3 Factors That Make Coaching Successful

Coaching is an investment of time and money -- how can you be sure it will work?

In the past 5 years, I've coached over 70 social change leaders. I've noticed some patterns in what makes the coaching successful for the people I've coached. I've also been a coaching client myself, several times.  I know that the process can be rewarding, surprising and sometimes even a little scary.

So, here's what I've learned are 3 key factors that make coaching successful:


Coaching only works when you are ready for it. Are you 100% sure that something important needs to change, even if you're not 100% sure what that change will look like?  Is there an edge of excitement and maybe even scariness to the changes you are contemplating?  If so, you may be ready for coaching.

Coaching often unfolds in unexpected ways. You come in thinking that you're there to learn how to manage your difficult employee, and learn that you actually need to focus on how you manage yourself. Are you ready for the possibility that "success" may look different than you imagine?  This is a big part of being ready for coaching.


Change takes time, and sustainable change takes even more time.  For this reason, like many coaches, I work with clients for a minimum of 3 months. Most clients work with me for 6 months to 1 year.  There are sometimes overnight shifts, but for the most part we watch change happen over time. It's pretty cool.

Another time factor is the attention you devote to coaching in between sessions.  Just as you won't become a bodybuilder by doing two personal trainings sessions a month, you won't be able to make the shifts you want to make in your leadership without regular practice in between coaching sessions. So, factor in some time to implement what is discussed in coaching sessions.


One of the benefits of coaching is having an ally (that’s your coach!) who provides regular support as you work toward your goals.  I’ve found that inconsistent and infrequent coaching can be a barrier to change.  I ask my clients commit to 2 coaching sessions per month, so we always have a finger on the pulse of their internal and external world.

Sometimes resistance to consistent coaching shows up when things get hectic.  "Have you seen my to-do list?? I've got so much to do, how can I stop and take an hour to talk about myself?!?!" There can be an urge to cancel the session.  Time and again, I've seen that when clients show up anyway, they reap enormous benefits from those sessions. Frenzy is reduced.  Perspective is gained.  And they get to feel awesome about keeping this commitment they've made to their own leadership development.


If you've had coaching before, what made it successful for you?  Or, what would have made it more successful?

If you're a coach yourself, what have you learned makes it a successful process?


Interested in exploring coaching with me?  Contact me to schedule a free 30-minute exploratory call. 

You can also learn more about my coaching process & fees here.