Serve the Person, Not the Goal

As an actor, my biggest thrill is standing on stage in front of people. I love the energy in the room and the anticipation of what will happen next. 

I receive that same rush of excitement as a coach when my clients experience a breakthrough. It's why I'm a coach, and it's what you should get out of a good coaching partnership. 

But just because breakthroughs are the goal doesn’t mean that I’m supposed to focus on finding them in every conversation. In fact, just the reverse happens – if I’m trying too hard to ask just the right question or create the best experience, I’m more likely to miss the mark completely.

If I’m trying to impress you with my magical coaching skills, I’ll almost certainly fail.
But if I focus on you, then the real magic happens. 

I'm Not Here to Impress You

Have you ever met someone who was obviously trying really hard to get you to like him? Did it work?

It's natural to want to be liked by people. We have an inborn need as humans to belong, and part of belonging is feeling accepted. But something surprising happens when we focus on being liked: it nearly always has the opposite affect.

In our search for belonging, we employ an honesty filter. We constantly judge whether other people are telling us the truth so that we can safely invite them into our space. When someone is trying to impress us, we sense the dishonesty (or, inauthenticity) and tend to reject them instead.

Why is trying to impress perceived as inauthentic?
Because it's all about ME.  

As a coach, if I'm worried about you liking me, then I'm thinking about ME. You're paying me to show up for you, but instead, I'm paying attention to myself. 

I can't lead you to the results you want if I'm worried about how impressive i am.

If I am concerned with outcomes, then I’m looking for ways to manipulate our conversations to get there. I’m listening for ways to tell you what to do.

But if I’m focused on you, then I’m free to show up in that moment. I’m listening to you, not speaking at you. When I do that, I can hear what’s really important. I can hear what you’re not saying. I can explore with you instead of direct the path for you.

Coaching Isn't About Me

As a coach, I'm tempted in a million ways to worry about what clients think of me. I can worry about:

  • asking the right questions
  • creating the right solutions
  • providing the best value
  • giving an exceptional experience 

Those are excellent goals to have for a coaching partnership, right? I want to do my job well and have you experience success. 

But in coaching, if I focus on goals - no matter how valid they are - I miss YOU. And YOU are the reason I show up in the first place.

Are you looking for support?

I serve mission-driven leaders and their teams, freeing you up to do the work that matters with less frustration and more confidence. 

Because I am committed to giving generously, serving powerfully, and holding nothing back, I engage in a limited number of coaching partnerships each year. I am currently accepting inquiries for 2018, both for 1:1 leadership and team coaching. Email nicole(at) or set up a free call to explore possibilities. 

I created the 30 Days of Ease and Intention to serve a wider group of inspiring leaders through personal exploration and weekly small group calls. This virtual retreat for your soul will run from January 8- February 6, 2018 and help you ease into a new year of feeling calm, confident, and in control.

Registration for the 30 Days of Ease and Intention is open until December 20, 2017 but any purchases made by November 28 will allow me to give 20% to help fight sex trafficking on #GivingTuesday.

Want to know more about any of these opportunities? Click below and let's chat!