A coach needs to know your biggest fears and drill into your deep secrets…so why am I telling you to keep your distance?! Why shouldn’t you know your coach at the same level you know your best friend?
You want your coach to be your best friend, but you don’t want to be theirs! Why?
I have been working with coaches myself, if you want to grow (doesn’t matter in which area) you need someone that can push you to your limits, pull you out of your lows and be honest with you.
A coach also needs to be someone to look up to. Someone we (you) admire, someone we want to be like, someone that has accomplished what we want to accomplish. Anyone can be a mentor, coach or inspiration to us, as long as they are not less accomplished in the subject we’d like help with. Am I right?!
Now where am I going with this?!
I had to learn first hand that we never should know about our coaches personal struggles going on right now…
I had an amazing coach and he is a big part of why I am where I am.
And then this happened:
As you maybe know, I lost my husband to cancer in 2014. I know grief, denial and the emotions you go through losing someone. I don’t know just my journey but I’ve also seen a lot of others handling this experience in their own way.
And I heard how my coach was handling the unexpected loss of a family member.
I don’t know the full extent, we didn’t talk that much about it, but those 5 minutes scared me off.
I felt like he’s denying his own pain, sounding like he’s taking an approach to work through this that I don’t believe to be a good one.
And there is the problem!
It doesn’t matter how my coach handles that situation. The simple thought of him not being able to deal with this, locking it in a box instead of working through it, spark those pictures in my head of someone broken by grief. That person I envisioned him to become made him drop from the “I want to be like him” to “Oh my God, no”
Within just a few sentences the whole relationship shifted and I couldn’t imagine him anymore being able to get me where I wanted to go.
What makes a great relationship between you and your coach?
Your coach is like your lawyer – they need to know everything. They need to know those small details that make you think will make them think you are crazy. They need to know about your uncontrolled emotional burst outs. They need to know the full YOU. That is the only way they can help you, the only way to give you the tools you need to accomplish what you want.
In the same way, your coach needs to be a mystery to you. You don’t need to know about their failings, or about their struggles. In fact, you shouldn’t, because it can very easily change your relationship from one of trust and admiration of them to one of judgment, or even worse, one where you no longer trust that they know what they’re doing. Maintaining a professional distance will be of far more benefit to your business than having a close friendship with your coach.
A little Update:
This post started a great conversation in one of the Facebook Groups I am member off, Savvy Business Owners and some things came up that made me want to clarify a little.
I am not saying your coach or consultant needs to be impersonal, not at all.
I believe keeping the balance between tickling out what they / I really need and want, guiding them / me along the way to finding answers. (yes, I am on both sides of this story: consultant and client)
BUT, I personally hire a business oriented coach / consultant to get some of their insight.
Meaning I DO want their opinion!
And just like in every conversation we have in business, leave out politics, sports and the struggles you are going through right now 😉