Coaching: Ends, Means, and Foundation

Inspired by Mike Myatt’s (@mikemyatt) “The Problem With Coaching“…

Mike elegantly explores the coaching landscape and offers how his clients view him:

“most of my clients simply view me as their closest personal advisor” … “capable of delivering a blend of personal and professional advice” … “able to play the role of ambassador, emissary, influencer, coach, facilitator, expediter, lobbyist, buffer/shield, crisis manager, negotiator, publicist, strategist, tactician, mentor, consultant, counselor, collaborative thinker and in some cases partner, based upon what the client needs” … “good advisors make things happen and get things done at the behest of their clients for the purpose of enabling the accomplishment of anything ranging from a single task to a lifelong goal.”

Furthermore, Mike concludes:

“I don’t really care whether the client is aided by mentoring, teaching, training, counseling, coaching, consulting or a mix of all the above – I just care that they receive real results.”

The complete post is well worth a read!

Mike heightens awareness:

“There is a real elitist attitude that pervades the industry which tends to be process oriented rather than client oriented. … Let me be as blunt as I can – coaching is not about the coach, it’s about the client. It’s not about the process, it’s about results. It’s not about definitions, it’s about people.”

The Ends: Coaching is about real results to clients (and their people).

Mike continues:

“Coaching is about delivering what the client needs – it is not about a cute set of questions you picked-up during a certification class … with the aim to help clients shift their perspectives on an issue or ambition, and thereby ‘discover’ different solutions and options.”

The Means: Coaching is about focusing on client needs (and their people’s needs).

Mike continues:

“A coach needs to possess the experience and track record to be whatever the client needs them to be, and to play whatever role will add the most value to the client. Coaching isn’t about esoteric definitions, scripted questions or canned processes. Rather it’s about having the time tested experience to make a difference. If as a coach, you don’t have the experience to guide someone through the varied contextual nuances and situational complexities that exist in any business environment, then you have no business pretending that you do.”

The Foundation: Coaching is not merely founded on “experience”, but breadth and depth in (and context of) time-tested experience that will make an impact (and deliver results).

With all due respect, there are far too many charlatans — and its clients who suffer the most — as Mike explains:

“I have had more than a few engagements that have come about as a result of the need to repair the carnage and devastation that occurred from the implementation of advice put forth, or the ideas generated by a well intentioned yet unqualified ‘coach’.”

Is the “coach” you are working with more focused on making things happen and get things done or more focused on themselves (than you), a process (than results), or definitions (than people)? This is explicitly why we have long used the phrase “Results Oriented, People Centric, and Context Aware“!


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