For my fellow helpers & people about to hire some help...
This is an article for both of you, because I believe this work is a two-way street and a two-way conversation.
What is transformative coaching? How do we know if the work or help we’re providing is transformative -- and should we aim for transformation every time? Transformation means that a metamorphosis has taken place: a spontaneous but radical change has occurred.
Think about when a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly. There is no greater example of transformation than this. A caterpillar enters its cocoon with blind faith. The once-caterpillar literally turns to goo while inside its chrysalis before transforming into a butterfly. (No, that is not the sciencey version.)
If you help a butterfly emerge from its chrysalis it will most certainly die. The emerging is a struggle for the butterfly but imperative to its survival. The struggle is actually the final stage of the butterfly pumping hormones into its wings, strengthening them so it can fly. No struggle, no flight.
This is also a beautiful metaphor for transformative coaching: a process through which you support, hold, take apart, recreate, strengthen, and emerge on the other side.
When you guide someone through a transformation, you will witness a metamorphosis of their beliefs, values, and their model of the world. You will also watch them take new action born from new habits rooted in something that can’t be shaken, and they can’t easily fall from their newfound grace. This requires healing, integration, foreignness, and compassion on their part.
These are the very reasons why I don’t have pre-created coaching programs. To assume you know the path for someone’s transformation is to deny him or her their actual path for transformation.
Few may agree with me about this, and that is okay. Meeting every single person or organization in a new space and co-creating the work is the long route, but we aren’t talking about altering a few habits. We are talking about shifting someone’s entire domain for what they do life.
When you come away from this year, you won’t facilitate my program but your own. What do you believe about this work? How does my philosophy enhance yours, challenge yours, and help you create yours? This is about building your foundation so that, should you choose, you are equipped to navigate a metamorphosis with another human being.
I believe wholeheartedly that this is the stage of the game we’ve come to -- "game" meaning our time here on earth and "stage" meaning the phase we’ve entered into. There is a global ascension afoot. Which really just means there is a significant amount of people awakening at one time. This changes everything.
In our generation, we have the possibility of witnessing peace and a global community. But this requires that we forego defending our ego and our need for independence in lieu of a bigger picture. This awakening can be quite painful, like the butterfly emerging from its chrysalis. Not everyone will cross this threshold. Some are here to help others, some are here to challenge others, and some are here to light up your baggage so you can clear what you need to cross your threshold.
Really, brilliant coaching is not for the faint of heart. This includes coaches.
It just isn't.
And truth be told, I felt bad about this, which is why I've tried to coach everybody. (Not literally everybody because that is just not possible.) But I wanted my work to be accessible to everyone. And this is something I hear a TON of with new coaches -- they want to be affordable, accessible, reasonable...but what they're really saying is I don't trust myself to be the boldest, most badass version of my work.
Because if they were, they would also find that is isn't for everyone.
I had a mentor once who said no one needed coaching. And he is right. What he meant was that coaching is a choice to self-actualize. And we don't need to self-actualize to survive. Most of the people on this planet will spend thousands of lifetimes attempting to get there and never quite make it.
He also said this: "Nor is [coaching] for those who are not 100% serious and committed to their success and happiness (however they define those words in their lives)."
Really brilliant coaching will stretch you, challenge you, push you (gently and sometimes not gently), and help you see that in order to BE the most glorious version of your dreams, you have to be willing to do what 99.9% of people are unwilling to do -- question everything. And let go.
I am sorry to say that most people are not committed to their success and happiness. Or they are until they have to...
Invest money in them. Invest time in them. Question their habits. Be uncomfortable. Or worse -- decide that being unhappy, although awful, is less risky.
Most people want to hold on to what they know and change at the same time. They want to take their stories with them. They want to be right. They aren't willing to take risks or lose anything. They want the experience to be totally quantified in advance. They aren't willing to let their ego-self die. But what's worse is they don't think they need to in order to change. This is what I call spinning your wheels. And coaches do this, too.
When you go to bring that person, that coach, helper, guide, or support into your life, here are the three things I would look for, and subsequently what to ask before hiring them.
1.) A spacious onboarding process. What to ask: Are you more invested in your timeframe or mine?
How long do they give you to become a client? One day, one hour, one year? Making the decision to invest in yourself and in transformation is a massive decision. How do they help you navigate this? Are they attached to your decision of saying "yes," or do they slow down and help you really decide what's best for you? Do they use "overcoming objection" language during the sales portion, or do they give you plenty of space to express what you need? When you say "no" or "let me think about it," do they backpedal and offer discounts, or do they merely say, "okay"?
2.) Someone who is educated in transformation. What to ask: Who prepared you to do this work?
If your coach isn't trained as a coach...run :) Okay, maybe wait a second. But inquire about how they got into coaching, why it speaks to them, and who trained them. Some of my favorite coaches didn't go through a coach-training but have other training experiences that more than qualify them for their work. Do they understand human emotions and the science of change or are they winging it? Do they advise and consult or inquire and help you discover things for yourself? Do they tell you what to do or help you find your path? Are they coaching out of a book? Do they have their own coaches and/or mentors to support them?
3.) A high value of money but not a number one value. What to ask: What are your money beliefs and how did you arrive there?
Money will come up. They are asking you for money, you are paying money. In addition, if you are doing transformative work you will talk about money. If you don't, I would be concerned and confused because it is part of your story. It's part of all our stories. How do they handle this? Are they open and honest about their money beliefs? How did they navigate this? Have they? Who with and what was the outcome? How did they arrive at their current rates and congruency with money? If this topic is shied away from and discouraged I would be cautious. They don't need to send you bank statements, but an ease-filled conversation about money should be on the menu.