Understanding who we are not

Recently I met a Coaching client who was struggling to market her business.  As a fellow Coach she knew that she was the face of the business and that to attract clients she had to show more of herself and so had to be clear about who she is and what she can offer.

As coaches, we usually focus on what we want, believing that having a solution focused approach is what draws us towards our outcome.  But when she was thinking about who she was and how she wanted to be perceived she was feeling really stuck.  So to help her through I had to turn that thinking on it’s head.

So I posed the question – “Who are you not?”.  The shift was immediate as my client could immediately describe the image, skills and attributes that didn’t fit with her.  She then proceeded to admit that there were other skills and attributes that she admired in other coaches and which she aspired to be (and often presented herself as being), but actually in reality they were not part of her.  This meant that when she tried to market herself, she wasn’t being authentic.

This naturally led to the question, “Who are you?” and “What makes you unique?” which created a clear vision of who she is, what she does well, how she can support her clients and led to her describing her unique selling point.  She felt so much more conformable with her new vision and realised that by being able to sell herself in an authentic way, she would then attract the right clients to her.

It was such a great learning curve in that whilst solution focused thinking can be of huge benefit, sometimes we need to explore what we don’t want.  And along the way, I’ve learned that to understand ourselves we sometimes need to explore what isn’t us, to fully understand what is.

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