Andre Agassi - eight-time Grand Slam Champion, Olympic gold medalist, and owner of possibly the best hair in the history of sports - knows a little something about hard work and success, and a lot about what makes a good coach.
My favorite quote from his autobiography “Open” is:
“A great coach can lead you to a place where you don't need him anymore.”
This is as true in life as it is in sports.
Whether you’re talking about a personal trainer, an executive coach, or a social coach, the ultimate goal is to train and up your skillset until you have a foundation to work from.
Having a solid foundation in the basics gives you the confidence you need to practice and build your social skills and achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself.
You have to learn how to dribble before you’re doing trick shots!
So how can a social coach help you improve socially?
What does building a strong foundation in social skills look like?
It looks a lot like this...
1. A Social Coach Will Help You Visualize Your Goals
Many of my private coaching clients want to become more socially confident, have engaging conversations, and meet more people.
While these are fantastic goals, they’re very broad. It’s kind of like saying “I want to learn to play basketball!”
Great! But where do you start?
Should you memorize the rules first, learn how to dribble, run drills…? It can be overwhelming to get started when the goal is too broad.
This is exactly what most of my clients face when they say “I want to be able to talk to people at parties.” Great! But how can we break that down into smaller, more achievable goals and make them actionable?
The first step to success is defining your goals clearly.
This is so important that I gave it its own line! In fact, this is so important, I’m going to say it again! Say it with me! “The first step to success is defining your goals clearly.”
That’s why my first meeting with my clients always involves sitting down and digging into the specifics.
I ask questions like:
Do you want to meet five new people at the next event?
Or do you want to hold one conversation for at least ten minutes?
The more clearly you’re able to visualize your goals, the easier it is to create a game-plan that will get you there.
A social coach helps you build the social skills you need to succeed by helping you narrow down and identify your goals.
After we get some goals in place, then we can create bulletproof systems to help you get to those goals.
2. A Social Coach Will Keep You Accountable
Once you’ve decided on your goals, the next step is getting to work! This is the hardest part of any journey - committing to that first action.
You’ve been training all season but now it’s time for your first big game, and...
It’s freaking terrifying, man!
There are lights!
There are people!
There are...snacks! (See? Not everything about social events is nerve-wracking. When in doubt, compliment the host on her choice of dip.)
But snacks aside, I know putting your newfound skills into action can be difficult. That’s what I’m here for.
As a social coach, one of the most valuable services I offer to my clients is accountability.
Accountability is the number one determinant of success or failure for most people.
Think of it this way - when you’re trying to get in shape you head to the gym.
After the first few weeks of feeling proud of yourself and seeing immediate results...you plateau.
It starts to feel like work.
You’re laying in bed and you think “30 extra minutes of sleep is probably just as important as going to the gym today…” And it’s all downhill from there.
Now imagine that as you’re contemplating hitting snooze for the fourth time, you get a text from your personal trainer that says,
“Hey! I’ve got the weights all set up for you, be sure to stretch before you get here. See you in ten!”
Now you have to go!
Someone is depending on you, encouraging you, expecting you to do well.
We all respond well to a little positive accountability and support.
And in my experience, most people will rise as far as you set the bar for them.
So once you’ve agreed to start 10 conversations this week, or made a goal to go to an interesting event in your city, I’ll be asking about it in our next video call.
Every one of my clients has told me how much easier it is to follow through knowing that I’ll be checking in.
It’s that little push they needed to get over their fear and do the damn thing!
And the more you follow through, the faster your progress, the better you feel, and the more confident you become.
Until, eventually, you don’t even think about it!
You’re just enjoying yourself at happy hour, cracking jokes and making new friends.
3. A Social Coach Can Help You Find and Eliminate Crucial Social Blind Spots
Tom Landry said, “A coach is someone who tells you what you don't want to hear, who has you see what you don't want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be.”
This is especially true for a social coach. You can’t fix something if you don’t know it’s a problem.
So one thing that we’ll work on together is pinpointing a few blind spots you may have.
We may discover on our call that you tend to ramble or talk too fast when you’re nervous.
Maybe you use a lot of filler words like “um” or “like,” or you have a hard time making eye contact.
Hearing these things verbalized can feel very personal and it’s normal to be a little defensive.
But the ONLY reason I’m pointing these blindspots out is so you can learn to recognize and master them.
Once you understand what your weak spots are, you can attack them and keep your blindspots from holding you back from the social outcomes you want.
Side-note: A good coach will NEVER make you feel self-conscious about your social blind spots (We ALL have them - including me).
A great coach will ask questions and offer tools that give you better ways to approach social situations.
4. A Social Coach Can Help You Predict the Future
Look, I’m no Doc Brown - I drive a Kia, not a DeLorean. But much like my favorite mad scientist, I can help you see into the future. No flux capacitor needed.
You are the only person in the world who knows what it’s like to be you.
And on the flip side - you can never really know what it’s like to be anyone else.
So that new social strategy you read about online...you have no idea if it’s going to work. There are too many unknown factors!
But a strategy based on testing, psychology, and past success, recommended by a professional social coach based on their assessment of your unique experience and skill set … now that’s a different story.
The reality is, as much as we'd love to think that we're all 100% unique, if something works for most people, it's likely that it will work for you too.
(Personally I find this very comforting because it means that there are real guidelines and techniques to follow that will work.)
With a social coach, you can go into social situations with confidence, knowing that you have a solid, tested strategy that’s future-proof (which is more than Doc Brown can say!).
5. A Social Coach Can Help You Improve Quickly
There are no “magic bullets” or “word for word scripts” that will make you 100x more socially confident overnight.
They don’t exist!
Anyone who tells you different is selling snake-oil.
But working with a social coach will help you get results faster than working alone.
Watching YouTube videos or reading books (all useful tools when used correctly), just doesn’t have the same motivating effect as when you work closely with a coach who understands your unique situation and goals.
A great coach encourages and motivates you to take rapid action and holds you accountable to make sure you’re putting in the effort.
They’re also there to lean on when things don’t go well - they can help you rebuild your confidence and adjust your strategy in real-time so minor setbacks don’t end up becoming major roadblocks.
As crazy as it sounds, my ultimate goal is to make myself obsolete.
I want to help you build your social skills to the point that you feel completely comfortable in any social situation.
And even when you’ve reached that point, I’m still here rooting for you!
If you ever need a brush-up, some extra accountability, or you're tackling more advanced issues we can work on that together.
Building your social skills is an evolving process that never really ends.
I’m here to give you a rock-solid foundation that makes it possible for you to grow and evolve in your own way!
If you've been thinking about leveling up your social skills, and you'd like to learn more about my coaching services click here.
Or watch this video where I share more about coaching:
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Over the last 14 years, I’ve learned... (Read More)
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• The Ultimate Guide To Joining & Enjoying Group Conversations
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