When Coaches Take Cash AND Credit

There is a danger to being a coach. Sure, your client might badmouth you, or you spend so much time on the road you become statistically more liable for an incident. But I'm not talking about these kinds of danger. I speak of the dangers of the heart.

Of course, coaching is a noble profession. A coach is often paid to ask the right questions at the right time in the right way to the client to allow her to gain insights into her own situation. Certainly, this helps her to clarify her own problems and generate solutions.

A good coach will remain highly-conscious throughout the coaching conversation to listen to the structure of what the client is sharing. Then, the coach analyses and selects the next question that will help her think deeper.

When the client reaches a block, most often an emotionally intense "I don't know", the coach clears the path by having her think out of the box and gather more information for the next conversation.

Finally, when the client comes to the powerful conclusion, "I got it!" and starts profusely thanking the coach out of gratitude, the immediate effect is the coach realises the role he played. Well done.

Then, he begins tracking his clients and gets good reports of their improvements in life, performance or business. In the beginning, a sense of pride in the client gives the coach meaning in his work.

Then, one day, a shift happens, and the coach begins to believe that every success of their client is now their own success. The pride OF the client is now pride FOR themselves.

It's a dangerous feeling you won't want to give up. It gives you importance, validation and an inflated sense of self. That's the day a coach becomes worthless; when he becomes nothing more than a person asking questions.

Of course, the coach played a part. True. But so did the parents, loved ones, business partners, bosses and friends of the client. Together, they too, helped her to succeed.

But when a coach thinks that, "She's successful because of me", he takes credit for being nothing more than the key in the ignition of a car that traveled from Perlis to Singapore.

"The car went a long way because I started the engine".

Truthfully, if the client wasn't willing to drive the car, take the risk of driving that far, put in the effort to stay awake throughout the journey and continue deciding to drive instead of stopping or turning back home, there would be no success for a coach to claim at all.

It's alright to claim we sparked an effort. A coach has a challenging job to guide her clients towards clarity. Not everyone has the patience and perseverance to do it, and a coach's role is important to catalyse that change.

But please, if you were the passenger, never claim you were the driver.