The Reality of Coaching: Part 1

The other day, I was asked to write a testimonial for my chiropractic coach so he could post it on his new website.  At first, I thought about keeping it short and just brag him up, talking about the success I have had with him. Then, I realized that's what everybody would do when giving a testimonial.  So, for seven minutes, I not only spoke about my coach, but also touched on the importance of finding the coach that is right for you. When I first started in practice, I could not afford a coach but I knew I could not afford to do it alone. Thinking about my first coaching experience made me realize what is at stake when choosing a coach.  To me, the question has never been whether or not I needed a coach. Rather, the question has always been who should be my coach.

I feel very strongly that any coach should support YOUR goals and not try to push his goals or ideas on you.  In other words, make sure you can define what success is for you and do not let any coach try to define it for you. This is about YOU achieving what YOU want, not what your coach wants. Too many coaches try to pigeon hole their clients into doing what they did in order to be successful, imposing their values and definitions of success. never taking into consideration the unique personalities, desires and values of their clients. This is the basis for a toxic coaching relationship and they all end the same way.

The Coach: feels resentful of the time and energy he invested in this client.  The coach is frustrated that his client did not implement everything he proposed and does not feel his client respects him. In other words, he is taking it personal. Afterall, these ideas and strategies are what worked for him and made him successful. Anyone who does not see it his way must not want to be successful and does not respect him. Does this sound like a power trip to you?

The Client: feels guilty that he could not replicate the same level of success his coach achieved when he was practicing. The client also feels guilty not feeling comfortable doing and implementing his coache's ideas and strategies. The client also does not feel he has been listened to and is frustrated that his coache's recommendations do not take into account his values as a person and a chiropractor. At this point, there is also buyer's remorse and many times, feelings of failure and depression.

The Break Up: Breaking up with your coach often brings on the same anxiety you had when you broke up with your first girlfriend or boyfriend in high school.  It is awkward and you don't know how your coach will take it. Many times, it is like firing a staff person you knew had to go a long time ago; once it is done, you feel like opening a great bottle of wine and celebrating.  

Has this ever happened to you? Just me? Off course not. I have a philosophy that everything happens for you, not to you. If you have experienced a coaching break up after a lack luster relationship that fell way short of your expectations, know that it can be the best teacher. You need to dig deep into your sole and see how this so called "failed" relationship served you on many levels. This sole searching often reveal answers that help you further identify who you are and force you to evolve as a human being. You may no longer call it a "failed" relationship, but a blessing that made you grow.

So how do you stack the odds in your favor that your next coaching relationship will surpass your expectations? Stay tuned for part 2!

Dr. Clayton


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