Coaching. Are you serious?


One of the things I like about coaching is some of the conversations I have with people. The conversations are always interesting, but at times can be sad as well. This week I had an interesting and sad conversation with a potential client.

So, its early morning and I am filling out resumes online and I get a phone call. The call is from a gentleman in his late 20’s that says he wants to start a coaching program to, in his words, “get my life in order”. My first thought was that sounds great, but knowing how people are, I dig deeper.

So, I ask him to describe his current situation. He was underemployed (working part time but had a two year degree), living in an apartment with three room mates and just had just broken up with his girlfriend. He was frustrated that he wasn’t able to find a job in his field of study and, again using his words, “wanted to feel fulfilled and have a better life”.

I thought to myself, so far so good. I can work with him to get where he wants to be in his life. Knowing that some people aren’t ready for the coaching process, I continue to dig.

I ask him how he spends his time. He stated that he stays up late drinking and playing online games and gets up just in time to go to his shift at work. Then he comes home and does the same thing. He says he loves the fact that he can do this and maintain his job.

So, now I am very concerned that he was serious about making changes to help himself find a job in his field of study. Since I have a little test on here that shows a persons commitment to the coaching process, I pull that up and go over it with him. His score on the test was 18, which is in the range of not being able to be coached.

Let me share some of his answers, which are the answers/excuses of someone who although they see a problem aren’t ready to accept responsibility and make changes to have the life they say they want.

  • Question 3, I am willing to do the work and allow the coach to do the coaching. His answer was that he didn’t see a need to change anything in his life. Even though he wasn’t doing anything to get a job in his field of study, he wasn’t going to change and try to find one.
  • Question 6, I am willing to change behaviors that limit my success. Same answer as question 3. Even though the staying up late at night drinking and playing games was preventing him for his stated goal, he wasn’t going to change that.

So, I thanked him for his call and explained that coaching at this point would be a waste of time and money. The whole coaching process is predicated on changing yourself to the person you want, and that includes changing your behavior. He wasn’t pleased that I wouldn’t coach him, but until his philosophy on changing his behavior changes, there is nothing I can offer him.

The saddest thing to me, as a coach and a person who loves to see people succeed, is that he is wasting his talents and life just floating by in a self absorbed haze. He is old enough to realize the effect of his actions on his life, yet doesn’t want to be accountable.

You are free to choose but the choices you make today will determine what you will be, do and have in the tomorrow’s of your life.
Zig Ziglar

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment.

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