Choosing Community over Competition

Heather Palow, Coach

As we celebrate the value of gaining personal and professional development by working with a professional Coach during International Coaching Week, I was drawn to the idea of how Coaches provide professional development for each other by choosing to focus on community building over competition when Coaches support other Coaches.

In many aspects of owning a small business, I’ve found that there is a constant tug-o-war on your limited resources, with the most precious being your time. So why would a Coach choose to spend time with other Coaches rather than attend to their never ending to do list?

Community

  • Knowing that there are other Coaches out there can motivate you to learn from others, dig deeper into a topic, and really understand the information. By sharing past experiences and lessons learned, I have found great perspective in how far I’ve come and have yet to go.
  • In coaching we believe that our clients have unlimited potential, and we should also believe that of ourselves. By talking with other Coaches about the pros and cons of an idea, we can actually save time and money by sharing an idea in a closed test market before offering that idea to the general public.
  • The feeling of being part of a collaborative community boosts enthusiasm and empowers everyone. Many Coaches work as solopreneurs or in very small teams. Knowing that there are others out there also supporting clients can motivate you to keep on growing and taking on new initiatives.
  • As a community, we can increase the awareness of how coaching supports our society. We can band together to make positive changes in the industry and policies around insurance and employer coverage for our services.

I know, this all sounds great. But what about when fear and our inner critic creeps in and we start to worry that talking with other Coaches will create competition?

Competition

  • As Coaches, we all desire to support our clients. This shared goal creates the opportunity to reframe the word “competition” to think of it more as accountability and motivation. We can build on other Coaches’ excitement to encourage ourselves to push a bit harder or show up a bit more in our day-to-day activities.
  • When we talk with others, we start to understand what’s unique about our own story. Only you have your story and passions and they are your best marketing tool. By talking with others about their stories, it will give you inspiration about your sense of purpose and quiet your limiting beliefs.
  • By getting to know other Coaches and their values, you can feel confident in your referral network. Most coaches aren’t all things to all clients and having a strong referral network that you can confidently transition your client to will make you feel much more comfortable as you know they will be in good hands.

Community and competition can be good things that make us thrive. The trust in the coaching community and knowledge sharing that happens when I work with people considering coaching schools are two of my favorite aspects of working with people who are thinking about becoming a Coach.

Perhaps the most important thing about choosing community over competition is the feeling of support we give and receive when sharing knowledge. Support and encouragement that your never ending to do list will never give you.

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