Coaching Reflections

What is a good coaching relationship?  I think the best is one where both members of the relationship gets something out of the relationship.

One of the most interesting is a relationship between someone selling services and a potential customer who might need his services.  Often the salesperson has valuable talents and experiences that are of real value to the potential customer of the services.  The salesperson has much to gain from developing a trusting relationship with the customer.  Each person can gain value in spending quality time with each other.

I recall a seminar by David Maister who talked about building long term realtionship versus going after the quick sale.  He used the metaphor of a one night stand versus a marriage.  I think all of us in the consulting business seek the long term realtionship.  All of us are willing to invest time helping our potential client achieve his goals because we know a successful client will lead to opportunities to to business.   This relationship fulfils the requirements of both parties deriving benefit from the relationship.

There are also other examples.  For example a priest or minister strives to help people grow spiritually and a person who seeks ot help in growing spiritually  creates an allignment of goals.  They have potential if they can develop a trusting relationship and an open dialogue.  The agenda of the spititual director however should be clear because sometimes their agenda is simply to convince the person of one point of view. 

Harvey, one of my mentors and coaches, believes that helping another person was its own reward and he really practiced "casting your bread upon the water" and it will come back to feed you.  I hope some of my readers are familiar with that old saying.  He was a great example of a selfless coach.  I am afraid I have never been able to achieve that ideal but do welcome the opportunity to help others.  My agenda often is that the person will succeed and be grateful of my help. 

I recall something my father shared with me after he had retired. He said that on reflection he was more proud of the people he had helped over the projects he had done because of the multipling effect of helping others.  You help one person he helps others, they help others and lotsof  people are helped.

Harvey certainly created many people who reached out and helped others.  Funny though, some people did not trust Harvey and always suspected his motives. 

Again it emphasizes the importance of trust and shared agendas in a productive coaching relationship.

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