I know I’m probably not saying anything new when I remind you that our coaching is all about the client’s agenda.
On the other hand, there is our own agendas to consider.
Yes we all have agendas. I know that you’ve likely been trained that the coaching is all about the client’s agenda and that we aren’t supposed to have any. And as wonderful and idealistic as that may be, it’s actually only partly true.
The coaching is all about the client’s agenda, that’s true. But we also have our own agendas. Sometimes plenty of them.
Whether it’s wanting for the client what they have come for, or doing a good job, or justifying our rates, or looking good, or being liked… heck there’s agendas a-plenty if we just take a moment to notice.
So going under the assumption and belief that we don’t have any is just going to set yourself up for sabotage and failure—cause at some point your own coaching agenda, the one that you weren’t aware of, is going to jump in and take over the conversation.
And then the coaching will be pretty much done for.
And before you say, “Well, I’ll just not have any agendas when I coach. I’ll just get rid of them,” let me clarify that you can’t. You can’t get rid of your agenda. Nor should you. You are always wanting something from the coaching or for yourself or for the client or for something else or from something else or whatever. You will always–I repeat ALWAYS—have an agenda.
So you might as well learn how to manage it properly, and perhaps (dare I say?) use it to your advantage.
Because while it is true that the focus of the coaching is centered on your client’s agenda, when you have an Awareness of your own agendas, then you can consciously, intentionally and purposefully either set it aside or use it to support your client’s agenda. But this way, you’ll be managing it properly, rather than having it come in and dominate when you aren’t prepared.
Think of it this way.
You hold your client’s agenda in your right hand (assuming that your right hand is your dominant hand. For all those lefties, and I know plenty of them, then of course I mean that you would hold your client’s agenda in your left hand. I don’t mean any disrespect, nor is it intentionally going with the majority. It’s really because I’m not sure of the other term—your “dominant” hand and your, what? “Submissive”, “Un-dominant?” “Lesser”, “Weaker,” “Non-dominant?” This could get a little messy. I know, I’ll simply write RIGHT/LEFT for your DOMINANT, and right/left for your NON-DOMINANT. How’s that?
In any event, if you’re reading along, I’m sure you’ll get the point easily enough. So back to the point.)
Imagine that you’re holding your client’s agenda in your RIGHT/LEFT (DOMINANT) hand. Like when you hold a sword, a utensil, a pencil, a ball or anything else that you would typically hold in that stronger hand. You are able to be much more articulate, more detailed, more specific, more focused in your work with the object in that hand.
In your other (left/right) non-dominant hand you might hold a shield (for protection), or a dagger (for extra poking), and eraser (for correcting errors) or a catching mitt (to catch) or anything else that can be used in support of whatever activity you’re doing.
You hold it rather loosely. You often don’t even refer to it. But it’s there, easy to access, should you need it.