A Subtle Yet Vital Coaching Principle

Here’s a coaching, facilitation, teaching (and marketing) tool that I live by:

It is vitally important to reveal yourself, your imperfections, your not-so-great outcomes, and your not-so-happy qualities to your clients, students and community.

The transformational industry is FULL of gurus who seem picture perfect. They have “perfect” businesses; they apparently learn their lessons very quickly; they apparently don’t make mistakes; they apparently don’t really have sh*t happen to them

This is damaging to their communities – and specifically to their clients.

Because as a coach or practitioner, if you don’t consciously reveal your imperfections to your clients….they can make the mistake of believing that things happen perfectly for you.

And that essentially means that you become, in my opinion, a very, very dangerous role model.

Because no one is perfect, no one’s business is perfect, no one’s health is perfect, etc.

But your clients believe that if you – their coach or leader – don’t have frustrations, don’t have obstacles, don’t have hardships, that they should be able to attain it too.

And that’s a setup for failure, for frustration, and for unhappiness.

When I am with my clients and students, I never hesitate to share about my not-so-great moments, my not-so-great launches, my not-so-pretty feelings (yes, I get jealous and negative sometimes!), and my sweaty armpits (always happens when I facilitate!).

Of course, I share only when appropriate and only as much as is necessary to make the point: that I am human, just like my client is human, and we are bound to have imperfect lives and businesses. And this is as it should be.

When we are coaching or facilitating, we need to remember that when we show that we struggle with some things, that things don’t always go according to our plans….we are giving permission to our clients to not be so hard on themselves, to not be so self-judgmental, and to not think something is very wrong with them because they haven’t achieved enough.

This is the ONLY way real growth can happen. And this is the ONLY way real movement towards goals can happen.

And quite honestly, this is the only way real self-love can deepen (& I believe that at the core of ANY coach’s or practioner’s job, this is one of the most sacred).

When I train practitioners in Sacred Depths Coach Training, we spend a full module just on how to support clients through the Myth of Perfection. In addition to the inner work tools I share with my coaches on this, I also always share this important principle:

Remember that when you are someone’s coach, teacher or facilitator…you also bear the responsibility of being their role model. And being a role model doesn’t mean showing up as an image of perfection.

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