The Psychology of Coaching the Uncoachable

Most every coach has come across the uncoachable client and wondered if there is a specific psychology of coaching for working with these unwilling clients. Why would someone not willing to be coached, pay for coaching sessions? The mystery is bewildering, to say the least.

From a coach’s perspective, an uncoachable client is still a paying client, so there is one benefit. But, most coaches not only like to make money, they genuinely want to help their clients and feel as if they have failed when they come across someone who is unwilling to be helped. Your own psyche and psychology of coaching demands that you do everything you can to help anyone who walks through your door.

Who is Uncoachable?

Many characteristics define someone unwilling to be helped. They may be individuals who are looking for a list of answers – seeking ingredients in a recipe for success. They usually only want to share their ideas and don’t feel the need to listen to your experiences or ideas. They may get defensive when a coach offers a suggestion or an opinion. Intelligence or professional status doesn’t matter – some of the most intelligent and successful people are unwilling to be coached. Unfortunately, it is difficult to get inside someone’s head, to delve into their psychology without having a few sessions.

Who is Coachable?

When looking at the psychology of coaching the uncoachable it helps to know the usual traits of clients who are coachable. These clients tend to possess a healthy does of humility – they understand that they cannot do or learn everything on their own. Coachability also requires a client to surrender control. It is not as if a coach will be telling them what to do, because that is not what a coach does, but a client needs to have complete trust in the coach and the coaching experience, and that is created by surrendering control. A coachable person also needs to be an individual of action. People willing to be coached are also willing to get off their ass and put in practice what they have learned.

The Psychology of Coaching the Uncoachable

To truly understand the psychology of coaching people unwilling to be coached, you need to dig deep in to their psyche to find the humble person within. You also need to gradually build trust through patience and your own humility. Most people have something they are humble about, something not on the surface, something from their past – the help of a loved one, or a close encounter with death, or the generosity of a stranger. Most people, given time, will begin to trust a coach – patience is definitely a virtue when dealing with a client unwilling to be coached.

To fully reverse the psychology of a client unwilling to be coached, you need to find something that inspires and motivates them to action. What gets them off the couch, out of that office cubicle, or out of their own way? What motivates them to knock down those walls, to hurdle those obstacles? To get them to act, you need to bring out all your skills and training – the psychology of coaching the uncoachable means you must act!

The Psychology of Coaches

Coaches care and live to help people. That’s why they will do everything they can to find some way to help anyone sought out their services. Willing or unwilling client, the altruistic nature of coaches inspires them to action. The psychology of coaching the uncoachable is all about persistence, patience, and probing deeper into a client’s mind to find those solutions that spur them to action.

By the way… you’re invited to claim your FREE step-by-step “Life Coaching Business Blueprint” video toolkit. Just go HERE now to get your life coaching business blueprint videos.

Fred Philips
Business Coach
Writing Team, Coaches Training Blog Community

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  1. Karen says

    Great article. I agree that a coach’s job is to care and help people, that is why this job is not for those who only coach for profit. A great deal of patience and persistence is required.

  2. Hanna says

    Not all coaching clients feel that they need helping. There are those who are arrogant and only stick to their beliefs and ideals. They are unwilling to hear a coach’s ideas and advice. But it is part of a coach’s job to help their client to open up and find the humility in them to help them achieve their goals.

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