How to know if you Are Coaching Ready

Achieving Goals
05/22/20 - Brooke McCord
Coach Foram having a one-on-one coaching session in our Chicago office

Hello! If you’re reading this, you are probably thinking about getting started with coaching. We are so happy to work with you and walk alongside you during this time in life to get you right where you want to be. Before we get started, let’s walk through what coaching is, some questions to ask yourself, and expectations for you as well as for us to see if you are coaching ready!

What Is Coaching?

Coaching is a developmental process where a coach supports a client in setting specific personal or professional goals, holding them accountable, challenging preconceived notions and beliefs in order to help them achieve their goals. 

A Coach empowers individuals to arrive at their own solutions through questioning, reflection, experimentation, and feedback. Coaching is focused on helping individuals identify where they are, clarify where they want to go, and figure out how to accomplish those goals. A Coach does not own the individual’s problem or solution but rather helps individuals identify and clarify the problem and guides the client to come up with their own solution. A Coach is focused on behavioral changes, mental reframing and helping individuals perform at their peak.

The Role a Coach Plays in Your Journey

There are a variety of professionals you might partner with to help you with specific challenges, and understanding which professional is the right fit for your particular circumstance can help create the most positive relationship for you.  There are often perceived overlaps between things like professional coaching, consulting, therapy, mentorship, counseling, or management.  With so many options, how do you know what you need?

To help answer that, let’s think about the lawyer and the plumber.  Both have similarities: both are professionals with expertise on a particular subject that you may not have expertise in yourself, and both will grant you the benefits of that expertise if you hire them.  But there are differences in how those interactions resolve.

A plumber is typically brought in to solve a very specific, narrow problem.  And they solve it for you!  The plumber rarely asks your input on the process once it’s begun, and certainly doesn’t coach you how to fix your pipes yourself.  Typically, once the problem has been explained, you could go about your day and only check back in once the issue is fixed.  This is most closely related consulting – you have a problem, and someone either fixes it or directly instructs you how to do so.

Now, contrast that with a defense attorney.  They lend you their legal expertise and help you craft your case, but they can’t sit in the witness box for you.  They need your input throughout the process, and they’ll certainly tell you when they think you’re making a misstep. Ultimately, you’re the author of your strategy.

Coaches Don’t Magically Solve Your Issues (there’s a lot of work you have to do)

A health coach can’t exercise for you or eat your meals.  A career coach can’t go on interviews or send applications for you.  A life coach can’t have your challenging conversations for you.  What we can do is lend our expertise. We’ll assist you in crafting a strategy, answering difficult questions, and helping you adapt to new information throughout your journey.  We can keep you accountable when you’re challenged and provide a stable voice when you’re anxious.  We can share the wisdom of experience that comes from helping many people just like you.

But in order for it to be productive, you have to be ready to put in the work.  In the same way that a personal trainer can design an exercise routine for you, but they can’t lift the weights or jog the miles for you, a professional coach helps you design an action plan that fits the needs you layout and then helps you adapt and stay accountable to that plan throughout your journey.  We don’t come in and “fix” any one thing – we help you create a totally new, healthier paradigm.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting

  1. Do you want a quick fix to something that is broken, or do you want to fundamentally change? 
    • Why: We do long-term systemic change, not quick fixes. You’re not coming here to change for a little, then go back. You’re coming here to change your trajectory. 
  2. What are your push and pull reasons for finding a new job? Or for changing? What is motivating you and what are you willing to do about it?
    • Why: If you’ve left your job unwillingly, and the only reason you’re looking for a new one is because someone disrupted your comfortable role, you may not be ready for a dynamic change. The best changes come from “pull” motivations – where you’re changing because you want something greater, not just because something pushed you out of your comfort zone. If you’re just looking for a quick new role just like your old one, you need a recruiter, not a coach. If you’re looking to follow a passion and find a whole new career that you can love, that’s when a coach is most helpful.
  3. What is your commitment level? Is this for you or for someone else? Are you ready to take control of your outcomes and dedicate hard work, time, and energy to accomplishing your goals?
    • Why: We are so happy to walk alongside you, help you, and support you in whatever way we can. However, we cannot care more than you and we cannot put in more effort. This is your decision, your path, your life!
questions to ask before beginning your work with a coach


Once you answer the above questions and feel like you’re coaching ready, here is a list of expectations we have for you and expectations you can have for us:


  • Show up ready
  • Do the work (we can’t do it for you)
  • Open to thinking about things differently
  • Ready to make a change


  • We show up, too!
  • Provide accountability for the things you say you want to do
  • Challenge limiting beliefs or preconceived notions
  • Offer clarity when the waters are muddy
  • Support you and help you with your action plan

If you’ve read through this article and determined that you’re coaching ready, you’ve taken the first step – congratulations! What comes next is scheduling a free consult call to talk with one of our amazing relationship strategists. On the call, you’ll figure out which program and coach will best align with you and your needs. After that, you’ll have a coach who is a partner and will challenge you, bring about awareness, remove known and unknown obstacles, and get you where you want to be! We are so happy to work with you to determine and achieve your goals!

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