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Episode 47 - How I Am As A Coach, Pt 1


Welcome to Episode 47


What's most important when looking for a coach? Is it their training? Their experience? Their style? Rhiannon answers several questions in Part 1 of this series to provide insights into her coaching style and how it differs to other coaches; at the same time as giving you valuable questions to help guide you on:

  1. What to look out for

  2. What's important for you to know when hiring a coach; and 

  3. What beneficial qualities will serve you in a coach

In this podcast, you'll learn:

​As a coach:

  1. Who do you like to work with?

  2. What is my coaching style?

  3. When did a coach-client relationship go badly, and why. How did you deal with it?

  4. How many clients do you work with at one time?

  5. What coach modalities are you trained and competent in?

Episode Transcript:


EP #47


“Do I need a life coach?” You’re listening to Episode 47, with Rhiannon Bush


Welcome to the Do I need a life coach? Podcast. We’re here to discuss the ins- and outs- of the life coaching industry and give you tools to use, to see for yourself. I’m your host, Rhiannon Bush. Mother, management consultant and a passionate, certified life coach.


I was recently asked to do some coaching for another coach, which is a bigger deal than what it may sound like, because when you coach for another coach, you become part of their brand, and you also represent their values and their reputation. So if there's not an alignment between yourself and that coach or that coaches business, it can get quite precarious.


But luckily this coach is a good friend of mine and I was happy to do it and as part of her process. She has a crew who needed some information from me which I also thought would be incredibly beneficial to share here for you.  All coach are different, so… if you listen to my podcast and have maybe considered reaching out to me for coaching, please do. I've recorded episode 43 on the process you can go through to work with me if you would like to and if you want to know more, or ask me anything at all, I would absolutely love to hear from you. I'd even love to hear from you if you just want me to talk about something specific on the podcast.


If you're somebody who's never had coaching before and is looking for coaching, you have a perspective that I no longer have, because I've been doing this for such a long time now. So if there is something that you would like me to address here about life coaching, the life coaching industry, anything at all, please jump on my web page and go to ‘contact’ and send me a message. I would love to hear about anything you would like me to discuss. That would be incredibly helpful for me.


If you're listening to this wondering whether working with a life coach is the right path for you, right now, or whether you would prefer to know a bit more, these are really great questions to ask any coach that you may be looking to work with. I’ll put these questions in the show notes for you to refer to.


And these questions I'm going to answer for you now if you're looking to engage me to be your coach. The first question is who do you like to work with? So as a coach I have worked with a plethora of different clients. When I began coaching, I coached addicts, some of them were gambling addicts, drug addicts and I also coached a lot of professionals looking for career changes. They were the two categories of clients that I used to work with. And I do say used to, because I decided after coaching a variety of different problems and helping my clients with those problems that problems based in acute trauma I would prefer not to coach. I know for a fact that I was very effective for those clients. I was able to really help those clients. I know this because I had family members of theirs then refer me to other people that they knew but it is not a space I could relate too easily, because I personally haven't experienced that kind of trauma or addiction, so even though I coached it, for the most part effectively, I believe there are other mental health professionals out there whether that be life coaches, psychologists, counsellors, who are better equipped and far more patient to coach those problems.


As my coaching journey continued, I started my own coaching business where I was niching in sales coaching. So I was working with small to medium enterprise business owners, on improving their sales. And in Episode 43 I talk much more about sales coaching and that journey. When I started doing the sales coaching, I realised I was much more aligned with that type of coaching, because that is more my background, I have proven results in it and therefore I felt I could truly serve those clients more easily, and I felt like I knew what they needed. The thing about coaching is that you have to build really great rapport with your clients. And working with clients requires you to, on some level, find commonality, similarity, vibrational frequencies. And if you struggle or it is further removed from you, your experience, and what you know and have experienced in the world, it can become that much harder to build that rapport, to then connect with your client, then lead them moving forward.


