How you are the ship and your coach is your lighthouse
Posted on August 01, 2023 by Melanie Gallo PhD, One of Thousands of Health and Fitness Coaches on Noomii.
The job of a great coach is not to tell you what to do. Learn how you get so much farther when you are the ship, and your coach is your lighthouse.
One of the first things I do with people in my work as a behavioral health coach is to go through our coaching agreements and explain how our sessions will be structured. Even though these standard agreements do a great job of explaining what the client can expect from me as the expert and vice versa, I find that I get even more positive feedback when I remind people that on our coaching journey, “you are the ship and your coach is your lighthouse”.
The lighthouse is stationary. It doesn’t go anywhere, and it can be counted on to do one key thing: It illuminates. Of course, some lighthouses can transmit different signals that have different meanings. But in the end, it’s all about shining that light.
The lighthouse signals entries to let the ship know where it’s safe to enter the harbor. This light plays an important role for the ship trying to find its way to a destination, and coaches do the same thing. We help you find a direction forward to help you move from point A to point B.
The lighthouse also signals obstacles and barriers. This is important because our perspectives – much like that of the lighthouse – can allow clients to notice things that they could not see or “blind spots”.
Additionally, the lighthouse doesn’t tell the ship where to go. That’s up to the ship. But the lighthouse helps to navigate around some of the barriers you’d face in getting there. That’s what coaches do. Since you are the ship, and your coach I’d your lighthouse, they help you uncover the issues that prevent you from achieving your goals and give you strategies to clear these obstacles away.
The lighthouse is a temporary aid. The ship does not need it the whole time it is on the water. It needs it when challenging situations come up so that the ship can learn how to navigate the particular situation. That’s how it is with coaches. We’re not here forever, but we’re here to help you learn new habits and behaviors to get past a situation that would otherwise inhibit your success. Then, the ultimate goal is that you leave armed with the tools and techniques to continue on your own when you are in that situation again.
Finally, the lighthouse doesn’t serve itself. It only serves the ship. The success of the lighthouse is measured only by the number of ships that make it safely to their destinations – very much like the way coaches measure our success by the success of our clients. Because when it comes down to it, it’s all about you.
Both in my past work as a business psychology coach, in my current work as a behavioral health coach, my function as a coach has always been the same. To help people better understand their own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in order to make perdonal change to experience more fulfilling lives.
You are the ship, I am your lighthouse. In which direction is your ship sailing?