Pragmatic advice for coaches, managers & leaders

Executive Coaching: What’s love got to do, got to do, with it?

The Valentine’s Day Post

Strictly speaking love probably shouldn’t play a large part in coaching … I mean come on! How unprofessional would that be? Of course I’m talking about romantic love, which I’m pretty certain would be frowned upon by the coaching bodies that oversee this fledgling profession, not to mention the sponsors that have engagesd your services.

So, to my question: what part does love play in coaching?

I think love has a huge part to play in executive or any form of coaching.

1. You’ve gotta love what you do.

Failure to feel something akin to adolescent infatuation with this discipline we have chosen to follow, would mean you end up holding something back. Clients can feel the love and can sure feel the absence of it. Yes, getting paid is important and the best way to ensure you get paid for your work next time an opportunity arises, be sure people can interpret that you love coaching. Keep it real. It’s not a one-night stand. Don’t manipulate. It’s is meaningful work, to you, your client and the programme sponsor. Let yourself fall head over heels with coaching.

2. You’ve gotta love human beings.

In fact, in the moment you’ve gotta love each and every client you work with. You may not like some of their traits, outside of the coaching room you may not want to spend any time with them but their frailty is in itself a reflection of gaps that you may share. Be committed to your client, every moment of every coaching interaction. As I have said elsewhere, they are human beings first your paying client second.

3. You’ve gotta love your Self.

I contend that if you don’t love You, there is a real danger that coaching conversations become a chance for you to do some self-administered therapy, rather than genuinely helping the other person in the room. Furthermore, if you’re own Self identity isn’t clear, it may prove difficult to suspend your own ego sufficiently enough, to allow your client to be the centre of attention. Your Self keeps getting in the way; controlling the conversation; offering too much direction: you become an epi-centrist (this is a word I think I have made up) i.e. it’s all about you.

What other examples of love and coaching can you think of? Love to hear from you (see what I did there?).

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If you would love to improe your coaching, or guarantee you could develop an in-house coaching programme, I would be delighted to hear from you here or glenn(at)