Many helping professionals believe that
their clients should not make decisions about their own treatment - that
clients should follow orders or be labeled resistant or
in denial. We've developed some resistance and denial
When does HELP Fail?
Sometimes a practitioner just doesn't match a certain client,
couple or team. Maybe they have different values or beliefs. Maybe
they have a different background or philosophy. Who are your most
We assess individual client maturity, motivation
and readiness for change with questions like these:
- Are you mostly mature and responsible?
- Are you friendly? Do you have good friends?
- Are you reliable? Do you finish what you start?
- Are you honest? Do you generally avoid deception?
- Are you usually proactive to solving life challenges?
- Have you suffered enough? Do you want to change?
- Can you enjoy using new ways and new behaviors?
- Are you financially prepared to invest in your future?
- Are you ready to explore and change any self-sabotage?
- Do you intend to improve your health, wealth and happiness?
We help many couples with our couples coaching. Yet, we cannot
help every couple heal their partnership, especially if they have
different values, incompatible habits or unresolved
We expect difficulties when:
- one or both partners are cult members
- the partners are symbiotic or codependent
- the partners have reason to distrust helping
- one partner tries to make the other to go
against his/her will
We coach many teams with our systemic management coaching.
But not all teams want to work together cooperatively. Here
are some symptoms of common team problems ... how might a
competent team leader react?
- A team member is overly talkative
- A team member continually distracts the leader
- A team member says, "Yes, but ..." to every idea
- A team member communicates: “I am always right”
- Two team members whisper while the leader is talking
- A team member accuses the leader,
“You make us look bad”
- A team member provides important information after
decisions are made
When Helping Professionals Fail
We find that common reasons why helping professionals
fail to help are:
- Lack of offers: They do not offer clear choices
from which people can choose
- Lack of clarity: They do not describe their
objectives and models clearly
- Lack of flexibility: They are dogmatic and
stuck in some technique
- Lack of leadership: They want a symbiotic or
- Lack of congruence: They are incongruent with
people's values or goals
1. Lack of Offers
Many helping professionals advertise that their work
increases choice, but is that actually true? How
can you check before going through their processes? Many
NLP interventions, for example, are intended to create
obsessions, and hypnotherapy is based on obedience
Many helping professionals believe that they know what is best
for you ... and if you object - why - you must be resistant or in denial. We
disagree - we would offer you as many choices as possible so that you can choose
where you want to go ... and how you want to get there. And if you
say yes hesitantly, we assume that there is a no
in there somewhere, and we check out more possibilities.
Ask a prospective counselor or coach how he or she determines
what is best for you. From a textbook? Using intuition? By some
questionnaire? But if questioned, some helping professionals will
refuse to accept you as a client! You have shown that you don't
intuitively trust them enough ... and it's maybe a good idea to
2. Lack of Clarity
You can require some conditions for your professional
relationship, for example
- Make a service contract with the
- Insist that all information is private and confidential
- Insist on space to challenge, change and/or veto their ideas
- You choose your goals - and you decide
if their method is helpful
- No reports will be made to anybody else
without your endorsement
If you are confused about about
the purpose of your coaching or counseling - prepare for failure. If your
practitioner is hired by a third person, parent or an organization, they are
likely not coaching ... rather, they are appraising performance, facilitating
communication, defining roles or setting objectives. These are all legitimate
efforts, but they may not
help you improve.
3. Lack of Congruence
Accept help in ways that are congruent with your goals and
values. Imagine a sports coach who believes that the other
team should win ... for any reason. Does a practitioner:
- Support your values?
- Explore what you truly want?
- Make offers that you can choose between?
- Explore what
has prevented you achieving your goal?
If a helping professional persuades you or insists
that you to follow their decision - this is not help, but compliance.
Whether you succeed or fail, you are unlikely to enjoy the results.
If they accept you as a client, but they serve the needs and follow
the direction of a third party, they are not only unethical,
but are setting you up for failure.
4. Lack of Flexibility
Is this person a solution looking for a problem? Or
is he or she ready to help you define and get what you want? Dogmatic
adherence to a single model often leads to failure. We start with
listening, exploration and building trust. One dimensional approaches
(e.g. prayer, meditation, massage) for complex relationship
problems usually leads to short-term good feelings and long-term failure.
Good coaching includes empathy, non-judgmental
exploration, diagnostic skills and flexibility. Beware of people who
want to sell you a single process. Effective coaches are outstanding
listeners; more interested in your hopes, dreams and aspirations than
in any model or process.
Beware of people who apply athletic coaching models to life.
Athletic coaching is very different to relationship
coaching or life coaching. Athletic coaches are expected
to be content experts - they know the skills
necessary for optimal performance.
Beware of coaches using military models. If a coach talks about
killing the competition or
defending territory ... you may be just another resource
or income stream.
Good life coaches need to be process experts.
They may not be experts in a specific emotions, family,
problem or service, instead they can help you develop skills
to change or manage your life challenges.
5. Coach-Client Dependency & Codependence
An important goal of a coach is to empower and withdraw.
Telephone and online coaching should not be "a long term
relationship to provide them a steady income!" A professional
should not stay in a helping relationship with you only for
money. Codependence can hurt you both.
Coaching can be a powerful developmental tool, and it can also be used in
shallow, manipulative and harmful ways.
Contact us to manage negative emotions, end self-sabotage
and solve relationship problems.
Coaching, Counseling & Mentorship