When I first became a coach, I did so because my own life had been so transformed that I wanted to learn more about the science and art behind what I had experienced. Through being coached, I had made exponential growths in awareness and non-judgement. The philosophy of coaching came naturally to me and I hungered to marry my innate gifts with the bleeding edge science, research, and methodology. I was confident in my potential so I chose a great school and I humbled myself as a student to the ‘game’. I learned, partnered with clients towards life-changing results, and observed my industry.
As a woman, there are a lot of resources available to me in the personal development sphere. Most life coaches are women and market to women. That’s fine. And I do coach some very powerful women. But I put my neck out that I think powerful results necessitate detached involvement. It’s easier to bring detached involvement to my clients, while still providing a distinct perspective as it serves their agenda, when I am not ‘teaching them to be’ something that I already am (what a lot of male men’s coaches claim to do). Research backs me up:
Timothy Gallway, one of the earliest and most influential pioneers of coaching, used to host The Inner Game of Tennis training camps to train athletes in mindset. One of these training weekends was so full he had to take coaches from The Inner Game of Golf to sub in with the tennis coaches. To be clear – coaches who had never even played tennis were now mindset coaching elite tennis athletes. And do you know what happened? The coachees of the golf instructors had better results than those that were coached by tennis coaches. Better than people coached by people like them.
Gallway, and later Sir John Whitmore, attributed this success to the greater ease of non-judgement and lack of desire to ‘show’ and ‘teach’ that the golf coaches had compared to the tennis coaches. The golfers created a space for the tennis-playing coachees to find their own mindset, own answers. Their own power.
A lot of coaches might focus on how they’ve ‘been there, done that’. Might say they have been through the same type of ‘business problems’ or ‘life stages’ you’re going through. In fact, coaches who are like you, who are going to give you a ‘formula’, will limit you. Coaches who have answers are dangerous. Coaches who have curiosity are transformative.
Personally, I trust the wisdom of what was proven on those tennis courts, because it mirrors my own experience. The most powerful coaching I have received has been from the coaches who have suspended their ego so that we could connect as two individuals. Two people stripped of labels and expectations and ‘shoulds’. And, it is exactly my not-knowing, my disinterest in your ‘story’, my distance from your day-to-day perceived reality, my separateness from your trenches, that helps me to partner towards transformative results for my clients.
You know what else? I love men. I love masculinity. I love competitive spirit, aggressive passion, and driven mindsets. Coaching men is fun for me. And if you’ve (link to) watched some testimonials, you’ll see it’s been fun for those men I partner with, too. 🙂