5 Wise Insights about Coaching Others

  1. Stay Detached – Never Rescue
  2. Respect the Shell
  3. Silence is Powerful
  4. If they didn’t ask for it, and aren’t paying for it, verbal advice isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.
  5. Blame is your biggest obstacle

1. Stay Detached – Never Rescue

The emotionless detachment of Queen Victoria as she yelled “off with his head” seems a bit cold and callous in this current era of pity loves a party, but in the world of helping, healing and coaching others, it’s an essential skill. Two stressed people don’t make one happy one.

There’s order in the chaos. Of course your coachee cannot see that, otherwise they wouldn’t need your help, but if you can’t see the order in their chaos, you will drop into rescue, and that means, you’re useless.

Coaching someone else is so much easier than coaching yourself. It’s hard to see the clarity of your own circumstance but relatively easy to see the clarity of someone else’s. This leads to a communication challenge. What if a person wants coaching but doesn’t want to hear the that they are the cause of the problem?

2. Respect the Shell.

People put up all sorts of shells to protect themselves from emotional, mental and physical stress. Sometimes, as a coach, you come right up against those shells as identified in suggestion #1, when a person doesn’t want to hear the clarity you have to offer them.

First, don’t force it because just like when you get a massage and the therapist pushes a muscle too hard, it causes a knee jerk rebound from our autonomic nervous system which ultimately blocks out the possibility of a healthy exchange. Second, let go, detach yourself, sometimes it’s really important to put your hands up and say, sorry, can we address this another time. And finally, respect the shell in as much as a when a person is ready, the teacher they need appears, and if you would love to be that person, teacher, coach, learn to be patient.

3. Silence is Powerful

The courage to not say something is far greater than the courage to say it. Sometimes it requires a heart of gold to sit and stay silent when, through blame, victim, story or anger a person takes themselves into super heated and uncoachable spaces that challenge us to up our own tempo to meet them at that space.

Losing your cool, getting agitated, feeling annoyed or frustrated is the coach’s own stuff, nothing to do with the client, so sometimes the client is the teacher, rather than the other way around. If you’re struggling to shut up, then it’s because you’re rescuing, and trying to be right, righteous, and afraid of a no result, nil all, soccer score. Don’t be, the nil all draw, is a win for the most confident individual, and isn’t that, ultimately what a person is reaching out to a coach for, to get their self confidence about choices?

4. If they didn’t ask for it, and aren’t paying for it, verbal advice isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.

My fees range from $100 to $5000 per hour. I don’t charge a fixed fee. You do the session then pay what feels right. That will depend on your budget and the topic and my value add. But it must be something.

We have friends, family, colleagues, uncles and all sorts of associations that will tell us what we want to hear. The worst of all is your spouse. Coaching on the other hand is a completely detached, objective, non involved, helicopter perspective (mine’s universal) of your circumstances and how to navigate to feel good, be good and do good. (your definitions, not mine)

5. Blame is your biggest obstacle

Without a shadow of doubt, blame is the enemy. Blame the culture, the economy, your partner’s parents, your city, your piles, whatever: blame gives power to the very thing you blame.

If you didn’t cause it, then you’ve typically put the load of change onto something you don’t totally control. You do control you. So, blame you. And besides, if you do blame you, it’s 99.99999999999% probably true.

Coaching is a gift we give. It’s not about saving people from themselves or from experience, it’s about sharing our experience which can, if digested, save time.