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Coaching Leadership Personal growth

Just what I needed — a kick in the rear!

I am working with a new coach to help me with my marketing strategy. And he kicks ass! For real.

The other day I got on a call with him. Exchanged a few pleasantries and got right back to business. He asked me if I was able to take out time to do the “homework” assignment. I said I did it but didn’t really “put pen to paper.” So, everything’s in my head.

He stopped me and said, “Sunil, I don’t think this is going to work. My time is valuable, just like yours, and you must do the work you committed to doing. I don’t care if you hate me for this or don’t want to work with me, but we can’t go on if you fail to keep your commitments. So, I recommend we cut our call short, so you have time to think about our conversation today and take steps as appropriate.”

I apologised. 

It was my fault. 

I had to own it up. 

We schedule another time three weeks from the day, and I promised to get working on the assignment as I’d committed.

After the call, I went to the assignment and good grief! I did do the work but didn’t remember doing so! I recalled the points from anther call with some other team coaching call. I felt like such an idiot! I deserved the tongue lashing — not for being unable to do the work but for doing it and not remembering.

No mercy for stupidity here. I should’ve known better. I didn’t do the preparation required for the coaching call. I did what most lousy clients do — show up, without any preparation. And one of the mistakes I’ve made over the years is to have mercy, give them the benefit-of-doubt, and went ahead with the coaching session.

I now realise that doing so isn’t fair to either of the parties. And I’m also encouraging this bad habit of not doing the work by letting them off the hook. That’s not as effective as drawing the line as far as your expectations from the client are concerned. I mean, why not? Wouldn’t they fire you if you’re not meeting their expectations? Why make an exception for them?

Of course, this isn’t an eye-for-an-eye strategy. The main point is that as a coach, you have to be working with clients who want to put in the work, else it’s just a drag. And boy, I was only one of these clients to my coach. I’m just thankful for the powerful reminder on what’s expected from a client.

Right now, I feel lucky to be working with two outstanding no-nonsense coachings for the rest of 2020. I’m pretty sure it will be an eye-opening experience as a client and also a fellow practitioner. I’ve already learned an outstanding lesson when it comes to managing my clients. And I’m pretty sure there’s so much more to come.

Like they say, “who you learn from matters.” 

Who do you learn from?