by Lita Currie
“I don’t think I’m the right coach for you.”
Have you ever said these words? If you’re a new coach, these words might fill you with dread. Saying no to clients, especially if you’re trying to establish your coaching business, could feel like you’re shooting yourself in the foot. But experience has shown that sometimes that this is the right decision – both for you and for them.
Here are a couple of situations when you should consider say no to a coaching client.
- No rapport. As a coach, it is critical to have good rapport with your client. The coaching relationship is intimate, deep and courageous. Bad rapport makes for ineffective sessions and frustration on both sides.
- Coaching is used as a band aid. If coaching is intended to “fix” an employee, or as a last resort before they’re asked to leave, say no. Coaching as a band aid for a problem is bound to be ineffective.
- You don’t believe in the organisation. A colleague once told me that he won’t work for organisations that sell alcohol because he lost a family member in a drunken-driving accident. If you have doubts about whether you agree with what the organisation does, rather say no. It is bound to influence your behaviour, even if you try not to let it.
- The person doesn’t want coaching. Sometimes employees are offered coaching as part of a developmental programme. However, sometimes they don’t have a choice to decline. An unwilling coachee will be resentful and the coaching will most likely be artificial.