In our experience, the clients who benefit the most from the Catalyst coaching process have three things in common:
1. A specific missing piece
The people we work with are generally very talented and successful, but want help with a particular area of their life or work where something is missing:
- A small business owner loves the people part of her work, but feels depleted by all the administrative details she’s managing
- A professor has achieved great professional success, but failed to build satisfying personal relationships
- A high-level consultant yearns to start her own company, but is fearful of taking such a major risk
- A CEO’s tireless work has benefited his company, at the expense of his own personal health and well-being
These individuals have come to realize that the skills and strategies they’ve relied on in the past are not sufficient to help them master certain challenges. Simply trying harder or working more isn’t enough. (If it were, those problems would be long gone!)
2. Readiness for change
The success of any major change depends on the right timing. Readiness for coaching means that you’ve crossed a certain boundary, from merely wishing things were different to being committed to taking steps—sometimes difficult steps—to get what you want.
Many clients cross this boundary as the result of a major milestone, crisis, or other turning point; they’re about to turn 50, they have a heart attack, or their kids are leaving home. Some clients commit to coaching at the request of a concerned supervisor, close friend, or family member. Others are inspired by positive changes they see in a colleague who’s working with a coach.
Whatever their reasons for beginning this process, people who benefit from coaching have one thing in common: They’re ready to make change a priority in their lives.
Coaching shines a spotlight on our limitations and vulnerabilities—the habitual patterns of behavior, communication, and reaction that hold us back from reaching our true potential. Often these patterns operate outside our conscious awareness, so coaching presents us with two significant challenges: 1) confronting the reality of the unproductive things we’re doing, and 2) doing the work required to develop new, more constructive habits.
The coaching clients who truly thrive are those with the courage to tackle these challenges head-on. They are able to tolerate the discomfort of admitting what’s not working, and are willing to devote the time and energy it takes to bring about lasting change. For individuals with this mindset, great transformation is possible.