I am comfortable knowing that my individual way of coaching, mentoring and helping others is very effective and I realise that it's not so much HOW you get there with a client, but that you DO get there in the best way for them as individuals and in a way that equips them better for the future.
THERE ARE NO PERFECT CONSULTANTS, THERE ARE NO PERFECT COACHES & THERE ARE NO PERFECT THERAPISTS
But congruency and positive intent must always be prerequisites for success
Over the last few years I have encountered or heard stories of many less than competent professionals - those coaches who seemingly set out to exploit their clients or deliver a substandard service for what can often be a big financial commitment from the client's perspective. Please feel free to follow the link here to learn more about my own personal opinion on the shortcomings of the coaching and change-work profession(s). I also have been very fortunate to have met with, studied with and made friends with, some of the best coaches and therapists in the UK and overseas and it is their levels of rectitude and competency that assures me that the problems I have highlighted are not entirely inescapable or too widespread.
What it does mean though, is that if you are a client seeking the services of a coach, mentor or therapist, it is advisable to thoroughly research who and what you are getting, whether that person is right for you, whether you are right for them and whether they have what you need to achieve your goals, reach your objectives and help you develop you personally and professionally. I hope I am the right person for you, a growing number of clients seem to think so, but the simple truth is that no coach, therapist or consultant is perfect for everyone. What the following is, is an outline of how I have evolved as a coach and therapist, the way I personally work with clients and an honest overview of what to expect when working with me:
Let me say from the outset - I am not entirely conventional. Many coaches 'assume' the role of coach and conduct themselves in a way that is very typical of what is expected of the profession but not always conducive to working effectively. The reason is people's problems vary, people vary and sometimes unconventional personalities and problems require a flexible approach to getting the best results. That said I am not entirely nonconformist or unorthodox, merely that I do not allow myself to be bound by the rigidity of a certain training bias, or model of working at the expense of the client.
Following on from this, the next thing you need to know is that I will always take practical solutions and common sense over anything else. That in itself would seem common sense, but the number of coaches and therapists that put clients through unnecessary appointments and processes because they 'always do a set amount of sessions', or 'you should always give a client what they expect' - quite frankly is simply disturbing. If you're doing something that isn't helpful or could do something that would be, I am absolutely going to tell you. The rigid framework in which some coaches (and therapists) work means that the client may have to invest in another session or two to discover for himself that which is glaringly obvious from the outset and may be corrected by adding or removing a simple behaviour.
This leads into the discussion about the industry having to define exactly what it is that a client requires; do they need coaching, do they need mentoring, do they therapy or do they need business advice(consulting). I find some of the coaching books and websites laughable because they put as much effort into defining and differentiating what coaching, mentoring, counselling and consulting are as they do in coming up with tools or practical and workable solutions for clients. In terms of defining what my role is - I may be any or all of the above depending on what I agree with the client best suits there needs. My training, knowledge and experience means that to a greater or lesser extent I can always add value whether in the capacity of coach, mentor, therapist or giving business advice in areas in which I am competent.
Taking this one step further (and bracing myself for a collective gasp from some quarters of the personal development industry), if I am pretty sure that a client needs to be told something I will tell them. The reason being - I have wasted too much time, ultimately at the expense of positive results, biting my tongue and going through the motions, when what the clients really needed was some honest, straight talking and a large dose of reality. Some don't thank you for it and wont come back, but in terms of reputation or results you wont be compromised either.
That's because it is important to be congruent with the approaches you are using with clients in your sessions. In fact, I believe congruence and honest intent are the cornerstones of effective client work, just as much as knowledge, understanding and expertise. I wish I could be 100% effective, 100% of the time but the fact is I am not and nor is anyone else (and if anyones tells you they are that successful RUN LIKE THE WIND!). What I do know is that I only will use methods and models that I am congruent with and apply in good faith together with a genuine and positive intent to be as measurably effective in terms of results and money as I possibly can.
Yet even with all of the assurances of diligence, integrity, openness and commitment I can personally give a client, there will be times when I expect the client to take ownership of the process and commit to doing what is necessary even when this may occasionally conflict with what they want to do in the short term. Invariably it will likely prove fundamental to their overall success, but this may not necessarily mean that they are willing or prepared to immediately buy into what is asked of them. The short response to this is that without a valid reason, refusal to do simple tasks, exercises and adjustments to behavioural is non negotiable. If you aren't prepared to do the work - find someone else.