I have coach friends who would adamantly disagree with what I'm saying right now, and that’s because I usually don’t do ‘purist coaching’ anymore. What I mean, is that a life coach maintains impartiality at all times. They’re entirely neutral. A lot of my clients come to me wanting both coaching and mentoring where I get to teach harder skills and coach mindset over the top for enhanced results.


 I also will say that as a coach we have skills to build rapport very strongly, despite having entirely different backgrounds, beliefs, circumstances or experiences to our clients. All I'm saying, is that it is more work it takes for the coach to build that rapport with someone who has a completely different experience of the world than them, feeds into unconscious bias which we all have. So it can it be done, absolutely. And will the coach still be very effective, yes.


I made a professional decision that I wanted to stay away from addiction. I will never stay clear of trauma, because I have seen it in clients that I've worked with, so many clients, that have done a lot of work and overcome trauma they've experienced, but there's still been residue, which once i've helped clean up they've been able to project forward in a way that they never thought they could. But addiction often stems from trauma and until that trauma is reconciled, accepted, cleared, and then the person is able to find forgiveness of themselves and others, it is hard to project forward and grow and become the person you want to be.


And students working with small to medium business owners and helping them with sales, where I seem to be attracting a lot of clients now is in the professional space, where my clients are mid to senior management, and again they're looking for a career change or career growth, as well as better boundaries and work life balance, and more fulfilment and satisfaction in their lives. They don’t have more hours in the day to give, and they want to work smarter not harder. And it's a beautiful place to play, because these clients and I are very aligned, and I get to help them design their life and strategize about how they want it to be. Which is fun, and exciting, and extremely fulfilling for me as a coach, and more importantly, for them as a client.


Any coach can choose to coach whatever niche they want to. But I maintain that if that coach has experience or background in that particular niche, they will be able to coach more effectively. And values between the coach and the client need to have some form of alignment. I have seen far too many coaches sign up clients, and vice versa, where the client has ended up leaving based on misunderstood or mismanaged expectations or a misalignment in fundamental values. So they are very important.


The second question is my coaching style. So my coaching style is very direct. A very good friend and coach colleague of mine once described it me as “a nurturing mother with a don't F* with me attitude”. And after doing some work on my unique ability, I was quite emotional actually to hear that amongst friends and people I truly value and trust and have been exposed to me in various part of my life, that the common theme was my ability to make somebody feel safe. I went out and asked friends and colleagues what they thought my unique ability is. And I was astounded and surprised that almost every one of them said you make me feel safe. And given the emotional response I have to even talking about that, that means everything to me. And I'm not surprised, but I had never considered that as something I did that may be unique.


So I'm very direct and to the point. I'm quite forward, meaning I will call something out if I don't feel as though it's true, or authentic, or honest. As a colleague said about me recently, I have very high EQ and as such, it's not easy to hide things from me. I remember a client I was coaching saying that she had learned at a young age to be quite manipulative. So she could manipulate situations, including doctors and mental health professionals, to make the session go whatever way she wanted to if things got a bit uncomfortable and she felt a bit too vulnerable. I know she could have done that with me as well if she really wanted to, but the fact that she didn't tells me I was able to make her feel safe enough to not feel the need to do that. So while i'm quite hard and forward, I wouldn't call my style of coaching confrontational, unless it's absolutely called for which is rare, but I'm not letting you off the hook easily, if it's holding you back from getting what you want.


I'm extremely positive and enthusiastic, i am your biggest cheerleader and supporter and I ultimately want to see you hold yourself accountable, be cause I don't want to play the role of a crutch for you. I want you to lean on me for the time we coached together, and then I want you to spread your wings and have everything you need to hold yourself accountable. To put it more directly, i don't want to work with you forever. I want you to spread your wings and live your life, and absolutely flourish. I see my role as getting you on the path to doing that, and then when I know you're ready, pushing you out of the nest knowing that you've got it and you no longer need me.


