15 Ways to Identify the Wrong Coach

Picking the right coach is critical to ensure you get the results you want.  But far too many people are unaware of how to identify the wrong coach. In today's post I will give you 15 ways to identify whether someone may be the wrong coach for you.

Humorous, inept coaching icon, Martha Tuttle https://pccca.org https://pccca.org

For many years, we have fondly embraced a humorous avatar for a well-meaning but inept life coach. We call her Martha Tuttle. Martha personifies every quality that makes her ill fit to provide the proper coaching to help someone achieve their goals.

Martha has become, if anything, the iconic symbol of any lack luster coaching endeavor. Those of us who have been through coach training, either at PCCCA/Beautiful Life Int’l or any other school, should understand the importance of partnering with the right coach going forward from training.

I used to think that the necessity of hiring a coach after training was overblown and created mainly to give more coaches gainful employment. But this is not the case.

It is critical to work with a mentor coach, if you want ensure the success of your vision, be it a coaching business or ministry.

You may have heard it said that what got you HERE, will not get you THERE. It's true. What you have done, that got you where you are now, is not sufficient to take you to the next level. This is why it is important to partner with someone ahead of you, who can show you the ropes.

Hopefully you see the value in bringing a coach into your life who can support you in the best possible ways. However, some people who you might think would be a great coach for you, are not. And the reasons are not always obvious. In fact, some of the reasons may not even occur to you until you read them below.

Having trained over 13,000 students around the globe, I can assure you that if you choose to ignore any of the warning signs below, you may sacrifice your own success in the process. You are the only one who can decide if it is worth it. As you read them, consider how each could adversely affect your outcome.

Here are 15 ways to identify the wrong coach:

  1. Claims to know everything about what is right and wrong for you, then dominates the coaching relationship, prescribing exactly what you must/must not do. (Clue: They won’t ask you many, if any questions.)
  2. Fears that when you grow personally or professionally, your relationship will change.
  3. Fears that your growth will remind them of their own lack of growth.
  4. Doesn't have any sort of coach training. Will not understand the coaching process to be able to help you.
  5. Doesn't have (Biblical) Christian coach training. May try to help but will not understand the intricacies or benefits of a Christ-centered coaching relationship.
  6. Is secretly jealous of you or what you have accomplished.
  7. Has not been reliable to coach and support you thus far begging the question, why should they be deemed reliable now?
  8. May have an agenda not in line with yours.
  9. Does not understand and or accept God's will for your life. May unknowingly or deliberately support you to do or say something not in line with God's will when it's convenient.
  10. Is not a mature believer. Will not know how to manage the coaching relationship, God's role in it or support you in faith.
  11. Wants to deliver support that keeps you happy with them and is unwilling to bring up something touchy, unpleasant or divisive in order to help you change. They are more concerned with being nice and maintaining your relationship rather than creating the supportive coaching environment you need.
  12. Someone with a less dominant personality than you. They won't challenge you or be able to hold you sufficiently accountable.
  13. A "yes" person who agrees with everything you say. They will never stretch you or challenge you or make you think.
  14. Someone who knows your past fairly well. That knowledge will make it almost impossible for them to be objective.
  15. Someone who idolizes, worships or greatly admires you. They either won't be able to identify flaws in your statements / arguments or ... they will be afraid to challenge you because they are in some way a little intimidated by you.

Why do folks so often pick Martha Tuttle to coach them?

For the most part, prospective “coaches” who fit the above criteria are people who are close to you, friends, members of your church, family members, spouses or coworkers ... sometimes even untrained church-appointed people or staff.

One of the reasons that I am writing this article because I regularly see students insist that they want people close to them to coach them going forward after training because it's free versus paying someone. (You get what you pay for 98% of the time.)

Then a few months later, we learn that they have failed to launch their practice, ministry or business and given up. Why? It’s not because the training did not give them what they need, but rather it has been due to lack of the right support.

Yes, it is possible to figure it out alone but it may take you years. Most people won’t stick to their plan long enough to see it through. Meanwhile, those who need you aren’t being coached and you could be going broke trying to figure it out.

What’s more, getting coaching from the wrong person can be worse than no coaching at all or even fatal to your goal because it will make you doubt your own ability to deliver results. Consider for yourself… Which famous football player had their best friend as a coach? Which actress or singer made it big being coached by a family member?

If you are serious about results, hire a professional. The return on your investment will be immeasurable. Hire someone who has already gone before you, not someone who will try to figure it out as you go along.

I take your future and your success extremely seriously. I am at least as committed to your success as you are. Maybe more!

If you have realized that you truly need the services of a professional mentor coach or that your current coaching situation is not working the way you expected, please contact me. I currently have openings for two private clients.

You can learn more about me and the work I do at http://leelobush.com

Please leave your thoughts and comments below. I would love to hear whether you have worked with the wrong coach and what happened. How did you overcome challenges? Feel free to respond to any of the replies with your own thoughts on the topic.


© 2016 Leelo Bush PhD



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“Leelo Bush, PhD is recognized globally as a Christian Coach training curriculum creator, speaker, show host and innovator as well as a marketplace ministry and training expert. Discover your hidden potential with her FREE 5-Minute Success Predictor Quiz at https://pccca.org"

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