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A Problem in the Coaching World

Something I’ve been thinking about…

A significant problem I see in the coaching world–and coaching marketing–is the presumption of a level playing field.

To assume that the challenges facing a tall white guy and a short black woman are the same is… laughable. And unfair.

Which is not to say that tall guys don’t face and overcome challenges. But it’s still not a level playing field.

We know from countless studies that women, people of color, short people, differently-abled people experience negative bias from banks, businesses, the justice system, health care, strangers, and on and on. Tons of obstacles invisible to people without those life experiences.

This doesn’t in any way mean that success isn’t possible outside the TWG (tall white guy) lane. Most of my biggest success stories have been women clients, from all races, all over the planet. Women CAN make millions and do.

But awareness and acknowledgment that obstacles exist is key. Not as an excuse. As a place to start. Start with what IS.

Awareness calls for more kindness. More patience. More curiosity and creativity.

That’s why cookie cutter formulas–“do x and get y results” is not real coaching. It assumes a sameness that doesn’t exist. I’m not saying formulas aren’t useful, but they can be abusive when forced on the wrong person. And it can reinforce prejudices when what works for one group doesn’t work automatically for the rest of us.

Coaching is a conversation, not a formula.

Thoughts? (Please post below.)


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