Is Your Life Coach Manipulating You? Five Signs to Watch For

Did you hire a "life coach" to help you sort out your complicated existence? The coach is a growing occupational choice for folks who feel the call to lead others who may feel overwhelmed or wish for personal fulfillment but don't know where to begin.

As someone who belongs to entrepreneur networks, I've come across quite a few life coaches. Some seem like truly wonderful people... but others... hmmm, well I'm not so sure.

Before I raise the five warning flags, let's talk about two short but very important words: Your Life. It's YOURS and nobody else's. So although you may feel confused for the time being and have summoned the services of a coach, it's still YOUR LIFE and you have the right to live it any way you see fit.

A good and benevolent life coach will respect the fact that your life belongs to you. She will guide and support, she will uncover options you may not have seen before, and she will unleash your potential and help you feel confident... but she will NOT dictate how to live YOUR LIFE, nor will she mold you into thinking a certain way.

That said, it's incredibly important to choose your life coach carefully. If you find one who is loving and inspirational, kind and supportive, who lets you find your own way and doesn't speak to you as though you're beneath her... hang onto her for as long as you have to because you struck gold. On the other hand, if your life coach makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, do not hesitate to discontinue your work together. Remember that this is YOUR LIFE.

Here are 5 examples of things your coach might say to manipulate you.

SCENARIO ONE

Coach: This seminar I attended was a life-changing experience! Why don't you sign up? It's only $300.

You: Thanks for the offer, but I'm trying to save my money right now.

Coach: It's funny how we always find money for the things we want to do. The truth is, it's probably not the money that's holding you back from doing this, it's your negative mindset.

[It's not your coach's business what you do with your money, even if she is your "coach." If she continues to push you into making purchases you're not comfortable with, politely tell her that you're no longer interested in using her services.]

SCENARIO TWO

Coach: We must erase all negative statements and focus on the positive. Now, let me point out where you made a mistake...

[If your coach were truly a positive individual, she would NEVER utter the words 'you made a mistake.' This is a mind control tactic, and an attempt to make you feel 'in the wrong' when actually you have done nothing wrong. If your coach EVER says things like this to you, thank her for her kind advice and then cancel her services.]

SCENARIO THREE

Your coach leads the discussion to a topic of her choice, waits for you to politely acknowledge the topic, confuses you with a few ambiguous fluff statements, and then turns the tables and insinuates that you sought her advice on said topic when actually you never did.

[GET RID OF THIS COACH. You sought a life coach because you wanted to learn to confidently navigate your own life. Instead, you got a coach who tries to trip you up with Jedi Mind Tricks! Perhaps there is something in her own life that she's having trouble controlling?]

SCENARIO FOUR

You: Crap, I can't find that book you sent me. I'm so disorganized!

Coach: If we are mentally resistant to a new idea, often our subconscious manifests itself in a self-fulfilling prophecy. Perhaps you lost the book because you didn't really want to read it. Consider opening your mind to new ideas...

[Some coaches have a habit of relating everything back to psychology, which is not always the case. Maybe you really did want to read the book but had a chaotic week. Instead of insinuating that you have mental blocks, which by the way is a NEGATIVE assertion and not very coach-like at all, your coach should initiate some positive improvement and suggest that you work on organizational skills together.]

SCENARIO FIVE

You: God, I need a pep talk!

Coach: Ahh yes... recognize that you, too, deserve love and attention...

[While this isn't the worst thing that's ever been said, it's a bit dramatic and makes you out to be some kind of pathetic sot with a poor self-image. When you ask for a pep talk, you should get just that - a few positive affirmations and some encouragement to go forward.]

General Condescention: Don't buy into the holier-than-thou bit.

Some red flag remarks:

"Let me explain something to you..."
"There's something that you don't understand..."
"I'm so proud of you!!! You did it all by yourself! I want you to handle all situations like that!"

[A truly gifted coach instinctively knows how to make her clients feel appreciated, commiserated with, and most of all, on the same level. Your coach should talk to you ADULT-TO-ADULT as though you are two comrades, not like she's the kindergarten teacher and you're five years old.]

There are millions of people marauding as psychologists and related occupations, who actually have personal issues themselves which is why they feel the need to control other people. If you're getting a sense of this about your own coach or counselor, it's probably legitimate. People who do not feel good about themselves should not assume a "helper" role in other people's lives.

Step up and do what your coach has been preaching all this time. Take control of your own life, and lose the power tripping coach. Instead, find a coach who's truly interested in helping you become stronger, more efficient and more successful as well as reaffirms the wonderful and talented person you are!

Copyright 2005 Dina Giolitto. All rights reserved.

Find out how thought-provoking articles can position you as an expert in your field. Dina Giolitto is a Copywriting Consultant with ten years of experience writing for print media and the web. Visit http://Wordfeeder.com for a free consultation and copywriting quote.

