10 Things Coaches Say (that you must avoid)

There are a lot of things coaches say that are totally out of sync with what their ideal clients are saying or thinking.

Presumably, they think flowery, vague or even pompous coach-speak will resonate with their ideal client.

It almost never does.

Try this experiment.

Think of a well-known song.

Now tap it out on a table for a family member to guess what it is.

In all probability, they won’t be able to even if they know it.

To you, it’s obvious because you’re also listening to it inside your own head as you tap away.

To them, unless you’re a reincarnated version of Ginger Baker the random tapping sounds more like a drunken woodpecker trying to fuck a lamppost.

And that is what coach speak sounds like to most people.

Only nobody rolls their eyes in contempt when they see a drunken woodpecker trying to fuck a lamppost, they just offer him some black coffee and a place to sleep.

Here is a list of things I’ve seen on coaching websites if not verbatim, then very close.

You should avoid them all like you should a man who has the plague and is on fire and tried unsuccessfully to put himself out by rolling around in cow pats.

things coaches say

10 things coaches say:

  1. I will guide you on a journey to your authentic self
  2. I can help you unlock your reason for being
  3. I will guide you to step into your personal power
  4. I am able to show you how to manifest your destiny
  5. I show my clients how to release all their limiting beliefs
  6. I’m a heart-centered coach
  7. Let me help you discover the person you were born to be in all your infinite glory
  8. I create abundance and prosperity
  9. I can help you heal your inner child
  10. I will help you align with your core values

Number 10 may well be the worst of the lot and I wrote a fucking book called Aligning with Your Core Values.

I didn’t even have a subtitle to explain what aligning with your core values meant.

Thankfully, it’s now called The Clarity Method and has the subtitle Tap Into What Motivates Your Clients, Your Colleagues, and You With Core Values.

You may think that because you have seen such nonsense written on other coaching websites, then it must be the way to do it.

But it misses out on one teeny tiny piece of information that is kind of important.

Most coaches don’t have any paying clients!

So, you’re in danger of replicating a failing model.

If you are to connect with your ideal client then you must use the language they use, not the language training companies, or struggling coaches use.

So, if my ideal clients aren’t saying any of the above Tim, wtf are they saying?

I’m glad you asked…

10 things clients say:

  1. I’m sick of feeling stressed to fuck
  2. I hate my job
  3. I want to stop waking up with a sense of dread
  4. I need more money
  5. Why do I fuck everything up?
  6. I wish I could sleep better and have more energy
  7. Why do I suck at making decisions?
  8. I have to lose weight and get fitter before the summer
  9. I must stop procrastinating and get shit done
  10. I want more paying clients

Do those things not feel a lot more real to you?

With or without the profanity, are you not more likely to frame your problems that way?

I can clearly articulate that I understand your problem as a coach.

You don’t have enough paying clients.

Boom! That is all I have to say.

If I start rambling on about how I’m a heart-centred coach who helps his clients step into a life of abundance and I have a spirit animal on the 7th astral plane called Derek, you’re going to think I’m a total twat.

Obviously, my spirit animal is called Derek and he does mainly hang out on the 7th astral plane, but you don’t need to know that.

Your prospective clients need to know you understand their problems too.

And you don’t demonstrate that by using language they don’t use.

Now, I beseech thee to honour me with your most exquisite thoughts and opinions. I implore thee to partake in this indulgent moment and share with me your pearls of wisdom, so that my mind may bask in the radiance of your eloquent prose.

Alternatively, you could just leave a fucking comment offering your take on the things coaches say.

9 thoughts on “10 Things Coaches Say (that you must avoid)”

  1. I’ve been an avid birder for years and taken many classes on the topic and yet I learned something new about birding from your article Tim. Thank you! Oh yes and there were numerous other good bits of wisdom on languaging throughout.

    • Things coaches say – I’m an avid birder!

      I have my sister and brother-in-law staying at the moment Greeg and he is a huge twitcher (I presume that is a UK term rather than birder?).

      He’s in full on bird envy as I have 4 feeders and it’s that time of year when they’re stocking up and getting frisky. We spotted 20 different types this morning in the space of eating breakfast.

      I hardly ever even heard a bird sing when I lived in Orlando whereas as now I can’t shut the fuckers up!

  2. This makes a whole bunch of sense. In my previous career I have spent decades avoiding ‘HR gobshite’ in favour of plain speech and am keen to apply the same approach to coaching. Well done Tim!

  3. I really love this post. The more I coach the more coaches I come into contact with and it’s so easy to forget how non coaches speak. Someone recently said it’s the ‘curse of knowledge’ and I thought damn that’s so true. Once my clients are working with me I can go all deep and talk about values and authenticity, but to get them interested to contact me I think it’s best to keep it practical and logical.

    Most people aren’t interested in some long life changing journey, they just want to know how they can get results as quickly and easily as possible!

    • Authenticity – ‘be yourself but not yourself at your twatiest’ – a wise Buddhist scholar said those exact words to me and I promise I’m not joking!

      Values – the shit you’d die for.

      Job done.

Leave a comment

Share This