Why coaching works

Editor's note: The Coaches Corner column appears regularly on the DrBicuspid.com advice and opinion page, Second Opinion.

The world of professional coaching -- that is, people whose passion and interest in helping others achieve their goals and who have been professionally trained to do so -- differs from most any experience that most dentists have had.

The most common question I get is "What's coaching?" followed by "What do you do?"

Let me answer this as directly as possible. Professional coaching can take various forms, some of which are project-focused, others which may be focused on practice management and leadership. Yet others can include more intangible elements, such as fulfillment, decreased stress, peace, and leaving a legacy. Perhaps it is because the coaching process is so powerful and flexible that many people have a hard time getting their arms around the concept.

There are some inherent difficulties in overcoming this hurdle. First, most people are used to being told what to do. They look outside themselves for the answer. Although that's easiest, it is the least long-term effective and fulfilling way to grow. Further, people tend to repeat this behavior over and over again. That's contradictory to coaching, in which we ask people to dig deep inside to find their answers. We ask hard questions; we challenge beliefs and concepts. This is a very organic, nonlinear process. So if you see a "coach" offering a coaching "program," it's likely not a professional coach but someone who wants you to follow their system, buy their products, or create a long-term dependency for their services.

Second, we live in a culture that has succumbed to two basic problems: instant gratification and being spoon-fed. People want things their way -- yesterday. My experience is they're not willing to do the necessary work for lasting change. As has often been said, anything worth doing is worth doing right and well. Additionally, spoon-feeding diminishes who we are as individuals. It disempowers us and weakens us because we are being taught that we are not smart enough to do whatever needs to be done. These are very self-defeating approaches, which on a much bigger scale concerns me for our profession, our community, and our country.

So when it comes to coaching, what's the benefit for you? Clients cite these benefits and more:

  • Increased awareness of daily actions, decisions, and thoughts
  • Peace
  • Increased effectiveness and efficiency in their daily lives
  • Better relationships
  • Improved communication
  • Living from their heart
  • Live aligned with their values

What's in it for you? You won't know if you don't take action. Check out what the Google CEO has to say about the benefit he experienced with coaching in this video.

May the wind be at your sails!

Don Deems, D.D.S., F.A.G.D., known as the Dentist's Coach, is a co-founder of the Dental Coaches Association, an organization of dentists who are professional coaches committed to bringing professional coaching to the dental profession. Learn more about professional coaching by visiting www.dentalcoachesassociation.org or www.drdondeems.com.

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

Copyright © 2010 DrBicuspid.com

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