There are Life Coaches that will tell you that coaching is easy.
Coaching people is rewarding.
Never a dull moment.
But it’s certainly not easy.
The hardest part is not the focus though.
It’s probably not even question asking or rapport building – even though both are crucial.
Equally, focus is a skill that you need. One that will alway require fine tuning, but there can be an even harder part.
Slipping Back Into Old Habits
A few months ago I was talking with a client and she was stuck.
I peppered her with questions.
She was right there with me, but I noticed I fell back into an old habit of helping her instead of letting her dive deeper into her ideas.
It’s a common mistake, but the more you coach the more you begin to understand when to help a client reframe or dig a little deeper to uncover some personal gold.
I asked her whether she was ready to start her own business.
I jumped in and asked, “How much do you think you need to start?”
We All Make Mistakes
Insert forehead slap here.
She immediately began to talk about savings and costs and we got off the topic of actually starting the business.
Then last week I asked the client the same thing.
I was about to step in again and caught myself.
She went down a path I didn’t expect.
She told me about her father’s business. Her voice picked up and I could hear the passion.
As she talked and as she continued to tell me the story, I knew she was ready. She didn’t need to come right out and say yes or no.
The Hardest Thing About Being a Life Coach
It’s the ability to know when to talk and when to listen and not to say anything that is the hardest part.
It’s hard because not only are most people uncomfortable with silence but we are also hardwired to want to help and offer solutions to problems.
But helping comes in many forms.
Sometimes letting the other person put the pieces together is the best help we can give.
This especially goes for coaching.
It’s not like having a conversation with a friend.
In fact is often the antithesis of having a conversation with a friend.
Coaching people is about guiding them through their own discoveries.
They have to understand what they need to do and more importantly, really want to do it.
This comes through understanding the right techniques and of course a lot of practice.
I still make this mistake every so often (and speaking with Tim, I know he does too) and when I do I always regret it.
What do you think is or would be the hardest part of being a successful coach?