August 04, 2021

Five facts that debunk the top myths about coaching

Most people who use Bravely have never worked with a coach before. That’s because, until recently, coaching was used as either punitive remediation for under-performing execs, or a perk for “high-potential” managers — whatever that means.

Coaching being so new in many people’s lives at work, it’s not surprising that there are some misunderstandings about what it is and how it works. We hear it all the time: “If I had only known _____, I would have tried coaching sooner!”

Here are five facts for anyone who’s unsure about coaching or stuck on a myth about who it’s for, how it works, or why it’s such an effective resource.

Fact #1: Coaches don’t tell you what to do or give you all the answers.

Unlike a mentoring relationship, where one person is presumed to have more knowledge or experience, which they’ll pass to the other person, coaching is a true partnership. A Bravely coach can bring their own perspective into the session, but when it comes to the subject of you — what you want and need, what you should do, what your values and strengths are — you’re the expert. The Bravely Pro’s job is to help you draw on that expertise to determine your own next steps.

You may have experienced times when you felt so stuck or lost that you wanted someone to hand you all the answers — and you probably found that what you really needed was someone to help you find the confidence and clarity to discover your own answers.

[My Pro] is coaching me through the communication issues that I’ve been having. We’re looking at my issues from a variety of directions. It’s been helping, and I am so happy that I have this opportunity to learn different techniques to overcome the obstacles I am facing.

Rebekah I.

Fact #2: Coaching isn’t just for when something’s “going wrong.”

Coaching can be used both reactively, in response to a problem, or proactively, to prepare for or take control of the future.

About half of all Bravely coaching sessions are proactive. Topics in these sessions can include charting a future career path, working on vital communication skills, or checking in on progress toward a goal.

Coaching can help you take the reins in your professional life and build the tools to address challenges before they become problems.

My coach was able to walk me through some points to consider in my next steps of reaching my goals. I appreciated her energy and excitement when going over my homework. It really gave me a sense that she truly cares that I succeed.

Sulie A

Fact #3: Anyone at any level can benefit from coaching.

Manager or individual contributor, senior or junior, executive or entry level — we all want to feel like we’re doing our best work and being our best selves. Our stressors, our working relationships, and our growth paths may differ in some ways, but our experiences at work are shaped by the same human needs.

No matter where you are in your career, a Pro can meet you where you are.

[My Pro] is awesome and I always walk away feeling equipped to handle the challenge we discussed. My notes sit right in front of my computer screen at all times.

A Senior VP of Sales

Fact #4: A coach can support you even without knowing every detail of your role.

Some people with highly-technical or specialized roles have told us that, before their session, they were worried their Pro wouldn’t “get it.” We understand where the concern is coming from: a journalist who works on strict deadlines, for example, has a unique set of pressures, and the structure of a software engineer’s workload is specific to their role.

Coaching deals in “power skills” (effective communication, leadership, and stress management), and guides you through the human ups-and-downs of life at work, so the technical differences in your role are incidental.

Besides, Bravely’s Pros have a diverse range of work experience, so you’re likely to find the right balance of familiarity and fresh perspective.

Love the time [my Pro] took to understand and provide meaningful input for me! He genuinely cared and remembered from one session to another what I was working on.

A Software Engineering Manager

Fact #5: You can feel the impact of coaching after just one session.

Many people working Bravely choose to work regularly with a coach over a long period. Others take an “as-needed” approach with their Pro, and some work with a variety of coaches. Bravely is designed with all of these approaches in mind.

If you’re not ready to commit to a long-term coaching relationship, that’s okay! You can start with a single session and still come away with anything from renewed confidence and motivation to an actionable game plan. It only takes one session to start understanding what coaching can do for your life at work.

Super first session, really enjoyed the conversation. Lovely to be able to see how I can apply the ideas into my working week and get a vision for the future. Looking forward to the next session.

Sara R.

Does one of these facts fill the blank in “If I had only known ______, I would have tried coaching sooner!” for you? Get started with your first session!

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