Clients ask me all the time if coaches hire their own coaches. I’ll give you the answer now: it’s Yes, No, and Maybe! Yes, all three! As a coach I can’t tell you what the answer is for you because you need to discover the answer inside yourself.
In Part 1 of this discussion, I’ll talk through the reasons for YES!
Before I explain these three points of view, let’s briefly clarify the difference between different “coaching” relationships you may have experienced before.
Coaches vs. Consultants/Advisors vs. Mentors
Many people get confused between these relationships so I’m going to start by clarifying the differences:
We invest in coaches to help us discover the answers inside ourselves. Coaches don't lead you on a predetermined path but instead will help you to discover the path to the answer you want.
For example, when I show up to work with a client, I come from an unbiased place to help my client come up with their own answers to really explore and process their emotions. However, occasionally a topic will come up that is very tender to me. For example:
In both these situations, the coach may have personal opinions and emotions about the topic and needs to work extra hard to ensure they don’t impose their own views and beliefs on their client. That’s a prime example of why a coach needs a coach: So they can work through their own crap so they can better help others!
Here’s why coaches need coaches
When you hire a coach, you want a coach who is stepping into their own greatness too! If they spend all day focusing on helping other people, who’s there to support them? Their coach!
Coaches need coaches so they can:
Coaches can better help their clients when they too are growing. As their clients grow, their level of coaching needs to up-level with them. That’s why coaches are more than just “trained”. Many are Certified Coaches, PPC-level coaches, or MCC-level coaches. Their clients’ ability to change and grow depends on the coach’s ability to coach.
As a coach, if you’re not growing with your clients, your clients may surpass you and seek someone else to work with who has the right abilities to help them thrive.
Getting a new perspective
When I get coached by other coaches, I'm put into that client perspective, and I get to receive, but I'm also hearing the way they coach. I'm noticing some really cool things about the art and skill of coaching by watching how others do it. I’m adding to my tool belt.
For me, I like to learn by the experience of being coached by different people. No matter your profession, it's important to play the student or client role once in a while to stay grounded. When I work with my own coaches, I'm reminded what it's like to do the work. It’s my chance to be vulnerable, to be pushed, and have these experiences.
It's so much cooler to say to a client, “Hey, we're going to work on your life purpose statement. And this is mine,” because I was actually coached through that process. Or I can say, “As your coach, I'm going to help you to meet your future self. I've also gone through that experience, because another coach has taken me through it.”
If you’re a personal trainer it makes sense for you to create your own exercise programs. But because of the nature of coaching, it's really hard to create your own coaching session for yourself. Coaches dance in the moment, deciding our next question based on the last answer.
What happens in coaching is we go up and around, and then we have to go back and then we come in, then we go in a straight line forward, and then we jump back and then we go really deep, and then we come up so it's all over the place! It’s difficult to truly coach yourself because you can’t be in two places at once. You can’t give the questions and then answer them.
You can liken it to one of these scenarios:
I love this quote from Les Brown. I don't know how many times I have been in the frame and couldn’t see the bigger picture because I was in it. And the crazy thing is, the answer was right in front of me. But I kept going around. And then sometimes the answer became even more clear, but I still felt lost.
It wasn’t until one of my coaches said, “Well, isn't it this?” that I realized it was right in front of me. We are often blinded by our own beliefs, thinking that things need to be bigger or more difficult. Yes, I’m speaking to the perfectionists who think that if it’s not hard, it’s not worth doing. If this is you, take a step back, outside of the frame, and look at the bigger picture.
Getting the accountability
Coaches feel compelled to serve others, and often other people's agendas take precedence or other people's needs take priority. And we all, regardless of our profession, get reactive to what's coming in our emails. We get reactive when seeing new opportunities, and let go of our own goals, dreams, and wishes.
As coaches, we need to have someone hold us accountable and just say, “Hey, you need to get this done!” After all, if you don’t believe in yourself, hire someone who does. Hire a coach who actually believes in you and can help you push forward.
But this isn’t the whole answer to the “Do coaches need coaches?” question because there are times when coaches do NOT need a coach themselves. Check back next week for that answer.
Until then, stay dynamic!
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