In December, I wrote several blog posts that were very personal. In them, I shared some of the lessons I learned from difficult life experiences that I thought would be useful for coaches and the readers like you who follow my blog (read them here and here).
The number of responses I received to those personal posts was really astonishing and heartwarming. I got more responses from these two articles than any other articles I posted in 2019. I know you all value my business content (and I’m so glad you do!), and it was clear that my personal stories hit a chord in some followers who had never reached out before.
What really engaged my readers was letting them see more of me. People hire coaches because they know, trust and like them; yet, sometimes as coaches, we are tempted to “put the veil up” because we don’t want to be in the spotlight; we want our clients to be in the spotlight. Our focus as coaches is on our clients and helping them bridge the gap between where they are now and where they want to be. In other words, it’s not about us. So we often instinctively put a veil up that keeps people from connecting with us on a deep level.
By letting the veil down, we attract more people to us because that transparency builds trust. And trust is the foundation in all relationships, but particularly in coaching relationships.
When I started my coaching business in 2000, I was in the executive coaching and team development arena. I had just stepped out of a corporate VP position, and I had the idea that in order to be “professional”, I had to be very buttoned up. Initially, that was my approach… until I realized that it wasn’t serving me or the client relationships. My buttoned up approach kept my clients at a distance and our relationships weren’t nearly as juicy as they are today.
Part of building trust is the credibility factor, and I was fortunate to have a lot of that in my favor, in addition to a network of supporters that told people about me. This helped me compensate for the cool energy I was projecting. But I quickly realized that the more I was willing to let myself be seen for who I really am (which is really quite warm, curious and humorous), the more fun and rich it was for me AND them. The relationships became longer-lasting, and people were more attracted to me. They started leaning in more than ever before.
The more your prospects can get a sense and/or feel of you, the more likely they are to hire you.
How can you share more of yourself in a way that actually serves your clients and your relationship? How can you tell stories that they can relate to and make you more relatable? How can you share things that evoke the know/trust/like factor in your personal interactions, your writing, on your social media, in your talks and on your website?
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Tara Butler Floch