With Christmas on it’s way I thought it might be worth highlighting an issue that comes up from time to time. When my clients experience the value of coaching first hand they often come up with a number of people they think would benefit from the experience. Gifting coaching can seem like a great way to introduce someone to the process. It’s a great idea with intentions coming from a generous and compassionate place.

It’s worth bearing in mind two things here before you jump to the decision to go ahead and grab a half price coaching voucher for a friend.

The first is that the agenda of the coaching will be set by the client, and not yourself. I have heard it said so many times that ‘coaching seems like a great idea! It would really help my relationship with my wife if she came to see you.’ The fact is, as well we know, change can only take place from a personal level. If you want to help your relationship with your wife, then start by working on yourself. A great aim to shoot for when dealing with relationship issues is the state of ‘I’m ok and you’re ok.’ If you are at that place, then you are doing great. If, in your mind, she is a wonderful, human being capable of great happiness and that you are a wonderful human being capable of great happiness’ then your relationship will probably deal with most issues that arise just fine. If on the other hand it is a case of you thinking ‘I’m fine, she’s a mess’ or ‘she’s great, it’s all me’ or even ‘we are a disaster, the pair of us’, then the place to start is with you. Your perception of the relationship is key to it’s ongoing success, and no matter what her point of view is, yours is the only one you can do anything about.

Another key thing to remember is that nobody will do anything unless they choose to. Giving someone a coaching voucher who has never had coaching before won’t mean they will take the offer. You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink. Besides, he may not like the water. Just because you have a good relationship with your coach doesn’t mean that your friend will.

In making a generous offer of giving someone the chance to have coaching, we can’t help but want them to value it, enjoy it and achieve all the good things we want for them in life. And why not? These are great intentions. Perhaps one way that can help avoid triggering resistance on the part of the person you want to buy for is to make it clear that the coaching is to help them to achieve whatever they want to achieve, even if that thing is simply the knowing of what they want. In the coaching program I offer, nothing is perscribed. Nobody is told what to do. All that happens is that choices are explored. Options are found. Opportunities are recognised. The decisions and actions needed to bring change about are left entirely to the hands of the client. My job is to follow on behind to where you want to go, cheering you on all the way. It can be no other way.

If you would like to get in touch about taking coaching yourself, or offering coaching to someone you know, get in touch to arrange a confidential, no obligation, informal chat about it. Just let me know when’s a good time to call.

Andrew