The Dark Side of Life Coaching


What to Avoid

With a Life Coach, everyone does better. Athletes have coaches for a reason, so do executives in business. We all do better when we are accountable to someone for change, for the results we are striving to achieve. Life Coaching has become a very popular choice for people who want to lose weight, prepare for retirement, get finances in order or even develop a new skill in art or music.

Life Coaching is about helping people lead themselves so that they achieve the results they desire.

What should you avoid when looking for a Life Coach? Here are four flawed coaches to avoid:

1: The Insecure Coach.

Insecure coaches withhold information because information is power. Control the information and you control others. Great coaches understand that empowering others, sharing information freely, is the path to setting others up for success. The coach knows where to direct the client to get the information needed to move forward. The coach is a curator of knowledge, knowing where to direct the client for the best resources.

An insecure coach attempts to make the client dependent by withholding information. Information is power, so the insecure coach thinks that once the client has the information, the coach won’t be needed anymore. The insecure coach, driven by a fear, weakens the client by making the client dependent upon the coach for information.

Insecure coaches fail to realize that empowering others, giving them the tools for success, helping them find the best information will develop leaders who will send other clients their direction. Young leaders will not develop under an insecure coach, they will only learn to be forever dependent and unable to think independently. They are hobbled by an insecure coach.

The goal of a secure coach is to help the client to become an independent thinker who embraces new ideas and risks, who is secure enough to share information with others in the organization.

• Pastor Ron Edmondson says when you have a controlling leader, leaders leave, followers stay, and the organization stalls.

• “You can have control or you can have growth, but you can’t have both.” Craig Groeschel.

• A secure coach has the client’s best interests in mind, setting them up for success.

2: The Critical Coach.

A coach needs to have a “critical eye” to see what needs to change. But there is a fine line between having a “critical eye” and having a “critical spirit.” Anyone can have a critical spirit, pointing out what is wrong. It doesn’t even require a high IQ to see what is wrong.

A coach certainly must point out what needs to change, yet without a debilitating critical spirit. Focus must also be given to what is right. No one wants to be around someone with a critical spirit for long.

A critical coach means well and they genuinely want to see results and change. But critical coaches produce insecure leaders. Not wanting to be criticized, the client begins to second guess themselves, fearful of being criticized, this leader refuses to take appropriate risks required to move forward and therefore gets stuck. Critical coaches produce insecure leaders whose growth is stymied as they fear becoming the subject of future criticism. Critical coaches create a climate of fear that is unhealthy.

A secure coach shows people what they did right, then shows them what they can do better.

3: The “Happy Talk” Coach.

This coach keeps the conversation generic, not wanting to “poke the bear,” and confront unhealthy character traits in a client. This coach will put a Band-Aid on a broken bone, because they are unwilling to do the painful deep cleaning necessary. A wound must first be cleaned before it can be properly dressed, leading to healing and health.

When there is a problem to address, the great coach must be willing to move toward the issue and have a clarifying conversation. Until there is honesty there will be no health. Without honesty, even God can help someone to heal.

When a coach is generally afraid of confrontation, it becomes a major liability in helping the leader grow. Without clarifying conversations, the leader will not know how to improve or what to do to grow. The result is that the person stops growing and developing. If the coach doesn’t care to be honest, why should the client care?

“You can’t correct what you are unwilling to confront.” Craig Groeschel

4: The “Bail Out” Coach.

A “bail out” coach rescues the client by providing solutions to every problem. They feel responsible to fix things for the client. This is “enabling” the client to be dependent upon the coach, not learning to problem-solve for themselves.

You see this in families where the parents rescue the children from the consequence of bad choices. Because the child doesn’t reap the consequence, the child never learns to take responsibility for decisions.

Only when the coach stops rescuing will the real growth begin. The great coach will let the client fail on the road to ultimate success. Leaders develop best when they learn from their mistakes.

I know that I have handicapped others, because I had a solution for every problem and I have weakened other leaders when I haven’t allowed them to own the problem, having to wrestle with finding a solution.

What kind of coach are you looking for?

By | 2017-10-06T20:51:53+00:00 September 29th, 2017|Leadership, Pastors|Comments Off on The Dark Side of Life Coaching

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