Ep 206 – Is it Okay for Coaches to Teach Their Clients?

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Episode Transcript

Have you ever wanted to teach your clients what you know to help them take leaps in mindset and action?

This episode covers concerns related to that idea and smart ways to include training in your coaching business so you can earn more.

It’s also a follow up to episode 175 called Should Coaches Know More Than Their Clients? That episode is a different angle about this topic.

Coach, Do You Have Knowledge Capital?

I’m the Teacher Archetype. There’s nothing more natural for me when I face a challenge than conducting my own in-the-field study and then creating my own curriculum or guides to help others overcome that same challenge and succeed at specific things.

In my work history, I succeeded most by teaching even though that wasn’t in my role description. When I managed people, I taught them. When I worked as a Marketing Director of a small laboratory, I used educational marketing to sell the services.

And I’ve just realized that I got along best with supervisors who were willing to teach me.

Not long after I became a coach, I was asked to write coach training curriculum and teach other coaches how to coach at Coach Training Alliance. I wrote an educational blog for coaches for 8 years called Prosperous Coach Blog and created 3 online training programs – all about the business side of coaching because I felt that was far more difficult than the vocational side.

So, that’s why I say I’m the Teacher archetype. It’s been my way for a long time.

And I love to help other coaches awaken their Teacher Archetype and then create their own methods and training curriculum or guides to work with their clients.

It’s smart to have your own knowledge capital as a coach to help you attract clients and raise your credibility. You can charge more for your services because there is a real system and structure within your offer.

It’s natural to discount what you know that might be valuable to others. The thought is: “Well, this is so easy for me.” But it’s important to realize that what’s easy for you might be an area of struggle for others. And something that people struggle mightily with is always a good clue to a powerful niche.

The exciting thing is that it is not difficult to create your own techniques, procedures and innovations related to a big problem your target audience faces. That’s knowledge capital!

And I encourage coaches to draw from their own genius as much as possible. It’s a way to stand out. And it feels good!

But it’s also a potential way to have additional income streams.

Now listen, as I’m talking about this, if this idea makes you uncomfortable or worries you, don’t let it! You may prefer to be a pure coach and learn from OR use other people’s training when you work with your clients. That’s your way and there’s nothing wrong with it.

But if you are intrigued and can see in yourself that teacher archetype, what I’m sharing may open many avenues for you.

Let’s remove the barriers around this first.

3 Ways to Ethically Teach Your Coaching Clients

Coaching and teaching are two different skillsets and approaches with only some overlap.

The hallmark of pure coaching is asking powerful open-ended questions that draw out the wisdom of your client. There’s nothing better than a client arriving at their own solution from coaching.

But some complex things are more appropriate for the teaching approach.

Would you teach within a coaching session? Probably not. If you have sold your coaching as coaching then that’s exactly what you should deliver. Keep it clean and co-creative.

But you could bundle teaching and coaching together into one program. And, in that case, the teaching would come first and separately from the coaching sessions. That’s how you keep the coaching part ethical.

So, let’s say you have 20 years of experience in corporations where you have excelled through team leading. It’s likely that you have amassed a bunch of smart mindsets, habits, skills and systems around team leading. You might think it’s nothing special but it is!

There are corporate leaders out there that are not good at team leading but it’s part of their job description. Imagine teaching those individuals small bits of what you know through various guides you create and then spending session time coaching them around their team-related challenges.

Can you see how having the guides would help them take bigger leaps in their abilities?

Another way is to provide the training as guides or online training and then have the coaching session be focused on the client’s challenges related to that piece of training. This does set the agenda for the client but gives them some leeway on topic.

The third way is to create a training program and sell that program separately and then offer an upsell of private coaching sessions your clients can add on. I have a VIP client right now and we’re working on an offer like this that fits her target audience and niche beautifully.

By the way, when I help coaches to choose a smart niche, we take into account their archetype and their potential knowledge capital. It influences who their target audience could be and what to build their niche around. It adds gravitas to the coach and their coaching business.