Why People Don't Hire A Coach


I’ve been thinking about this concept of our weaknesses and blindspots a lot recently.

I find that many of us, myself included, can tend to walk around as if everything is going really well in our lives.

Most often, if you ask someone “How’s it going?” - they will say “Good” or “Great” (or sometimes “Busy” which I think conveys “I’m so important that I’m busy - so at least I’m good enough that things are busy).

I’m not saying this is a bad thing in any way. Of course you aren’t going to dump your struggles on the coworker who asks you how you are doing.

But do you have someone in your life with whom you can wrestle through things intentionally. Sometimes just to have a space to talk things through and other times with a focus on strategically planning ways to solve the issues with which you are wrestling.

This could be a coach, a therapist, a good friend, or perhaps someone in your family.

Note: I argue that it is most helpful when this person is skilled at knowing when to give you space to talk things out and when to invite you into a deeper sense of ownership, commitment, and strategy.

I find that most people don’t have someone in their life like this.

Someone with whom they can expose their weaknesses in a strategic setting.

And my sense is that people would almost rather walk around as if everything is going well. (Even though, based on results, externally and internally for that person - things aren’t going well).

Imagine a scale from 1-10 (10 being things are incredibly amazing overall).

My guess is, if you really looked into it with people and they got honest with themselves, most people are hovering around a 5 or maybe 6.

Yet they walk and talk like things are an 8, 9, or perhaps a 10. “Things are great!”

And when I ask someone either in a coaching session or a training, most people say explicitly that they would rank things at a 7.

So I walk around, I know that my life is at around a 5, I act as if I’m a 9, yet when asked, I’d say a 7.

Because a 7 is low enough to be honest without seeming arrogant, but not so low that you have to do anything about it.

As you read this, I invite you to, rather than asking if my assessments are accurate - ask yourself how thinking this through could be resourceful for you.

My sense is, that one of the reasons people don’t hire a coach is that they don’t want to expose their weaknesses (the ones they are aware of and the ones the are not yet aware of). Often times this weakness is that they don’t have a clarified vision and don’t want to put in the effort to create one.

I find that people feel quite comfortable hiring a therapist. And I think this is a good thing. But I find that, typically, a therapist serves a different person than a coach. The therapist isn’t going to push you (generally speaking). It’s a place to talk things out. I’ve had therapists and I’ve had large breakthroughs with therapists. I have one right now as I write this and I love it. But it’s a different space than a coach.

And for some reason, I think people are more comfortable hiring a therapist because they are content with just talking things out.

They don’t want to acknowledge the resourcefulness (notice I did not say absolute truth) of the quote “We don’t think ourselves into new ways of living, we live our way into new ways of thinking.” Richard Rohr

People choose not to work with a coach because they don’t want to expose their weaknesses and blind spots and then actually be required to go and do something about them. They find the status quo too alluring.

And further, I find that people don’t realize how powerful they can become if they’d only do so.

It’s not that they’ve tried it and found it difficult, it’s that they’ve called it impossible and thus not tried.