The Paradox of Accountability in Coaching

In my 15 years of experience, I’ve found that most of my clients come to coaching knowing there is opportunity for growth in their lives, but being uncertain how to make the most of it. They are completely capable of moving toward growth on their own, but they hire a coach because it streamlines and speeds up the process. Holding clients accountable to follow through on what they say they want is a big part of a coach’s role.

For example, in every coaching conversation, the client decides what specific steps they will take to move toward their goals. A client who is focusing on improving her physical fitness might commit to joining a fitness club, finding a running partner, and keeping a food journal. She agrees to report back during our next call what steps she did take and what she learned. Such external accountability works—good leaders use it all the time to motivate others to productivity.

Still, sometimes people don’t do everything on their list, and sometimes they do nothing on their list. Some might call that failure. I call it INFORMATION!


In fact, it might sound like a paradox, but more learning comes out of what doesn’t work. In other words, failure is an essential part of the formula for success. Think of it as fodder for the compost pile. Compost takes our peelings, our castoffs, what we can’t use and turns it into rich soil. You might say failure feeds our growing edge. What are you willing to fail at today?

Introducing ‘The Growing Edge(SM)’

My clients are smart. They’ve achieved personal and professional success. They’re leaders, whether formally or informally. They’re usually quite self-aware. Many lead lives that serve the greater good.

So why do these smart, accomplished leaders hire me as a coach?
It has to do with what I call the growing edge, which is simply when circumstances in life move us towards new awareness and new action. Maybe it’s entering a new life stage, embracing a new business opportunity, a shifting personal relationship, or something painful such as illness or an intimate death. These particular opportunities call us to pay attention and then act with intention. A good coach helps you to learn from your own life, then launch you into meaningful action.

Exploring this territory has long been my passion. That’s why I’ve chosen The Growing Edge (SM) as a theme for my work and why I’m paying attention to my own growing edge.
Example: My professional goal is raise the bar in my coaching career. I am opening the door to new clients who are poised to take major personal or professional leaps and prepared to engage premium-level coaching support as they do so. Sounds straightforward, but even promoting myself through this blog means facing, in a public way, my own doubts, excuses and gremlins:

•    “I’ve never done this before!”
•    “I hate to disappoint people.”
•    “Can I keep this content fresh?”
•    “What if readers don’t like it?”

Are you chuckling right now? Sound familiar?
Coaching is the way to make the most of  these risks and challenges. My life’s purpose is to help you tend your growing edge. Ready? Call me to see how we can work together.