Life coaches are called to learn that a client may pick you, but you also have the reciprocal right to pick the client back. Or not.
For the benefit if a co-creative dynamic, which is crucial in a good coaching process, it is imperative that both coach and coachee are welcoming, engaged and willing to work within a partnership that fosters communication and a desire to explore options in an open-minded capacity.
Personalities matter, of course. Not all coaches are a good fit for all clients. I am not saying they must sing along or laugh in unison throughout the session. I love diversity and different points of view are powerful sources for awareness. But their basic alignment lies on a flow of ideas bouncing with the same energy level and on the same page of an agreed book. A book club where participants read different books is probably not going to work so well. Both client and coach are ultimately working for the client’s goal achievement and growth, but for that to be successful, they must play nicely together.
And let’s not also forget that the coach’s professional satisfaction is important too. Taking any client may be a short term profitable choice, but it might prove to be an ineffective strategy down the road.
It’s a little bit like tennis. Leaving the competitive aspect and scoring aside, the best matches to watch are the ones where the ball stays in play for the longest time. The coach usually talks much less than the client. But the exchange must match in mutual respect and collaboration disposition.
There are many reasons why a coach-client relationship may not be a great fit. Personalities, thinking processes, personal preferences, and even the need for a different type of professional.
That’s one thing I learned. People are looking for their ideal coach, but we, as coaches, also have to be mindful that we also get to decide who our ideal clients are. It’s fair. And best for everyone in the long run.
And that’s why I always offer a complimentary sample session, so we evaluate if it is a good deal for me and my prospect. It’s like tasting the wine before buying the case - it saves time, money and increases the chances of a beautiful outcome.