More Resources

Unable to open RSS Feed $XMLfilename with error HTTP ERROR: 404, exiting

More Coaching Information:

Related Articles

Are You Seduced by The Dark Side of Wealth Creation? Get-Rich-Quick Scammers
With the growing number of expert business people, consultants and coaches keen to make money from multiple streams of income I thought I'd share a WARNING to help you spot genuinely useful information from dangerous scams.There's a very simple seduction trick that is deadly powerful when it comes to parting the masses (whether they consider themselves highly intelligent or not) with their cash.
Addiction to Worry
Carole started counseling with me because she was depressed. She had been ill with chronic fatigue syndrome for a long time and believed her depression was due to this.
Could You and Your Business Benefit from a Business Coach or a Consultant?
The surprising answer is "probably". Most individuals don't realize that a certified business coach or business consultant can add enormously to their home based or more traditional type business.
Live With An Attitude Of Gratitude
Imagine for a moment one of those nights when you just can't fall asleep and you have to get up early the next morning for a very important meeting of which you are the keynote speaker. Your alarm clock goes off early in the morning waking you from what little sleep you had.
How to Get More Business Without Even Trying
Why are you in business? Hopefully you enjoy what you do, however is it because you want to make money so that you can have, be and do more in your life?Who pays you? Your clients do and never forget that. Unfortunately many people do.
Do You Make Less Money Than Your Taller Peers?
A recent study at the University of Florida found that over the span of their careers short people earn less money than their taller counterparts. In terms of cold hard cash, each extra inch in height equals roughly $800 difference in annual pay.
Boost Your Self-Esteem
What Is Self-Esteem?Self-esteem literally means to esteem, or respect, yourself. Having high self-esteem means that you have a positive image of yourself.
The Incredible Rightness of Being
An Age-Old QuestionSearching for more meaning in our lives has been an age-old preoccupation for us humans. Why am I here? What am I meant to do? What's the point of it all? And, most importantly in the modern-day world, what is it that will make me happy?Dissatisfaction, or "Gimme More!"It is human nature that when we feel dissatisfied with something - be it our jobs, our homes, our relationships, or even our lives in general - we feel there is something missing.
10 Things I Wish I Would Have Known Before I Went Into the Real World
I must confess, I laughed when I saw that Maria Shriver has come out with a book called, "Ten Things I Wish I Had Known Before Going Into The Real World." The real world? Come on, she grew up a Kennedy and married the biggest action movie star of all time! That aside, it got me to thinking: What are ten things I wish I would have known before going out into the real world? So, here they are.
Budda In Your Back Pocket
The other day I was late for something. Not very late.
Leading Grief Groups: The Preliminaries
Preparation: If you desire advertising the group, announcements need to go to the media at least six weeks prior to the beginning of the group. Most effective is either an article or listing under Grief/support groups in the local newspaper.
New Developments Make Christian Life Coaching "The" Career Choice for Work-At-Home Professionals
I have watched for a couple years now, as my wife's career has really taken off and I must admit, I am impressed. At the age of 55, having had so many life experiences, it just made me sit up and take notice that something huge is happening.
The Tolerance Effect
While working with a client several months ago, we went through a process of identifying areas of personal strengths and weaknesses. Through this exercise, we discussed various characteristics and ended up deciding that there was opportunity for improvement in her level of "tolerance".
Mentors and Coaches: How to Be a Great Mentee or Learner
When you invest your time in being a mentee you will be rewarded with accelerated learning and experiences from your mentor. You will learn from and avoid the mistakes that they may have made, learn about your industry, meet great people, form valuable relationships and be able to mentor someone in your future.
Personal Core Values: Your Key to Success and Happiness
Each of us has our own set of personal values; these are the things which we believe are important, which motivate us and to which we give priority. If I asked you what your personal values are, the chances are that you would struggle to find the answer.
Leadership Coaching - Easier Said Than done
Recently at a Pharmaceutical meeting in Europe, one of the presenters shared the results of a recent study that demonstrated that Managers who were trained in Eight Step Coaching Skills were out selling DM's who were not trained in the program. This quantitative data seems to support that the cornerstone of success lies in effective leadership coaching and diagnosing the needs of the Representatives.
People Pleasing and How to Stop!
"People pleasing can leave you feeling empty and taken advantage of." Deb MeltonOne of the ways fear shows up in our lives and keeps us from living fully is when we become a people pleaser.
Business Coaching Legacy: Reflections on What You Want to Leave Behind?
Updating my will has been on my mind for quite some time now. Life circumstances change, kids grow-up, financial situations changes.
Negotiating Difficult Life Transitions
Life is a process of beginnings and endings. In both life and nature, there are times when things move slowly and don't seem to change very much.
The Role of Grief Group Facilitators
Technically, there are two types of grief groups. Informational and support groups are for individuals who have an interest in the grief process.