Too busy to read this blog...well, I’ve got your back, friend. I’ve recorded an audio clip so that you can listen to it easily.
Regardless, the industry is booming. And what I’ve started to notice is the vast difference between the way people coach (and lead).
I know, I might be a nerd. But I grew up playing competitive sports. With that, I’ve gained my fair share of coaching and mentoring experience.
I’ve also experienced many styles of coaches and leaders: some amazing and some not so much. So, I’ve always been interested in how to get the best out of your people, whether that’s employees or clients.
And the thing I keep coming back to is the deep desire to empower my clients (and team). Now don’t get me wrong, I am not perfect in this regard, but it’s the one thing I value the most.
Because I truly believe that every one of us brings something valuable to the table. Every one of us deserves to be seen and heard. But what I’ve noticed in the coaching space is this need to maintain the hierarchy.
Things like, “I’m two (or 20) steps ahead of you, and I’ll continue to remind you of that” or “I want to help you once, but keep you needing me forever.”
If I’m sincere, I don’t want my clients to stay with me forever. I don’t want them to need me forever. I believe this creates and attracts ‘needy’ energy.
Clients that have trouble making decisions for themselves or blame you when they don’t get the results they want. This happens because they put so much responsibility on you to get them what they want. In reality, their success (or lack thereof) is up to them.
But from the perspective of seeing the benefits of surrounding themselves with like-minded people, they empower each other to get what they want. And to know they are fucking worthy of receiving it.
I don’t think you can achieve that when there is a hierarchy in the relationship. When your clients ‘feel’ behind or like they are always looking up to you for the answers. This positions them in the ‘lack,’ which breeds more lack and neediness.
But I get why we coach this way. We’ve been conditioned from an early age to look up to our mentors, teachers, or leaders.
Parent > Child
Teacher > Student
Boss > Employee
No wonder, as online experts, we maintain this hierarchy. But I believe the hierarchy that we’ve created disempowers people. When we place people below us, for whatever reason, they are immediately a step down (or behind) looking up at us.
And they hang on to our every word as gospel, instead of relying on their own inner knowing and truth for guidance. And it creates the illusion that someone is more powerful, knowledgeable, and valuable (or needed).
It creates codependency. The notion that if our clients figure things out, then we aren’t needed. If they decide to do things differently from what we’ve shown them, what value do we bring?
I was recently working with a client that reflected this very thing to me. She hired me to write a large piece of content for her business. So, I dove in as I do and started writing.
But pretty quickly into our working relationship, she asked if we could take a more collaborative approach. She wanted to write some parts of it and bounce ideas back and forth.
Initially, my ego started to chirp, “you’re not a good writer; that is why she wants to take over, and eventually, they are going to realize they don’t need you.”
Here’s the thing, my client is a phenomenal writer and amazing storyteller. But she was struggling to get the work done. The value I brought to her wasn’t my ability to write her content. The value I brought was support. Having someone to talk to and share ideas with.
It wasn’t me telling her what to do. She knew exactly what she wanted to do. She just needed support. Someone who understands what she’s trying to achieve. Not me all high and mighty claiming my expertise, and therefore, you should listen to what I have to say.
Plus, my client being a good writer doesn’t take anything away from me. But when we position ourselves above our clients, we create the illusion that we have something to lose.
If they create massive success, somehow they won’t need us anymore, or if they reach new heights in their lives or business, it will take away from our expertise.
That’s the illusion of hierarchy. It’s the “I know better because I’ve walked this path already.”
But the thing is, everyone's path is unique. Yes, you can share your wisdom, but it’s up to your clients to make the decision that best suits them at the end of the day.
That is why my purpose and mission is to create communities where we walk together, shoulder to shoulder, as equals. I’m driven to empower entrepreneurs to own their power and stand in it strongly. Knowing that their power, brilliance, drive, commitment, and expertise takes nothing away from me.
In fact, the more we empower people to own their worth and claim their spot at whatever table they choose to sit at, the better off we will all be for it.
I share more ways to build a successful business and the REAL journey of entrepreneurship in my weekly emails. If you want to sign up for a dose of truth in business, click the link here.