As a coach, have you ever thought “Who am I to…?” Fears like this show up when you take the smart step of focusing on one unique tribe of people — a niche market — and begin to put the word out that you can help them get where they want to go. The underlying thought is: “How can I charge for this if I haven’t accomplished for myself the things my clients want to accomplish!” And then you fall into a spiral of doubt and start back pedaling.
I hear you. But keep moving forward by embracing your beginner’s mind.
In any new job, career or business direction there is the absolute necessity to be new, untried and unproven at first. You are required to be a beginner and learn from doing. There’s no shame in it.
In fact, a fresh perspective is THE POINT of coaching.
Dance in the Moment
Coaching isn’t about knowing. It is about coming to sessions without a plan, “dancing in the moment” with your client. It’s about drawing out their wisdom and facilitating shifts in perspective and new approaches to problems, processes and desired outcomes.
These are the true skills of masterful coaching:
- active listening
- active witnessing
- active curiosity and
- asking powerful questions
In fact, coming in with a lot of knowledge can actually override the most sacred thing about coaching – the client’s agenda. The paradox is that there is no one right way to do anything and it’s best if the solution is your client’s idea, not yours. There’s no need to know what your client knows. And there’s no need to know what your client doesn’t know either.
So ease up on yourself here and trust that YOU CAN DO IT!
It is true that over time you do become an expert on your niche market – the unique group of people you serve – because you’ve coached individuals in that “tribe” long enough to witness the patterns. But it’s so important to stay open minded for diversity, for surprises. That’s why staying fully present is much more valuable in coaching than coming loaded with the answers as a consultant.
The Secret of the Sacred Six
Here’s a secret… personal and professional developmental growth is facilitated by the same set of things no matter what the territory or topic. Coaching is about helping clients to:
- Remember and honor their personal values.
- Vision for what they want most.
- Uncover and move through fears (in a spiral rather than a direct line from A to B).
- Leverage strengths and uncover possible obstacles.
- Up-level mindset, environment, skills, courage, commitment and motivation.
- Think through milestones and take active steps toward what they want most.
Rely on the “Sacred Six” and you’ll realize you are primed to help people on any topic.
What are your thoughts about this? What did I leave out — is there a sacred 7 or 8? What has helped you accept and even celebrate your beginner’s mind? Share any comments here and also share this post with your colleagues if you think they would appreciate it.