Hiring a coach, especially the first one, is a big deal for most people. It’s exciting and also a little bit scary because you’ve probably just written a large check and are expecting the coach to push you out of your comfort zone.
To be sure, when I’m talking to a prospective new client, I can sense that mix of nervousness and excitement on the other end of the phone. And it won’t surprise you to hear that the most common questions I get are about how much I charge; what I will do to help them hit their goals; and how I will hold them accountable.
As a new coach, I was happy to take on a client and work to hold them accountable. Eventually, I learned experienced coaches understand they aren't really the ones holding clients accountable; certainly not in any meaningful or lasting way. These days if accountability is all a client wants, we have to part ways. In other words, I've had to fire clients who continually expected me to perform some magic trick so they would remain accountable to their own life.
So, when should a client fire a coach?
Someone I worked with 10 years ago, who is not currently a client, called this week and asked that question.
My answer was not slanted with an agenda to convince her to leave the coach she was questioning and come back to work with me. In fact, what I told Niki might surprise you.
If you currently have a coach, or dream of hiring one someday, this week's message should put into perspective how long you'll want to keep him or her around.