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How Much Agenda Should Life Coaches Have Anyway? NO AGNDA

life coaching May 06, 2020

Just before I went to sleep the other night, I realized I wanted to write about a life coach’s agenda so I wrote a note on the pad I keep by my bed. Then yesterday as I was running around town doing errands, a car pulled in front of me and its license plate was: NO AGNDA. Too synchronistic to ignore.

When I went to coaches’ training, I was told that an excellent life coach would have no agenda. That is probably true in a perfect world. It is also true that human beings are almost not capable of having no agenda while loving. That means we have no expectations of our clients. And that isn’t true.

We expect them to:

  • call in on time
  • pay us in a timely manner
  • bring their issues and accomplishments to the call
  • have a quiet space in which to have our meeting
  • have done their assignments or bring up what stopped them
  • share their failures
  • share their successes

So, of course, we have agendas for our clients. But maybe they were only talking about personal agendas like “I think you should be a motivational coach” or a “leader of industry” or a “better employee” or …or...

Should is the scary word here. It is not our job as coaches to "should" anyone into anything. Everyone has had enough of that in their lives from parents, teachers, religious leaders and well-meaning others.

So NOAGNDA is an ideal to be striven for. It requires the coach to be more and more aware of their own process and the words and feelings behind the words as they speak to their client. It also takes careful listening to the client. I often hear myself saying things like, “I’m not necessarily right”; “you know if this is true better than I can”; "only you live inside you” and things like that to ensure that the power remains where I always say it is, in the coaching relationship we have. And ultimately, the power lies in the client and their desire for change.

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