A few months ago, after years of participating on Facebook, I felt compelled to leave. There is lots of data supporting why Facebook is not a healthy connection, including stories of the leaders of these data giants not letting their children use the network. But before I go further, let me also say that I’ve seen positives for Facebook connections. Many up and coming coaches have shared with me that they’ve made connections with other coaches and that has created a supportive network for them. That’s fantastic, and I’m thrilled. I’m also going to continue to be a part of our private Facebook Group that is part of our Community of Coaches. That is an important group that I am happy to participate in. But otherwise, I’m getting off and here are three reasons why.
Last year there was an internet meme (is that what it’s called?) about how Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos earns a gazillion dollars a second (approximately) while some Amazon employees struggle to get by and others rely on food stamps because they can’t make ends meet on what they earn. The contrast was meant to vilify Bezos.
Maybe Bezos is a bad person. I don’t know him and cannot speak to his character. But I do know one undercurrent of the meme is bad: the notion that a person’s income is somehow an indicator of their worth.
People declared (rightly) that Bezos is not inherently worth more than one of his employees and certainly not a thousand times more worthy. But they wrongly assumed that the mammoth income gap somehow contradicts the basic human conviction that we are all created equal.
A fatal mistake for a coach is to hear the client’s topic and assume you know how to proceed. The topic needs to be held lightly. It is your first glimpse of a mystery, and you don’t even know what aspect of the mystery you’ve observed.
Many analogies come to mind.
Ninety percent of an iceberg is below the surface. Another name for iceberg is ice mountain. You cannot assume anything about navigating near an iceberg until you’ve mapped what is below the surface. It may be flat and wide, or it may be long and deep. It may have a limb jutting out into the water that will puncture whatever proceeds its way. To navigate the iceberg, you must be prepared to dive into cold deep waters and carefully explore what has never been seen in the light of day.
Maybe all of your coaching clients are “eagles” – they set goals, work hard, never quit, and live with an awesome level of intentionality. Good for you; you can stop reading now.
For the rest of us, we have clients (as well as that person staring at us from the mirror) who struggle to clarify goals, follow through, stay motivated, and avoid distraction. Normal humans wrestle to make the most of life, which is why coaching is so valuable. So what can we coaches do to help our clients (and ourselves) soar like eagles? Well, short of transforming everyone into a walking billboard for Tony Robbins, we can support our clients in establishing small, meaningful habits.
Habits are the secret sauce of success.