'Life Transformational Coaching Conversations Require Presence And Commitment'
"You can't be what you can't see."
- Marian Wright Edelman
I made a decision some time ago that my coaching approach would not be 'a business' that needed clients or chased clients.
For me, coaching is MUCH bigger than just a business – for me it’s more about an expression of talents, a calling to service - when and where appropriate - of course.
I wanted to live my life and offer my service as a lifestyle that worked for me as much as it worked for others.
I wanted my coaching to express and reflect a level of freedom that didn’t require contracts or slick sales speak to secure clients.
I know what alignment (of values and actions) looks like and feels like in life, and my intention is to always move closer to it in all levels of my life.
I didn't want to be another desperate professional peddling my wares promoting and 'selling' a service that I thought more people should have access to regardless of who they were, and where they were at in their lives.
I grappled with my approach to coaching for a long time...
How do I make this bigger than me and my needs?
Bigger than a business?
Authentic and value adding?
How do I use my talents to help others?
How does my coaching approach help me to continue to build the trust in what I do in my life?
How would I coach in a way that reflected me and my values and my approach to life?
And so on...
I am a life coach - I ask a LOT of questions.
I am naturally curious, and I know the power of asking the right questions at the right time.... and I might add, when not to ask questions.
Coaching is about other people and their needs.
You just don't slap a sign on a door and drag people in - they have to want to start that coaching journey themselves.
I saw how many others approached coaching - all around the world - and it was far far too 'executive' for me, and far too 'transactional' - I knew that wasn't where I wanted to take me and my coaching.
My approach was much more instinctive and acknowledging of the need for people to be ready to step up on their terms - not mine.
That is not to say that executive transactional coaching approaches don't have value - they certainly do.
For me, I saw limitations in the 'spirit' of coaching in that approach.
I simply wanted freedom (there's that word again) in coaching.
I like freedom of choice in my own life, so I wanted my coaching to reflect that and be an extension of that as well.
I wanted people to find me, find coaching, and then do the work and play required to begin the coaching relationship towards transformation.
My clients need to show me they are ready, and they need to follow me up.
Those who know me, would probably say I am a stickler when it comes to integrity and accountability - particularly in coaching.
Talk is cheap – it is action that speaks.
Unreliable or uncommitted people are not my market.
They do not value others' time and they often don't take their own lives seriously.
Money is not the primary motivation or currency for me.
The currency that is most valuable to me is genuine interest, and a clients level of presence, engagement, and aspiration for improvement.
I love to see and experience that level of energy and engagement.
I coach because I love coaching. It’s really that simple.
Coaching for me is about helping people to help themselves by becoming aware of themselves, and then doing something with and through that developing level of awareness.
I have stated many times that I don't coach with everyone, and nor do I chase clients.
Because any potential new client or person I have to chase up is not ready for coaching, and perhaps will never be ready for a coaching relationship.
These clients are elusive, rarely present or engaged, and - to be direct - are not an enjoyable coaching experience.
Coaching is and will always be 'a relationship' built on trust - that is how it works.
This is one of the reasons I do not do gift vouchers.
Often the purchaser wants 'someone else' to change... and it's often about them, or for them.
That is not a coaching relationship dynamic I seek... and often, it isn't one the voucher recipient wants either!
If a client cannot commit to themselves - of their own volition - in relationship with a coach, then the probability is that they won't make the time to do it without a coach.
In simple terms - they are not coaching material and should start somewhere else.
And that is what it is.
It is about them.
It is not about coaching or the coach.
Coaching is ‘a’ way of many ways and approaches to move forward in life.
Coaching and coaches are not for everyone - and nor should they be.
Fundamentalism and coaching in my world do not go together.
Coaching is not about having the answers to life... it is about getting curious and finding better questions to move towards a life more in alignment and agreement to who it is you are, and where you want to be.
Whatever you choose to do or to follow in life, ensure you are present, engaged, switched on, and ready to commit to your life.
Do that and the rest will come.
Craig Hedge is a life coach based in Hobart Tasmania.