You probably got into coaching because you wanted to help make people's lives better. Those that go into the coaching / mentoring /self-improvement /etc. industry are people who want to make a difference.
Maybe you experienced something dramatic in your life and you wanted to share the positive change with others. Maybe you have a specialized skill that can help others. Maybe you are like me and the “light-bulb moments” of your clients are what charge you up.
I don't know of any coach that has gotten into the business because they wanted to tear people down.
Yet, lately, I've been really frustrated listening to story after story of people that have hired a coach/mentor and invested thousands of dollars only to have something stolen from them.
The theft is not something that can be reported to the police and prosecuted, although I would argue it is much more valuable than anything with a monetary value.
They are being robbed of their personal power.
Personal power is both the internal and the external strength a person has. It's a combination of of our self-esteem, self-concept, self-trust and how well we are able to apply it to our own lives independently.
It's okay and human to need help. One of my biggest mistakes early on in my business was being too pride-filled and not asking for help. We all have different talents, knowledge and skills and can help one another grow and prosper.
People hire coaches so that they can become stronger.
In my life I have hired a number of different coaches to get stronger:
- in marketing skills,
- in communication skills,
- in my singing,
- even in my ability to be a good dog owner, though they called that a dog training,
The best leaders around the world (in government, business, sports and entertainment) have advisors and get advice and coaching. None of them do it on their own.
So, why is it that some coaches (the new and quite experienced) feel that they must steal someone else's power in order to hold their own?
Why is it that some people getting coached/mentored allow their power to be stolen?
Consider: There is a difference in seeking advice and seeking approval. One is powerful and one gives up power. Knowing where your client is coming from so that you can shift the dynamic if necessary is key.
Here are some signs that you may be making this mistake with your clients:
- Are you energized by the drama or crisis mode of your clients?
- Do you enjoy your clients needing you?
- When asked a question by your client, do you immediately give an answer?
- Do you phrase things specifically to work your own agenda “for your client?”
- Have you found yourself “wanting more” for your client than they want for themselves or defining what they should want?
- Do you try to get your clients to change to fit into the picture of what you think they should be?
- Do you get gratification in being your client's hero?
- Do you have a difficult time taking responsibility when you have made a mistake or given bad advice to your client?
- Have you found yourself talking about one client negatively to someone else?
- Do you judge your clients?
Allowing your clients to own their own power and trust what they know, while giving them an opening to receive help and perspective is the most powerful position you can hold as an effective coach/mentor.
It is completely possible to be an influential leader and still empower those that hire you. To lift them up and show them when they are making good decisions without you.
But you have to do one thing to make that happen for you. You have to let go of your ego. Your need to be right. Your need to always be the one with the answers.
Sometimes, the best thing you can do for your client is help them see that they already have the answers. Help them learn how to tap into their brilliance.
I'd love to know what you think.
What techniques do you use to empower your clients?
Have you ever felt dis-empowered by a coach/mentor?
Have you ever had a coach/mentor that helped you claim your power? What was that like?
It's in the conversation that we can all learn and grow, so I encourage you to share freely!
Live Fully -- Love Openly -- Laugh Often -- Leverage Your Brilliance -- Connect Authentically -- Get Your Message Out -- Serve with Impact -- Prosper Everyday