The Harmful Side of Coaching

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Those of us in the coaching business may be doing some harm, notwithstanding our good intentions.

Here’s why.

Our advice can erode your confidence

As a group, you are highly intelligent and very sophisticated. Yet, much of the advice bandied about makes it appear that you are the one who needs guidance in your lives.

I’m guilty. I write about how you can be happier; how you can have more fulfilling relationships; and how to conduct yourself at meetings with prospects and clients. I’ve told you how to dress, including the importance of your shoes and accessories. I’ve given guidance on how to make a positive first impression, what your gestures convey and why conveying information is more critical than conveying it.

Others in the coaching business have discussed your role as a “life coach,” whether you should e-mail or call your clients, how to fire clients...and the list goes on.

I fear the cumulative impact of all this advice is to convey that, without us, you’re somehow lost and incapable of conducting yourself in a competent, professional way.

I’m also concerned the tsunami of advice flooding your inbox is eroding your self-confidence. Much of what we are saying is common sense. Without us, I’m sure you would come up with it on your own, learning from whatever mistakes you’ve made.