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Episode 118: Should Coaches Tell Their Clients What to Do?

How can coaches provide guidance and input that centers your client while prioritizing the partnership and respecting the client's autonomy? Today I’m sharing best practices for sharing thoughts and ideas with clients and how to course correct if you land in one of the common pitfalls.

118: Should Coaches Tell Their Clients What to Do?

When a client asks you for your perspective, and you withhold or respond in a way that's not client-centered, that can seriously compromise the partnership and erode trust. Early in my coach training program, it was drilled into us that coaches don't tell their clients what to do.

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Show Notes

When a client asks you for your perspective, and you withhold or respond in a way that’s not client-centered, that can seriously compromise the partnership and erode trust.

Early in my coach training program, it was drilled into us that coaches don’t tell their clients what to do. I took that very seriously, and when clients would ask me for my opinion, I felt paralyzed. I didn’t know the right way to respond.

Fast forward to today; in the six-plus years that I've been a coach, I’m often asked this question in some form or fashion.

What role should helping professionals play with their clients when it comes to giving advice, sharing strategy, or just flat out telling their clients what to do?

Today I’m talking about best practices for sharing thoughts and ideas with clients, the four common pitfalls coaches make, how to course correct in a way that centers the client, and my six tips for successful sharing.

Topics covered

  • Why this topic falls in a gray area
  • How my internal critic was keeping me small on social media
  • Distinguishing between the role of a coach and a consultant
  • What we can learn from the International Coaching Federation (ICF) Core Competencies
  • Sharing client-centered observations, insights, and feelings
  • Why a mindfulness practice can help us become better coaches
  • Inspiring growth in our clients
  • The power that comes from creating new learning for yourself
  • Why practicing non-attachment is a valuable skill for coaches
  • What to do when a client asks for your perspective
  • Six tips for successful sharing in a coaching relationship

Resources mentioned

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TRANSCRIPT

 

Well, hello, my friend. Welcome back to another episode of the Coach with Clarity Podcast. My name is Lee Chaix McDonough, I'm your host, and I'm so happy you're here with me today. Because we have something very important to talk about today. And that is whether or not coaches should be telling their clients what to do. I will be honest with you in the six plus years that I've been a coach and then the 15 years before that, that I was a therapist, this question repeatedly comes up in some form or fashion. What role should helping professionals play with their clients when it comes to giving advice, sharing strategy, or just flat out telling their clients what to do? In fact, a couple of weeks ago, I made a video for TikTok, and then I shared it as an Instagram Reel, all about the issue of coaches telling their clients what to do. And that short video, it was like 15 seconds, but it received more comments, more engagement, more feedback than almost anything I've ever created on social media. So clearly, this is a hot topic. And I knew that a quick 15 second video would not be nearly enough time to go into the nuance behind this question. Because that's the thing even though I phrased it as a bit of a yes or no question for the purposes of today's episode title. It's not really as simple as it being a yes or no question. There is some gray area around this. And so that's why I wanted to take an entire podcast episode to talk about it. 

 

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