they say back will be tailored and (truly) helpful.
3. It’s constructive
Coaches don’t just listen; they actively listen. They hear everything you tell them, then they play it back to you and help you find a way forward. They shine a light on situations in ways you wouldn’t have thought of. They ask questions you might not want to be asked. They help you think about things logically, carefully and with an eye to the bigger picture. They can turn even the rantiest of rants into a rational and reasonable action plan for tomorrow.
Making it regular
Coaching sessions aren’t just for the ‘bad’ times, either. In fact, people get the most benefits from a coach if they speak to them regularly, throughout their careers. Sometimes it’s just the act of setting up a coaching session that helps – it’s a reminder that having a job and working with a team can be challenging. And that taking a step back is perfectly acceptable.
That’s all very well, you might be thinking. But what if you don’t have the money to pay for everyone in your company to leave the office once a week? What if it all seems like too much of a faff to set up?
We can help. Having seen first-hand the benefits of coaching a few years ago when our company went through some big changes, we wanted to find a way for more people in more companies to speak to someone regularly. So we built Ezra.
Ezra gives people access to a coach with just a few taps of a button. It’s beautifully designed, easy to use and much more cost-effective than traditional coaching sessions. The benefits are exactly the same, though, giving people the space to breathe, the time to think and the opportunity to consciously decide what they want from their working life.
Because, while we won’t ever stop people moaning about who used the last of the milk, we can certainly make sure they have a safe, professional place to talk about the bigger stuff. The stuff that would otherwise be bottled up until the ‘reply all’ button is hit. Gulp.