Coaching Arguments: Should Personal Coaches Push Or Pull?

One of the biggest coaching debates is whether personal coaches should push or pull their clients. In one camp, there are the directive personal coaches who say clients need to be held accountable to tasks in order to transform their lives. In the other camp, a non-directional personal coach view says that Freudian listening will help you gain access to the inner challenges your clients face.

Personal Coaches Fighting? Why Can’t We All Be Friends?

Silly as it sounds, there are a lot of personal coaches who are so passionate and committed to their form they just can’t agree. And given that these two styles tend to appeal to two different behavior styles, there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. For example, a personal coach who is non-directive probably is less likely to confront people in general. This coach exudes more feminine energy than the more directive Patton type or drill sergeant coach who prefers a much more directive style. I imagine that if Star Trek’s Deanna Troi, who used her skill of extra-sensory empathy as the ship’s counselor.

Let’s face it, not every coach has the same skills. If someone who was more of a Patton type tried to use Freudian listening on his clients, he would most likely lack the patience to wait for the client to get to the point, interrupt, and eventually just bellow out some orders. In a role as an accountability coach, you could easily imagine that clients would be more afraid to report back that they broke their commitments to this type of figure than they would be facing most other fears.
The non-directive style of personal coaches would have a rather tough time holding anyone accountable to tasks. A client could easily talk around a circle and evade questions about lack of follow through for an entire session, avoiding anything like even the slightest slap of the wrists.

Whose Side Are You On?

Enough bad-mouthing of the non-directive personal coaches of the world. These coaches actually can transform clients’ lives in a single session, driving them to do things they wouldn’t have done just before the session. This is one of the highest levels of skill a coach can aspire to. For some personal coaches it’s natural, and other coaches may struggle for years without ever achieving other than the lowest levels of mastery. The great news is that with proper training, practice with feedback, and desire, mastery in either of these areas is possible. In fact, the coaches I feel are the best in the world are flexible enough to use both directive and non-directive coaching styles within a single coaching level to achieve results that would be improbable with only one style.

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Colette Seymann
JTS Advisors Designated Accountability Coach

FREE Video Course: How to Build a High Paying Coaching Business

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