How do I know if I need coaching?

Bit Famous works with businesses and organisations
to help them communicate with confidence.

By Penny Haslam

MD and Founder - Bit Famous

Penny Haslam

How do I know if I need coaching? Five questions to ask yourself - Video Transcript

How do I know if I need coaching? If you're asking, do I need coaching? You've probably got something on your mind that you want to change or make progress on. Or if you run a team, you might have a colleague in mind for this. Now, just before we get started, our coaching deals with communication and confidence for people at work. Our clients are typically leaders or people who want to take the next step in their careers and business owners. Right. Being unsure about coaching and what it can do for you is completely normal now. It might be for you or it might not, but that's what we're trying to find out, isn't it? And as it is a time and money commitment, I've put together these more detailed questions to help you, whether you come to us for coaching or look elsewhere.

No.1 Are you a best kept secret?

Number one, are you a best kept secret? Now, this is tricky. It might be that you work remotely in a hybrid way or flexibly. It might be that you're coming back from maternity leave. It might be that you've been on a sabbatical or you've worked elsewhere in the department, and you're showing up. You might be new in post and you want to progress your career, you need to explain and demonstrate to the people around you the work you do and how you help and the value that you bring. But you are kind of overlooked for promotion or for working on great projects that you think would be right up your street.

This whole thing can be really quite demotivating and challenging when you're on your own and you think, well, why aren't they recognising me? Why aren't I able to move forward? What is it that I can do? And equally inside, we might be thinking, I don't wanna show off about things. We work as a team. It's not all about me.

And we hold ourselves back a little bit sometimes when we really should be pushing forward because it would be good for us, good for our pay packet, good for the organisation and stepping into leadership.

Advancing your career like that is a fantastic thing to do and all for the taking. So, a coach should typically listen to what it is you want to achieve, identify what's important for you and the kinds of things that you might do to manoeuvre yourself so that you are front and centre of people's minds, when they're thinking filling shoes or moving you forward.

Does this sound familiar? We can help

“My role requires me to have more presence, be more visible. I'm not sure where to start.”

"Our new board member needs to improve their confidence."

“I'm expected to present more and speak at events but I hate it.”

No.2 Do people listen to you?

Question number two. Do people actually listen to you? That's not a nice question to have to face, really, is it? Do people listen to me? Of course, they listen to me, but do they really? Do you have an impact? Have you got influence? Are you able to convey something in a short amount of time so that people remember what you said and that you're relatable, likeable and all of the good things so that you can get your job done? So that you can do your job more easily? And that's a big question to ask.

If you're wondering that, do people listen to me? Ask am I speaking so people hear what I've got to say? Is it clear? Am I talking in a meeting informally, and when I do, is it just waffle or do other people really accept what I'm talking about or accept my opinion or my view or my solution to things?

There are tricks and techniques to learn to land your message more clearly and concisely so that you can engage people around you. And that's the key bit isn't it at work? So people can buy into your ideas and the way you might do things and so you can see progress yourself.

Coaching can help with that, with those tips and techniques. My style of coaching, for example. It's very directional. It's for people who want a quick win. They're time-poor. We get straight to it and maybe it's about trying new behaviours and new styles of communication and observing what happens. So you're not just part of the message part of the journey part of the frenzy of a meeting, for example, or a client pitch or whatever the communication moment is, you can actually be more observant and ultimately more objective in how you're coming across with your own personal brand profile.

No.3 Are you feeling under confident in your role?

Are you feeling under confident in your role? This one crops up a lot, and it's brilliant when it does because it tells you that you're doing something bigger, bolder and hopefully better so feeling under confident, feeling imposter syndrome, feeling like you're going to get found out or being a bit of a fraud, or that you're not quite as expert as the person who's around you.

I see this in clients all the time, so they're keen, they're ambitious and they're clever. And yet there is a little bit of tension within them that says, I'm not sure I'm up for this. Who am I to be doing this and doing that? So Imposter syndrome is something that three-quarters of women executives have experienced. And once we begin to understand that and how it manifests in ourselves through negative self-talk, or like, oh, I'm not gonna be able to do that, or is it all worth it? If I'm going to have to push myself if I'm going to do presentations, for example, is my job really worth doing? Or should I just go back to a more junior position? There's a kind of quandary. So, self-assuredness and self-belief are all part of the coaching journey.

If you're experiencing those things and you have a hunch that they're holding you back, then discussing them and exploring them with others is a really good way forward.

No.4 You are stepping up but do you have the skills?

You're stepping up but do you have the skills? This is an interesting one, and I love working with clients who are stepping into a new role. Quite often, they have been doing types. They've been technical experts and subject area specialists. And now what's happening is they're being asked to lead, which means stepping into more of a being role, so less of a doing role, more of a being role and that being has to be visionary and purposeful and communicate mission and values and behave in a way that sets culture out there as a kind of cultural ambassador for the organisation. And that requires a little bit more panache and charisma and communication skills than simply being known for what it is, you know, and can do so it's not always comfortable.

I've had clients to go, right, okay, I really want this job. I am enjoying it, but I'm not sure if I'm communicating in the right way when I have a board meeting I'm not sure if I'm still able to engage the staff around me. I don't always have the answer. Um, and that is part of the leader's role, isn't it? To coach and encourage others, not always having the answer. So no longer being the technical expert with the answers, you perhaps pushing people to explore and innovate more yourself. So that is a nuance in shaping up and stepping up into a new role.

No.5 Do you inspire and motivate people beyond your organisation?

Do you inspire and motivate people beyond your organisation? So typically, business owners and business figureheads like leaders, financial directors, chief people officers and chief executives come to me and say right, okay, I need to be more visible, but I need to not just do that in an informational way because it's quite easy to stand up at an industry event and talk about the figures from last year. 

I need to do it in an inspirational way to move from info' to inspo'. Doing that in a variety of places, like creating a killer keynote for an industry event or taking part in a panel discussion dynamically and memorably. It's all for the taking and this is brilliant for brand visibility. It's great for career progression. It's great for your wider industry to know who you are and what you stand for. 

It's a great opportunity to be a little bit famous. My style of coaching and this circumstance really helps with a load of practical skills and techniques, content creation, performance enhancement, and everything that you might need to feel rock solid when you're going out and advocating for the work that you do. 

Now, I hope that helped you get closer to deciding if coaching is for you? If you'd like to take it further and find out how Bit Famous coaching could work for you, book a free no obligation discovery call.