Having coached dentists and their teams for over 18 years and practicing dentistry for over 30, I often get asked “When is the right time for working with a coach?”
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If you are considering whether or not to hire a coach, you are deciding if you are ready to embark on a grand adventure. This adventure is not an adventure you’ve likely had before – and it’s a really good one! Coaching is not for everyone, and even highly coachable people have times in their lives when coaching may not be what they really want or need. Here are a few important questions to ask yourself:
Is this the right time for me to hire a coach?
If you feel like you are ready to make some important changes, the time is right for you. If you are extremely busy and cannot imagine taking on another thing, then the answer is “probably yes.” The first thing you and your coach may want to explore is what to remove from your busy schedule to make your life feel simpler, more balanced, and manageable.
Can I afford coaching?
Coaching is one of the most cost-effective approaches to tremendous gains in your bottom line. However, just as our patients often can’t see the end result we can provide because they are fixated on the cost, so goes it with many dentists. I’ve had many sessions where just that one call made a huge turnaround for the doctor. Nevertheless, make sure to look honestly at your finances before entering into the coaching relationship. If you hire a coach, you will be making an important investment into your life. Are you able to pay the coach’s fee for a minimum of six months without feeling like you are overextending yourself? If not, you may still want to continue, and work with your coach on improving your financial situation immediately.
Am I willing to try new things?
Most dentists have never worked with a certified professional coach, much less heard of coaching, even though it became a buzz word in business during the 90’s. During your coaching, you will be invited to look at old situations in new ways. You will be offered new concepts and different ways to approach things. If you are willing to try out new possibilities and stretch your creative side, you will get a large return for your investment. If you are a person who vigorously defends your old perspectives, you will still get much value from committing yourself to a specific course of action.
Is coaching what I am really looking for?
There are many other kinds of professional relationships, one of which might be more appropriate for you. Do you need an accountant, attorney, financial planner, or personal assistant? Your coach will certainly support you to find the right resources at the right time if you do. Just be aware that there may be additional expenses for professional services your coach is not qualified to provide for you. Are you experiencing chronic mental suffering or dwelling extensively on past events? If so, you probably want to talk to a therapist instead of — or in addition to — a coach. The idea is to build the kind of relationships that you really want and need.