Why I hate being coached.

Published on 7 November 2021 at 13:25

During my recent podcast with Emma Morgan (Check it out here!) she said something that really resonated. “Being a coachee is hard work.” It didn’t click straight away, but it kept creeping back into my brain. Being a coachee is hard work.


When you’re being coached, you’re essentially doing all the work. You’re problem solving, not just other people’s issues, but also your own. Try asking a coach a question and you’ll likely get a question back. Thus, you’re doing the work. And that’s my issue. I’m inherently lazy. We all are. It’s human nature. As much as we’re problem solvers, we’re also in built to find the easiest solution. So, if I can just ask someone rather than working out the answer for myself, I’ll do it.


If I have a one our coaching session on, let’s say, developing my business. I’ll likely not cover as much ground as attending a one-hour seminar from the same person.


Another reason why I don’t like being coached. You don’t cover as much ground.


But if I dislike being coached so much, why do I keep putting myself in those exact situations? Why do I keep paying people to coach me? Why do I keep heading to coach’s as often my first port of call?


Because it works.


Despite it being harder and covering less ground, I almost always seem to learn more. Perhaps learn is the wrong word. I understand more. And not just that, it actually helps me shift my mindset.


"Being a coachee is hard work!"


Example: recently, during a bit of financial trouble my first thought was just to bang some extra driving lessons in. I teach people to drive for a living, so that’s an easy fix right? Thankfully I paused and reassessed. What would the ramifications be? Would that fix the long term or just the short term? Which is more important?
It’s the coaching help that I’ve had over the last few years that has actually helped my change my mindset. So instead of just cramming in extra hours of driving lessons, I began putting processes in place to not only fox my initial problem, but to also help my long-term problem.


This mindset shift has come about almost purely because I was coached. I’ve read countless books and watched umpteen videos telling me the same things, but it never actually sunk in until someone took the time to actually rewire my brain.


Being coached also makes me address things that I don’t want to think about. I recently asked my wife what date I should end series two of The Instructor podcast. I didn’t like her answer so I asked someone else and after not liking that answer either I continued to ask people. It was only when I took a step back and coached myself that realised what I was doing. I know exactly when season two should finish, but I don’t want it to finish on that date so I’m looking for validation.


Think of a learner driver who knows full well that they shouldn’t be trying to squeeze between two cars, but tries to justify it anyway.
It’s that imbalance that coaching can override. And thankfully it did in term of when season two will end. I realised what I was doing and coached myself through it. I’m one of those people that when told to do something, I tend to do the opposite, so without the coaching I’ve had over the years I likely would’ve gone with the potentially damaging choice.


That’s another negative to being coached, it makes us actually look at the reasons behind our choices and thoughts. It’s uncomfortable. It can make us choose the hard options rather than the easy quick fix.


What’s amazing as I write this is that every one of the reasons I don’t like to be coached, is actually a reason I should be coached.


How do you feel about being coached? Not coaching, but actually being on the receiving end. Let me know in the comments,

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Sarah Baldock
3 years ago

This is so true! I hated being coached while doing my training. I just wanted all the answers to be given. We would sit and talk for hours sometimes, and i often felt we hadn't achieved much. It wasn't until I got in the car with learners, that it all made sense! I understood and was able to then use the same techniques on them.

Joe McGrory
2 years ago

I feel the same, when training with one guy , he basically did the work for me ,so consequently I didn’t learn as quick , he left the profession and I changed to one of the best coaches in the country, but boy was that hard , I suddenly had to do all the hardwork but although I was uncomfortable and didn’t like some of my sessions I learnt a lot more in a shorter space of time. I try to use those techniques with my pupils everyday so they do the work, and I feel fresher at the end of the working day .