A DSWA Coach School Experience

Posted on March 27th, 2013 by The DSWA

Love In Coaching, By Gravin DeShazer

It has been said that “No one cares what you know until they know that you care.” Nowhere is the truth of this more evident than in the relationship between coach and client.

The DSWA Coach Excellence program is a clear manifestation of this principle.

This is expressed throughout the program, from its declared vision—“to equip leaders, executives, and professionals with coaching skills that empower direct sellers to achieve their dreams,” to the highly effective coaching skills it teaches—“You’re The Expert” Questions, Heart-Centered Listening TM, Agreed Action and Accountability, Compassionate Feedback and ICU Acknowledgments. The underlying theme; in fact, the very foundation of this system, is love.

What is love, and why is it so important to achieving results in coaching?

Real love is caring about the happiness of another person without expecting anything in return. Real love is always unconditional. The most fundamental aspect of the relationship between coach and client is that client must be able to know that the coach truly cares about their well-being. When someone hires a coach, they are relying upon that coach to help them improve and to give them her very best, without reservation.

coach excellence - dswa certificate program

You might suppose that paying a coach constitutes a commercial transaction; that the fee paid is in exchange for the insights rendered. But, this is not actually the case. In its purest form, the coaching relationship is based on a choice made by the coach to care about the client’s happiness, to love the client unconditionally; and on a choice made by the client to trust in that coach’s love.

Of course, they may not use the “L” word. It is, after all, a word sorely misunderstood and generally misused in our society, burdened with connotations not at all related to its true meaning. Yet, the fundamental purpose—to care about the happiness of another, with no agenda of one’s own—is there. The fees paid are merely to facilitate the coach spending his time and focused attention on the needs of the client, as well as an acknowledgement of the value of the coach’s time. Further, it is a tangible representation on the part of the client, a commitment, an investment, in the outcomes sought.

You might further suppose that a coach who has chosen to love his client must lose any semblance of objectivity, must necessarily care too much. But this supposition would also be false, as it would reflect a lack of understanding of the true nature of unconditional love, which, by its very definition, is based in full and complete acceptance of the client exactly how she is in this moment, with no requirement for change.

Above all, real love recognizes the Law of Choice, which holds that “everyone has the right to choose what they say and do, even when I don’t like their choices.” To attempt to control a client would be to ignore this bedrock principle. It would be like saying, “Since I clearly know better than you, you must surrender your freedom and I will make your choices for you.” Of course, to be fair, we must then be willing to give up our own freedom of choice to anyone who thinks they can see what’s good for us better than we. It would take little imagination to see where such presumptions would lead.

A direct corollary of the Law of Choice is the Law of Expectations, which says, “I don’t have the right to expect anybody to do anything.” To truly love to his client, a coach must be able to simultaneously stand for his client’s greatness, yet hold no expectations; he must be willing to continue loving his client even when the client chooses a different path. He must, in fact, be willing to love his client enough to allow her to have her own experience and, after having her own experience, regardless of how difficult it may have been for the coach, to love her still.

In this respect, the role of a coach is something like that of a parent, encouraging her child to learn. No parent wants to see her child be hurt. But truly wise parents seek opportunities for their children to extract the maximum education from every event in their young lives, knowing that the child’s own experience is the best teacher. A parent’s objective—and a coach’s—is to lovingly support the development of understanding.

coach school

To receive the love offered by her coach, the client must be willing to trust. For many, this is no small task. In fact, it may be the pivotal challenge, the essential ingredient for true transformation.

To understand why, we must first briefly explore the nature of love.Every human being is born needing unconditional love in the same way our lungs need air. Fortunately, nature provides new parents with an instinct to provide such love for their babies. But, as we grow, there comes a time in each of our lives when we don’t feel that we are unconditionally loved. That pain is unbearable, like emotionally drowning.

To ease that pain, nearly everyone learns to access some form of temporary substitute—our personal mix of praise, power, pleasure and safety. We develop patterns of behavior to get these imitation forms of love. We carefully construct an image, our “social mask,” to make sure the rest of the world sees us as we want to be seen in order to maximize the chances of receiving the imitation love to which we’ve become addicted.

The bizarre paradox is that the more imitation love we seek, the less real love we can experience. Our social mask gets in the way. As we lead with our polished image, we may well be seen exactly as we intended. But, in that moment, all we really know is that people have responded to our mask. We have no idea whether they would accept the whole person we really are, because we have not let them see the whole person, just the mask.

To feel unconditionally loved, we have to find out if someone can accept us as we really are. How? We must trust them enough to let them see behind the mask. If we fail to take this step, we condemn ourselves to live forever in the shallows, pursuing an illusion of what we truly want, a mirage that can never satisfy. Sadly, this is where most people spend most of their lives.

Real love is, by its very nature, transformative.

Find A Coach

Finding a coach who has love to offer, who chooses to love his clients simply because this is what coaching means to him, because loving others is what he has been called to do in this life; and learning to trust that coach and receive that love, can be life-changing. You cannot experience “knowing that someone cares” without truly “caring what they know.”

This is about believing enough in your value, in your worthiness as a person, to choose this level of support. It is a personal declaration that your life matters and that your goals are sufficiently important that you will do whatever it takes to make them happen. This is the power of love in coaching. This is the power of love in life.

About the Author

This article was posted by the DSWA.