In our first article about the 3 biggest problems with life coaching and the different techniques coaches use to overcome them, we covered the stigma of being the ‘friend’ first rather than the ‘coach’ first in a coaching relationship. When you are looking at the kinds of issues coaching clients seem to have with the coaching and results they are getting, it usually comes down to NOT being coached intensely enough or not getting the results (usually as a result of lack of intense participation from the coach, or a lack of the right style from the coach). This article will continue on raising a higher understanding of how to get your clients out from under the 3 biggest problems with life coaching. Now, let’s get into the 2 other problems and the different techniques coaches use to get around them….
Life Coaching Problem #2 of The 3 Biggest Problems With Life Coaching: Only Using the Different Techniques Coaches Use by Being Non-Directive (All The Time)
One of the 3 biggest problems with life coaching is using non-directive techniques all the time. It can be good to let your client direct the conversation, direct themselves, and ‘find their own answers’, there’s no doubt about that. One of the most important lessons I learned from a certain guru about coaching is that “when you tell your client something, then they doubt it, but when you can get your client to tell you something, then they automatically believe it’s true”. That’s really part of the basis of good salesmanship. Inside of the different techniques coaches use, however, there are very directive techniques that can cause a client to take action, get the answer more quickly, or simply follow the path you wanted them to follow as a result of resisting your direction!
Life Coaching Problem #2 of The 3 Biggest Problems With Life Coaching: Coach Being Too Much of a Guru (and The Different Techniques Coaches Use to Avoid Getting ‘Guru Screwed’)
When a coach is more of a guru type (meaning that they have a large following of dedicated clients that have ‘blind faith’ in what the guru says being true), people tend to put the guru on a pedestal. The 3 biggest problems with life coaching are reflective of a common problem that people have (I’ll get to that later), but the guru has so much sway with their followers that sometimes they don’t have the faith in themselves to follow the direction or coaching the guru offers. You must be aware of the different techniques coaches use to steer clear of the guru stigma. Clients believe that the solutions that the guru provides would work just fine for the guru, but that ‘my situation is different, and I’m not the guru’. In fact the whole ‘guru thing’ exists by virtue of everyone that follows the guru is NOT quite the guru! The funny thing is that the guru usually knows that this is hogwash, but even if they try to convince their followers of that fact, the followers won’t get it. The different techniques that coaches use to get beyond this problem include confessing your own shortcomings in a story (i.e. even gurus are people too…), putting the client up on a pedestal (yes, even YOU can be a GURU…), and challenging the client (prove to me that you aren’t crappy…).
The 3 Biggest Problems With Life Coaching Come From The Client Not Taking Full Responsibility for Their Own Problems. The Different Techniques Coaches Use Must Address This Pattern
At some level, you contribute to every problem you’ve got, and even the problems that are exceptions to that rule don’t justify trying to get around the importance of just being responsible for everything in your life. It’s not to say that ‘everything’s your fault’, it’s just that when a client takes responsibility, they start to take back control. When a client becomes responsible (response – ABLE… ABLE to RESPOND), they stop being a victim and they now have the ability to truly change things. The 3 biggest problems with life coaching all revolve around coaches not addressing this fundamental key to client problems. The different techniques coaches use to get around this issue of responsibility are important for every coach to learn and master.
Jeffrey T. Sooey
CEO, JTS Advisors
Founder, Coaches Training Blog Community