As a Clifton StrengthsFinder coach, I’m rightly concerned with the process of establishing trust in client relationships. That’s why I attended the breakout session Becoming a Trusted Coach: Establishing Credibility Quickly, at the 2017 CliftonStrengths Summit in July. Thanks to the excellent speaker-author, Barry Rellaford, I gained some valuable insights into my role.
First we took a deep dive into the literal meaning of the word. Trust in the French language is confiance; in Spanish it is confianza. Trust in English is confidence. A trusted coach is an individual whose character and competence inspire confidence in his or her ability to perform as a coach.
And speaking of coach, that’s another interesting word, the source of which I was unaware. It seems that there’s a village in Hungary called Coach, (in Hungarian, Kocs, pronounced kotch) where elaborately embellished royal coaches were produced for kings, queens, and dignitaries throughout 15th century Europe and onward. These gilded and bejeweled carriages were designed to carry valued persons from the place where they were to the place where they wished to go.
Now, that information offered me a new lens through which to consider my role as coach. Each individual I’m privileged to coach is a valued client with unique strengths that virtually drive everything they think, feel, and do. As a trusted coach, my role is to assist the client in uncovering their 5 greatest jewels – their signature strengths – discovering their brilliance and uniqueness and the distinct way that he or she alone can wear them, can use them, can be adorned with them. And in that process, clients are carried from the place where they are to the place where they aspire to be. A coach attempts to facilitate a client’s safe passage through that uncertain terrain of personal and professional development. What a humbling responsibility!
Among the characteristics Rellaford mentioned as fundamental to trusted coaching, two qualifications especially resonated with me. First and foremost, a coach must be a person of integrity – honesty, humility, and courage must be the hallmark of his or her approach. And a coach must have purity of intent – genuine care for the client and a determination to act in the client’s best interest.
Who are the coaches in your life? Most certainly these insights apply to all kinds of coaches – athletic, musical, spiritual, personal, professional, skills-based. And can you trust those coaches to guide your passage from where you are to where you dream of being?