Tips on coaching about responsibility are a dime a dozen. You can read about what you are responsible for as a coach. You can read about the responsibilities of clients in the coaching process. But what about the why? Why is taking responsibility important beyond the obvious legal and contractual reasons? What does taking responsibility accomplish on a deeper level for the change we want to cause in our clients with coaching? These are the pieces that are often missing from tips on coaching about responsibility.
Taking Responsibility Ends Powerlessness
While they can express it in many different ways, clients often come to a coach because they feel powerless over their lives. They hate their job, but they can’t afford to leave. Their children are out of control. They can’t get a handle on their weight or health concerns. The first of today’s tips on coaching is that these issues all have the same root. They are all about personal power and the lack of it. As cliched as the term empowerment is, still we coaches want to empower our clients to reach their goals and to take control of their lives. To do that, we need to help them to take responsibility for everything that happens in their lives, whether they have directly caused it or not.
Tips On Coaching To Find The Power And The Glory
The second of today’s tips on coaching about responsibility is that when you first suggest to your client that he is responsible for everything that happens to him, you’ll probably get arguments. You’ll hear, “My car was parked. How could it possibly be my fault that someone backed into it?” Or “I need to reschedule because my cell phone is out of charge.” Or whatever. But take him back a step or two in the process–the fact is, he chose to park his car in that place at that time. Or she forgot to plug her phone into the charger last night. When you get your client to the point of taking responsibility for whatever happens, no matter what, he is no longer at the mercy of fate. The power in the shift from being at effect to being at cause is life-changing.
The third of today’s tips on coaching is to celebrate. When your client accepts that he is responsible for what happens in his life, that is cause for celebration. Take a tip from me and encourage him to celebrate the glory of being at cause rather than at effect in his life, and envision the changes he wants to make from his new found place of power.
Dorine G Kramer
JTS Advisors Strategy and Accountability Coach