Well of course “never” is a big word. But for the new coach, “never” is a good place to start. As a coach grows in experience and also grows more than a little grey hair, well then it may be a different story. But in the beginning and for now, “never” really is a very good place to start.
Friends and Family Knew You “Back When”
The fact is – like it or not – your Aunt Josephine DID change your diapers. And your Cousin Fred DID see you cry when your vanilla ice cream fell out of your cone and onto the sidewalk. And… well you get the idea. It is very hard for the new coach to have the aura necessary to separate their professional persona from who they were “back when”.
Now that Was Just TOOO Much Information
To be an effective coach, it is critical that you can help your clients come to terms with whatever it is that is holding them back. That means that as you coach them you have to help take them wherever they need to go. It means that you may need to help them uncover their long hidden past. It means that you may need to help them confront their most painful fear. Beyond your being able to deal with what comes up, it also means that your client, your sister or your mother, must feel free to open themselves up to you – and that my just be too much to ask.
So what’s a New Coach to Do?
The obvious answer for the new coach is not to coach friends and family – at least for quite a while. But what if that is what must be done? First, act the part. Put on that professional persona – and that conservative suite or dress. Choose a professional venue. Don’t coach friends or family in familiar surroundings. Choose a neutral location, in a professional environment. And finally, set aside your relationship and do not mix metaphors or references. If you do this, you may be able to pull it off, but don’t press your luck, because you may end up with unsuccessful coaching and damaged personal relationships.
JTS Advisors Strategy and Accountability Coach