People are sometimes surprised to hear that I don’t take on every person who gets in touch about coaching as a client. Sometimes it becomes obvious to me in that initial conversation that I am not the right coach for them.


One conversation that springs to mind was with a financial professional who had wanted to step up into a senior role in the small organisations he worked for.


During our chat it became apparent that he didn’t care how he was going to do it, what he needed to do or who he may need to make life uncomfortable for.


When I asked him how he had tried to develop himself, he gave me a couple of examples that shall we say didn’t really align with the value that underpin my practice.


He wanted me to guarantee that my coaching would get him a promotion in 6 months and have him running the business within 12 months.


He wanted me to give him the formula that would guarantee him success.


By the sound it, he also wanted me to drive the truck that was going to mow down anything that got in his way.


When I thanked him for reaching out but informed him that I wasn’t the right coach for him and that actually I didn’t have anyone in my coaching network that could guarantee results or had that approach because it wasn’t how coaching worked, he found it hard to take no for an answer.


It wasn’t until I used the analogy of a coach working in the sports area that the penny started to drop.


If I was coaching a 200m sprinter, we would come up with the most amazing training plan together covering every aspect of nutrition, training, mindset, overcoming barriers – a plan that had everything required to help get the gold medal.


However, no matter how good the plan it is, the athlete that needs to take the action and even if they did there are still no guarantees.


An interesting encounter for sure.


So, what type of clients am I the right type of coach for?


Here are the top seven reasons that someone gets in touch to ask about executive coaching. You will notice that there is not one that includes trying to “bump” off any existing jobholders.


  1. I am looking for support in stepping up into a bigger role. I have the technical ability but not the confidence – it hasn’t quite caught up.
  2. I have spent lots of time investing in my teams and now I want to spend some time developing myself and my leadership abilities.
  3. I feel stuck. I have reached a ceiling in my career. I don’t really know where I am heading and have lost my motivation.
  4. I am feeling very overwhelmed with the volume of work I am expected to deliver. I have no work-life balance.
  5. I want to improve my working relationship with my difficult manager/colleague who is making me question my abilities.
  6. I am not sure if I am in the right job in the right company so I need some support to find out what my next step should be.
  7. I believe that my teams are not being as effective as they could be, and I am not getting the best out of them. I need some support for myself and then I want you to work with the wider team to move us forward.


If any of these strike a chord with you – either now or in the future, please do get in touch for an initial conversation and let’s co-create from there.