When I was going through my early stages of coach training, I was convinced that it was me. In fact, in my Supervision calls in Certification, I got a rating of a “1”. This is when the Supervisor and I would listen to one of my coaching calls that I did with one of my clients, and then we’d evaluate it together.
I can tell you, it was horrible. I loved the Supervision part of Certification because it was a great place for me to learn, and after having brought some difficult calls to the sessions, I decided on that one because I felt that I had done some fantastic coaching and was ready for a little pick-me-up and affirmation. Yet, when I listened to it again with the supervisor, I realized that had done everything wrong with my client. I coached the saboteur, I was so stuck in my head and trying to solve the problem. Let’s see, what else? I certainly didn’t pick a principle, there was absolutely no listening, curiosity, or intuition. And self-management? Puh-leaze!
When it came time for the scoring, I actually gave myself a “0”. The kind and generous Supervisor gave me a “1”, only because it didn’t seem that the client was worse off by the end of the call. In other words, at least I didn’t damage them. (Comforting thought it was.)
So after that experience, I was convinced that I was the “Worst Coach In The World.” And in fact, I was convinced that no one would be able to take that title away from me. Oh sure, there were other coaches who said they were the worst, but they couldn’t hold a candle to my incredible ineptitude. On top of all that, my Saboteur was very proud of this achievement and missed no opportunity to remind me of my coaching status, placing my awards high up on the mantle, polishing them every day, like a proud parent, “Look at that. My boy. The worst coach in the world! Not every Saboteur can brag about that.”
And it didn’t end there. In fact, I received my second gold medal of “Worst Coach in the World” when I took my exam. I didn’t just fail, I FAILED!!!! Again, the saving grace in my feedback was that I at least hadn’t damaged the client. (It’s not every coaching session where the client actually stops the coach and tells the coach what to do because the coach is completely somewhere else and doing anything but coaching.)
And every time after that when I offered my coaching, I secretly new that it was just setting myself up for another refusal to come, because of course they had to have known about my trophies. They could probably see my crown. I imagined that total strangers would be phoning each other in the middle of the night to warn unsuspecting victims to not fall prey to the “Worst Coach in the World” when I called to offer my coaching. And if they did accept, then it was at their own risk and they would eventually find out that I was a fraud, a sham.
However, strangely enough, time passed. And somehow, after a period of time I seemed to have misplaced my trophy. The luster and novelty of it all had worn and my Saboteur seemed to have forgotten it’s gloating pride. I began to realize that not only was no longer the reigning champion of coaching sucktitude, I was actually pretty good at this stuff. And in fact, getting better all the time. I was accumulating proof, not of my poor skill, but of my powerful impact.
What’s even funnier is that because I now coach coaches, I keep running into coaches all the time who claim to be the reining king or queen or coaching misery.
So I’m wondering. Who is it now? Where has the title gone to?
Perhaps you think it’s you. But remember, there can only be one “Worst” so perhaps you’re mistaken. Maybe you are super sucky, you’re part of the royal family of crappy coaching, but you’re not the Worst.
In fact, I challenge you to write down 10 coaching successes. 10. Anyone can do ten. Even if you fell asleep in Fundamentals you can come up with 10.
And if you can come up with 10, then you can easily expand that to 100 in time, and then more and more. And if that’s the case, then there’s still hope for you yet.
Perhaps you can sell your trophy to the next “Worst Coach in the World” on Ebay.