Recently it struck me that there are hundreds of misconceptions about Coaching — at least in Calgary anyway. I’ve been told Coaching is an easy job because I only have to agree with my clients (false!). I’ve been told Coaching must be a sad job because I only work with people who are struggling and depressed (false!). I’ve even been told that clients must too weak to deal with their own sh*t (false and OUCH!)
Misconception, misunderstanding and misinformation. It’s all so confusing. It’s no wonder so many approach coaching with apprehension!
This is by no means an extensive list, but they are the three most common misconceptions I have faced:
My Top 3 Most Common Coaching Misconceptions
Misconception 1: Coaches only work with those who are struggling, Depressed or unsuccessful.
In part, yes, coaches work with individuals who struggle and are on their way to success, but we also coach people who are already wildly successful. Now, why would a successful person need a coach? Wouldn’t they already be past the point of coaching, a.k.a., living their ideal life?
NO! Successful people have an inner monologue of self-sabotage, too. The coaching misconception here is that successful people are a different kettle of fish. Wrong again! They are normal people with fears just like everyone else. A coach helps push you forward to have “more of that”. Your life’s not over and your potential is limitless – there is always room for growth no matter how successful you are.
A similar misconception is that you can be “too happy”. Totally false! There is always room for MORE fulfillment, MORE success and MORE aliveness. Everyone can benefit from coaching — if they want it.
Misconception 2: Coaches tell you what you want to hear.
This is 100% false — my clients can attest to it! I’m not a coach that holds back if I believe you are acting against your values and goals. It’s my JOB to hold your agenda when you waiver, and sometimes that comes at the cost of pulling the tough punches. Out of love, of course!
What is the likelihood of the client’s success of transformation if their coach agreed to everything their clients said? And who would the client blame? Hint: the coach! “My coach agreed with me!”. There’s no realistic reason a coach would want to be a scapegoat for why something went wrong, but more importantly, for a coaching relationship to be fruitful there must be a foundation of trust and honest. That involves telling clients the hard truths.
Another related misconception lies in how coach-client relationships are formed. That’s why coaches set up ground rules for conduct within the relationship. We design an alliance with you and ask for your permission to tell you those hard truths. We tell the hard truths to keep clients aligned to their most authentic selves.
A coach’s opinion rarely comes into the equation (unless life or limb are at risk). Being a yes-man and being a client’s champion are two very different things: coaches are the first to high-five you, and encourage you to act from your values. But we’re also the first to tell you, “that act doesn’t fit who you are”.
That’s where the magic happens.
Misconception 3: Anyone who needs coaching is weak.
Oh boy. Why, in 2016, do we still carry around the notion that we’re weak when we reach out for help? Whether it be counselling, coaching, or psychotherapy. Humans were ingrained with a sense of community and interdependence. It’s natural, courageous and downright beautiful when someone reaches out for help.
The misconception here is that we continue to believe we are islands. False! We were not made to do this life alone. Some of the most fulfilling experiences involve another person! Humans are hard-wired for intimate connections. And that’s coaching — a deep connection between a coach and client where the sole focus is on the client, their hopes and dreams.
When a client requests a coaching session they are demonstrating great strength and courage. Asking for help is not weakness. It is courage, and it is inspiring for coaches when a client shows up in their life.
Asking for help is admitting you are willing to say YES to yourself.
It really is difficult to explain the nuances of coaching. The beauty and its power lie in the relationship and connection between the coach and client.
Want to know more about coaching? Call me, and let’s chat. No commitment or cost incurred. 🙂