I remember a preliminary phone call with a life coach I was evaluating.
What’s the number one skill a life coach needs to have? This isn’t a trick question. The answer is LISTENING. More than anything else, a life coach needs to listen. How else would you know how to prescribe a strategy for someone’s life if you don’t listen to what it is they are looking for?
This guy, who called himself “The Genie,” basically assumed what I was looking for was to manifest money, and with a name like “The Genie” you can imagine he was pretty focused on your standard, run-of-the-mill principles based on the Law of Attraction – and he simply went into a scripted sales pitch using the prospect of earning money as the hook.
I told him I wasn’t going to hire him in the middle of his obviously scripted sales portion, and I told him it was because he didn’t listen very well and that his entire phone call was a series of cliches I heard from the typical, new-age, get-rich-quick seminars badly regurgitated by a bunch of incompetent amateurs. Okay, I wasn’t that mean – but I did tell him I felt like his main problem was he spent too much time trying to sell me on why I needed to make more money, rather than listening to me.
You know what he did? He got defensive and told me that my attitude was bad, and that as long as I thought I knew everything I wasn’t ever going to make any money. Fair enough.
Why did he get so offended? If I was really some smart ass, know-it-all punk, wouldn’t he simply wish me well and realize that I wasn’t going to be a very good client?
The reason he got offended was because there was some truth to what I said.
Think about it. You don’t take it personally when someone insults you to your face and it isn’t true. You might be mad if someone is spreading lies about you behind your back, but if anything, as soon as someone makes a foolish assumption in the middle of an argument, you can walk away confidently, knowing the other guy was full of shit.
Now think about your relationships. Think about your job or your business. Think about your spiritual life. Hopefully you’re a pretty emotionally stable human being on the whole. But be honest – do they ever make you frustrated at times? Do they make you laugh? Do they make you cry?
If you answered “no” to any of those questions, I predict that your job / marriage / religion / friendship will either quickly become a thing of the past or it will continue to get progressively worse until it dies or you do. Unless you change. Fast.
When you make somebody you love angry, it’s called communication. When your diet program makes you want to cry, it’s called growing pains.
When someone asks you about your work and you tell them, “Can’t complain; it pays the bills..”
That’s when know you are in big trouble.