Coaching: It’s All About Hearing the Truth You Don’t Want to Hear


Recently I was on a panel with a client of mine. We had been coaching for about 12 months when we were invited to talk about our coaching relationship. She started the discussion by saying, “Linda was my second choice as a coach.” Everyone in the room laughed at this!

Then my client continued. “I had interviewed another coach prior to meeting Linda. I loved the other coach. There was great chemistry. During the interview with Linda, she made me very angry. It was on a Friday, and I was angry all weekend. I was stewing because I knew that the first coach would become a good friend, and that Linda would help me get where I wanted to go.”

This is not the first time this situation has occurred. I remember another interview several years ago. That gentleman was so angry that he said he didn’t even want referrals from me to other coaches. He’d find them himself! Several weeks later, he contacted me again and said, “I’ve interviewed 4 other coaches, and the voice I keep hearing in my head is yours. You told me the truth I didn’t want to hear.”

If you’re going to work with a coach, find one who

  • Will tell you what you don’t want to hear
  • Will say what no one else is saying
  • Will not let you get away with….
  • Holds you to the highest of standards
  • Causes you to look at different perspectives
  • Believes something bigger/better/more effective is possible
  • Holds up the mirror again and again….and again

Work with a coach who will tell the truth that you need to hear, so you can be the person you know you can be.

10 thoughts on “Coaching: It’s All About Hearing the Truth You Don’t Want to Hear

  1. The truth can often sound harsh to the person hearing it but if you cannot see your reflection in the mirror, then how will you know that there is an acne bump that needs to be addressed?

  2. Pingback: Coaching: It’s All About Hearing the Truth You Don’t Want to Hear « chrisantrim

  3. Directive coaching is more mentoring, and in regard to secure a learning curve for the client being coached, it is about the client finding the truth within themselves through powerful questions, listening and paraphrasing. So I have to disagree with coaches who become involved in what is the truth. There is one truth, this one belonging to the client. This can be challenged if and when the client is ready to to make the step towards greater insight and personal change. So I recommend you apply the ethics and standards of ICF (International Coach Federation) and EMCC (European Mentoring and Coaching Council). So if you want to tell the truth to a client, then dont call it coaching, call it counseling or consulting. Thank you.

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