Coaches are terrible in business and especially in marketing and branding. Including me.
To our defence coaching schools teach us brilliantly in coaching techniques, but completely ignore the business part. With tons of excuses. My assumption: they do not know themselves. So, I said it! Now you can prove me wrong.
The best that my coaching school could offer was: reach out to people, show what coaching is and watch what happens! For first it does not sound SO bad. And it is kind of OK while you are studying and polishing skills, but it is definitely not enough if you want to feed your family with your business. And just imagine how it would go if someone at a supermarket would offer you a food to try without explaining what it is. Life-changing experience!!! Oh really? Thank you, I will pass.
So poor freshly baked skilled coaches try to stand out with adjectives like “goal-oriented” or “transformative”. Can you imagine a teacher or dentist to market themselves like that? I am bold to state that every professional service provider changes my life and how I experience it. My dentist, my internet provider, my car dealer – all of them. And if it is not my goal oriented then I go to do my business elsewhere. Dear colleagues, those adjectives does not help to market you.
So what to do with coaching?
Two years ago I had no clue. I made so many mistakes and you patiently witnessed that…
I tried what my coaching school was suggesting, I cross-searched the internet, I paid for training in groups and 1:1. Now two years and many invested €€€€ later I can share following:
- It is a service just like one provided by a hairdresser or dentist. Do not write or market what they would not write or market.
- Look up the definition of “teaching”. OK, I did it already for you. Here is one by Oxford Learner’s Dictionary: “Teaching is the work of a teacher.” another from Wikipedia: “Teaching is the practice implemented by a teacher aimed at transmitting skills (knowledge, know-how, and interpersonal skills) to a learner, a student, or any other audience in the context of an educational institution.” Any questions?
- Created foolish ads as closure of two years of frustration.
I tried things, I learned what is not OK for me and how I don’t want to appear. If it works for you – great!
I decided to have a coaching boutique. It is small, unique and not for everyone. I work with IT leaders-to-be because it supports my bigger life goal. I help them to become managers who make life changing work experience for their people. I pour my soul into this.
Kris, but what is coaching?
Today (23.3.2023) I see coaching as a loving relationship towards coachees enhancement in their chosen domain. Following aspects are crucial for it:
- Loving relationship means a lot of support, but also letting go. No pushing! No knowing-better.
- Loving relationship also means highlighting blind spots and telling the hard truth.
- Beginner’s mind
- No matter how skilled a coach is, when they sit down in a coachees seat, they need a coach to guide them. Critical thinking, learning and reflecting you can do alone. Coaching – always with another person.
And there is something more. I am not sure yet if it is crucial or recommended: it is better if the coach has little experience in the coachees enhancement area. Coaching is not mentoring (“do what I did and have success similar to that I have”). It is easier for a coach to let go and keep a beginner’s mind if they really know very little about the topic.
It may sound crazy to you. Imagine someone guiding you to build a spaceship without knowing engineering or physics. But if we think a little bit how innovations happen, then exactly that would be an answer.