This year I’ve been lucky enough to spend a lot of time working with, observing and being coached by some of the best coaches on the planet.
This is my take on what makes an outstanding coach.
1. They know you don’t need them and they tell you that… They know that you have everything you need to live your life in the most joyful, peaceful, healthy and prosperous way. The only job of a coach is to help you see that for yourself. This is about clarity never dependency.
2. Often they won’t believe what you are telling them… and they will let you know that in no uncertain terms. That story about how you can’t do the thing you have always longed to do? Meh. Your description of yourself as weak or incapable? Not buying it. They know that well-being, health, joy and creativity is the essence of who you are. However enormous the problems that you bring to them seem to you, they can show you how to live from that true essence. There is nothing to fix. There is just thinking to let go of.
3. They couldn’t care less what you think of them… They know that we have no control over what others think. They know that we never even really know what other people think. So why waste time on trying to guess when you could simply be connected to and loving someone whatever they say or do.
4. They aren’t interested in your past… They know that we can only experience the past as a memory in this present moment and that memories change as our consciousness changes. Regrets about the past are only useful in how they inform what we want to do right now. Stories about the past are only useful in showing us how much more useful a new story would be.
5. They aren’t overly interested in your future… They know that in trying to control and pin down a version of how things should be we miss out on the intelligence and insight that comes in the present moment. They care deeply about helping you to recognise the place of peacefulness, connection and acceptance from which you will transform your life. Where you are coming from matters infinitely more than what you are doing.
6. They live in a tent… or a ten bedroom mansion in Eaton Square. Or anything in between. They ride a bike or a Ferrari or something else. They earn enough to get by or enough to buy half of Wales. They know that money and wealth is only what we make it mean and that they can create (and help anyone else create) the wealth and lifestyle that is exactly right for them.
7. They are divorced… or single or happily in love with their childhood sweetheart. Whatever their ‘relationship status’, they come from a place of love with everyone in their lives. They understand that how we perceive other people is a reflection of how we perceive ourselves. They have such deep love and acceptance of themselves and everyone else that it shines out to the world around them.
8. They have no idea how to advise you… Should you leave your spouse? Change job? Move country? Start a course? A great coach knows that only you know what is right for you. Their job is to help you distinguish between deep knowing and all the shoulds/should nots fighting it out in your mind. The coach will help you relax into the place where you simply know in your heart the right thing for you to do. They help you find your deepest inner purpose and live from there.
9. They might laugh at the most tragic story in your life… and if they do you will be laughing too. They bring a lightness to the stories we have about ourselves. They live their life from the place of infinite creativity and playfulness. They create anything they want to and they know that all of it is made up. You find yourself grinning at the wonderful ridiculousness of it all.
10. They are angry, confused, irritated, scared, jealous… They own and accept their humanness. They notice and even love the fact that sometimes they get caught up in thoughts or beliefs and they willingly share those stories with their clients. They know that thoughts come and go and they make it their life’s work to do what they want to do regardless of what their thoughts are saying.
11. They only have one client… you. When you are with them it is as if you are the only other person on the planet. The intensity of their focus and their pure recognition of your innate potential and magnificence takes your breath away. You know you have an outstanding coach.