It could be an interesting question to ask a prospective coach how many clients they want to work with at one time. I do many things in my life, and I like that. Because I get all these beautiful cross sections and cross skilling that enable me to feel like a more rounded person and I feel like that serves me as a coach. If my business was to be a full time thing, I would still want to do other things than just coach. But i would never give up one on one coaching because i love it the most. That's why as i mentioned in the other episode, that all of my programmes are now tailored to the client. They are entirely bespoke. Because I love one on one coaching and I believe that's how I can best serve my client. And that matters to me. And because of that, I never work with more than four clients at a time in a one on one capacity because with everything else it becomes too diffused and I don't feel like I serve. I'm not saying that will stay the same forever, it will fluctuate and move depending on what I'm doing and also people that asked to be coached by me, if we're a good fit, chances are I will take them on as a client.


Any perspective coach you look at will have testimonials on there website, I would suggest. Or referee is that you could contact to ask what their experience was like. I think a really great question is when did a coach client relationship go badly, and why. How did you deal with it? Because it happens. And it's nothing to be fearful of, or concerned about, sometimes that's just something that happens. But actually getting the coach to answer why is a good question. I was working this a client who really wanted help in her sales, and she was paying monthly instalments, and within the first four weeks I realised that I hadn't set strong enough boundaries or the expectations of what I was there for her with. So this was during COVID, and I took four weeks off any contact with clients, to give birth to my daughter. Our first conversation when I returned to work was about how I hadn't been there for her during COVID and how alone she’d been and on this basis she wanted to exit the programme. Despite getting a lot of value from the work we've done, I could see that she needed a lot more emotional support than what I was willing to offer in the programme at that time. It was a sales coaching programme, not a life coaching programme and while yes, there were many pieces of that that intertwined, my intention was to get her sales results. I was happy, to an extent, to support her emotionally and help her overcome emotional hurdles she was experiencing that were preventing getting her sales in her business, but there were several times when we would have extensive conversations, they were meant to be short checkins to measure progress, that ended up being extremely lengthy, because I felt too bad to say no and hang up the phone coma but what absolutely outside of the boundaries of the programme. Now that was definitely my fault, for not being firmer in my boundaries. I did attempt to realign those expectations, but they weren't respected, and on that basis after she did an exit survey, our coach client relationship dissolved.


The best story I have of a coach client relationship finishing, was a client who had worked with me for about 5 months, and she showed up to her session and we went through some recent wins that she'd had, and one was very fresh and I said “or what do you want to focus on today, what's going to help you move forward” and she really struggled to come up with anything. And i probed, and I threw some options out there, and eventually I said “would your time be better utilised right now, doing the project for this new engagement?” And she said “yes”. And that, with the end of our coach client relationship. It felt like she'd graduated. She was on path, shoes winning, she was very content with the work we had done, she provided a testimonial for me you can read it, it's on the website, her name was Ellie, and that was a great and to our quote client relationship.


Another question is what coach modalities are you trained and competent in which is a really great question, because there are many, and more being developed all the time. But my favourites, NLP, matrix therapies, timeline therapies, behavioural profiling, and a process called cartesian coordinates which is a bit loopy but amazing. Coaching modalities I won't use unless I truly have to, and I have used it, and it was very effective but felt awful for me, was slight of mouth. I would avoid using that unless I really had to. As a client, you don't need to know what the techniques are, I think it's just good to know that the coach can name some. If you choose to go and look what they are up online, great, but it's not necessary. You don't need to know the art of the magic of it, all you have to do is experience it as a client and know that it works for you.


Have a great week I'll see you next week for part 2.





Hey! Before you go, I always find reviews really helpful when looking for new information or insights…


I you’ve found this podcast valuable, please take a minute to write a quick review about what you’ve found most beneficial for you, so other people can benefit from your insights, and listen in too. I would LOVE that!

Also, if there are any topics you’d like me to cover specifically about life coaching or the life coaching industry, visit to contact me. Thanks for joining and I’ll see you in the next episode of Do I Need A Life Coach?!



Please note, this transcription may not be exact.

Questions? Topic Ideas?

Reach out to Rhiannon today
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