I am a member of various Facebook Groups related to coaching, personal development, leadership, philosophy and other fields of interest to me. Every once in a while, I see someone posting the following request: “Hi guys, I am X and I am looking for a coach for Y. Could you recommend anyone?”
I would like to attempt to demonstrate the futility of such an approach. If you are a coach, you must understand that this person is probably not your client (here’s why). And if this person is YOU and you do want a coach, here’s why I believe this approach does not serve you.
First, you must understand that the first 15 comments to such a request are inevitably high-jacked by… coaches themselves, jumping on you like starving predators. They are coming in with various angles and soft-spoken sentences, some of them more skilled than others at suggesting their offer, but in essence most of them are quietly screaming: “Me! Me! Me!”
Without even diving into this cheap and distasteful display, here’s why you should not even consider posting this type of request on social media.
1. Needy is creepy. Any coach jumping on a request like this one is likely in need of money or clients. This is not a good place to come from to serve someone, and this coach is unlikely to deliver the deepest and most impactful service to you.
2. Engaging with such a request is the laziest way a coach can get a client: reacting to a request by putting themselves forward. Any coach has more than enough in their own world to serve people all day long if they are driven to make a difference. Someone jumping on a request like this one is more likely than not looking for the cheapest route to building a business: wait and see who’s coming through the door. Again, not the mindset you want from your coach.
3. Now let’s imagine someone you don’t know responds and recommends a random coach you’ve not heard of. Why are they recommending this coach? Do you even know the person making the referral? Are you seeing the world similarly? Maybe this coach is great, or maybe they are just being recommended by a friend. If you have no prior relationship of trust with either the person making the referral or the coach, then this referral is neither here nor there.
4. Coaching is entirely relationships-based. The deep trust and mutual respect both parties have for each other is the foundation of any transformative inner work. It takes time to build and is generated in an organic way, through conversations or content. Posting this request is like asking: “I want to have a girlfriend to build a family. Could you recommend anyone?” …. Seriously!?
5. I have never seen any of my mentors or any of the coaches I look up to, the ones who create real impact and transformation, the ones who co-create profound change with people, respond to a Facebook post suggesting their own services, or being recommended by someone else in response to a public request on social media.
Don’t get me wrong, I think recommendations and referrals are great! Only I believe they are effective when they are done privately, from someone you know or trust. A public referral on Facebook adds no value apart from a little advertising and ego-stroking.
Coaching is not a standard process that is “done” by different people. It is unique, because you are unique and each coach is unique. This is what you need to look out for. Who inspires YOU? Watch out for the signal and don’t let yourself be drowned by the noise.
Ask the people you love in person.
Do your own research.
Coaching can create miracles in your life. Don’t lessen yourself by cheapening the journey of finding your coach.
You are better than that.