There are good coaches, there are great coaches…
And then there are extraordinary coaches.
An extraordinary coach inspires and influences clients and all those around them to bring their best selves to the table…
An extraordinary coach facilitates consistent breakthroughs for clients and opens their hearts and minds to what is truly possible…
Then leads them so they can find their way to lasting change and an aligned purposeful life.
This is the kind of coach that all other coaches aspire to be.
In fact, this is the key reason why many coaches choose their profession.
What could be more fulfilling than knowing you’ve played a part in helping someone achieve their dreams?
But being an extraordinary coach is no small feat.
It requires more than run-of-the-mill coaching tools and techniques that you can find in a book or receive from a free training.
An extraordinary coach gets to become one by doing things differently.
Some of the best coaches broke the “rules” of coaching and created new paradigms in the industry.
I’ve had the privilege of working with some of the world’s best coaches and I’ve had an insider’s view on what sets an extraordinary coach apart from every other coach.
Here are 3 “rules” to break if you want to be an extraordinary coach.
Break This Rule: Be An Optimist
There’s a thin line between being optimist and being someone who insists on seeing something that isn’t there…
And it’s fundamentally dishonest – and destructive – to see things that aren’t there.
In coaching, this is sometimes mistaken as “seeing the potential” in someone. While this is a great thing to do, you also need to begin from a place of truth and fact.
For instance, let’s say your client is looking to become exceptionally good at managing her time within a session or two.
It may be tempting to try to get her to see her hidden potential in being a time management ninja and then become her “cheerleader” to motivate her into taking necessary actions that will give her control of her time.
This is the method many coaches fall back on but it’s not what extraordinary coaches do.
Extraordinary coaches are realists first and optimists second.
They are able to see what’s possible but they’re also grounded in what’s actually happening in the moment.
Going back to the example…
You’ll need to keep the ultimate version of your client’s best self as the time management ninja in your mind and in hers but you need to get down to brass tacks right away.
Look at where she is now. Look at who she is now. Is she the kind of person who can hardly bring herself to look at her Google Calendar?
If so, you need to get real with yourself and with her.
Find ways to maximize the skills and options that she does have rather than go for the ultimate version of her best self right away.
This could include acknowledging that she may need to hire an assistant to create a schedule for her instead of trying to do it herself.
Being a realist will help you come up with clear, practical and actionable steps for your clients.
It’s the only way to create real results…
And for extraordinary coaches, it’s the only thing that matters.
Break This Rule: Just Ask Questions
Just about every coaching modality centers around the question and answer method.
Traditional coaching methodologies preach that no matter what the client is going through, no matter the challenge and obstacle, the client already has the answers within and it is the coach’s duty to get this answer out into the open by asking the right questions.
There’s nothing wrong with this premise except that sometimes, it just doesn’t work.
There are going to be times in your career as a coach when you will need to rely on other strategies to get to the root of the issue and set your client free from whatever’s troubling her so she can achieve her goals.
A client who is “stuck” in a detrimental mindset may need a little more than the “question and answer” method to get them out.
Extraordinary coaches don’t stick with questions. They routinely offer suggestions, techniques and other resources to get their clients out of a rut.
And their clients are grateful for it.
Break This Rule: Maintain a Safe Distance
Like doctors, coaches are often advised to mentor and guide the client but to not get “emotionally connected” to them in any way.
It’s good to maintain a professional distance outside your coaching sessions but very often, the most powerful and permanent way to help a client is to connect with them on an emotional level during a session.
A clinical approach or tough talk may work when you need to lead a client out of a meltdown moment or when you feel the client is in full on self-sabotage mode.
But sometimes, you’ll need to position yourself in your client’s shoes and look at the world through their eyes.
You’ll need to practice compassion and move beyond a cold, coach-client relationship to truly make a difference and get through to them.
Extraordinary coaches do this when they see the need to help clients overcome seemingly impossible obstacles and rise to become their best selves.
That’s one of the reasons why they’re extraordinary.
Even if you’re just starting out as a coach, you have the capacity to be truly extraordinary when you are focused and determined to achieve world-class status.
Always remember – rules are there to help and to guide, not to limit and to confine.
As you gain more experience, you’ll learn to trust your instincts and intuition over hard and fast rules and this sometimes means breaking a few of them.
It’s what extraordinary coaches do.