Coaches often talk about “breakthroughs”.
I remember watching the Tony Robbins docuadvertmentary on Netflix a few years back, amazed and somewhat concerned about how everyone in it was talking about breakthroughs, as if that’s the expectation as part of these events.
How disappointing when you’re committing yourself to a process looking for a breakthrough, and then nothing happens…
The term “transformation” seems to have similar connotations as per some of my recent Coaching Uncaged conversations (e.g. Simon Western or Tatiana Bachkirova). It can set the expectations unrealistically high and add a tonne of pressure.
I know all this, but nonetheless, last week I had my hopes up for such a breakthrough, looking for a sudden and dramatic shift in my relationship to consistency and strategic action.
I was the client in my own Coaching Lab, and my coach for the evening, Siawash, charges his clients upwards of £100.000 for a 1:1 business coaching journey, so I figured I’d put myself in that space and really go for it.
I won’t get into the specifics (if you’re curious, the recording of the session is available to Coaching Lab members), but what it got me thinking about is the word “breakthrough”.
It feels pretty aggressive to me now that I think about it. And I don’t think I want to break through my clients’ paradigms. In many cases that’s quite dangerous actually, and most of the time there’ll be loads of resistance if anyone were to try.
After all, such paradigms exist to protect ourselves, and if attacked (by e.g. an attempted breakthrough), defences usually tighten, regardless of who does the breaking.
Instead of breaking things, I think it’s much more helpful, and effective, to offer an invitation and let the person or part decide what they want to do with that. An invitation to look at something from a different perspective, to try on a new suit, or to get to know some part of yourself that makes you feel really uncomfortable – it can be hard to un-see, or un-experience what follows.
And most importantly, it’s empowering and taps into one of the most important aspects of psychological wellbeing: Autonomy (Ryan & Deci, 2000; Ryff & Keyes, 1995).
I didn’t get my breakthrough last week, but I was invited to consider who I would be with and without certain narratives around business and leadership. Food for thought, and valuable ground for reflection.
But to be honest, if Siawash had attempted a “breakthrough”, I think I would have told him, one way or another, and with all due respect, to fuck off! 🙂
Curious as to what you think about this…
New content: A coach’s journey of trust, passion and focussing on strengths
I’ve made myself available for an interview to the good folks at Animas Centre for Coaching recently as to support their community of coaches by telling my story, and the wonderful Brinsley Kazak offered me a beautifully held space and lots of questions to explore my journey into coaching and how I operate in this space. You can watch the interview here.
In Animas’s words:
Yannick’s vast experience resulted in an abundant conversation full of timeless and thought provoking nuggets for every coach.
- Describing himself as a coach
- Defining Existential coaching
- Trusting and doing what you love
- Working through selling and money beliefs
- Scaling his business
- Focussing on strengths
- Joining Animas and ICCS
- Not having a traditional niche
- Coaching someone with more experience
- Owning the Coach title
- Pricing his services
- On remaining accessible
- His biggest lessons and influences