Part 1 of this article examines some of the more subtle ways coaches can become controlling in their coaching. And – there are two sides to this coin: Your clients can also get caught in the dynamic of control.

Surprised? Consider what happens in a coaching interaction when your client:

1)    Is needful and wants you to give the answers.

2)    Comes into the coaching already looking for an exit. They aren’t “all in.”

3)    Uses story to keep from being present and connected in intimacy

4)    Repeatedly allows the distractions in their lives to get in the way of the coaching

Any of these sound familiar? If you encounter any of these patterns, remember:

Control is a form of armor used to create a sense of security.

Have compassion, for yourself and anyone else when controlling behavior shows up. Use this advice from Thomas Leonard to help avoid getting caught in controlling behavior :

Put people ahead of results.

Also, remember the power of vulnerability and authenticity. The opposite of control, they are also hallmarks of masteful coaching. 

Brene’ Brown speaks to this beautifully:

Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.  

 She also says: Authenticity is a practice and you choose it everyday.

Lovely wisdom, yes – but how to live into it?

How do you, Coach, open your huge, generous heart, dare to be vulnerable and authentic – and powerfully out of control –  so you can serve your clients more deeply?

1)    Give yourself permission to be a work in progress, even in your coaching. Hold your humanness gently, with compassion. It’s powerful  modeling – and a gift to the world when you embody this energy.

2)    Focus on the learning first – your client’s as well as yours. This will shape your curiosity.

3)    Distinguish between compassion for and protection of your clients.

4)    Choose to give yourself access to the energetic resonance that you want to live into. Give yourself regular doses of the energy you want to embody by accessing the people who hold that energy for you.

5)    Choose to be all in to your own journey and you’ll see your clients mirror this. Notice how being all in can challenge your vulnerability.

6)    Practice finding the beauty in what is so you’ll have more capacity to be with what is vs. try to change it to mitigate pain.

Am I advocating that we all relinquish all control? Heavens no. But I am advocating for finding the freedom, intimacy and power available when we do let go, if just a teensy bit more.

In celebration of your daring to be  powerfully out of control,