Coaching, the Arrogance of Fixing and Chandler Bing’s WENUS


I dreamt last night that I was late to a dinner party and the gracious host was doing introductions. She introduced me as a tennis coach. I took her aside and explained that I was a business and life coach. She nodded and proceeded to introduce me as a doctor. Again, I explained that I was a coach. She then introduced me as a therapist. Then a social worker. Then an actuary (???). And on, and on. And every time, I’d protest. Guests were getting uncomfortable. After a time, I finally agreed to a title that people intrinsically understood. It seemed to make things go easier all around. Oy.

This sitcom-y dream reminded me of a conversation I had a long time ago with my friend and coach colleague Danette. We were lamenting the challenge of explaining to people what coaching is. We recalled poor Chandler Bing trying to get his friends to comprehend what he did for a living. (Programming? Something in distribution?)

What do I do as a coach? Well, that’s kind of like Chandler explaining his WENUS (Weekly Estimated Net Usage…which was better than The Annual Net Usage Statistics, but I digress), and may be better articulated by what I DON’T do.

I don’t fix problems. Know why? Three reasons:

  1. That would be arrogant of me to think I know better than anyone else. Or that somehow I’ve got it all figured out (I don’t).
  2. It would make ME feel good. While I do like to fix things, untangle knots and assemble IKEA furniture, this coaching ain’t about me.
  3. It would rob clients of the juicy true learning and knowledge and it won’t help them in the long run. The same problem will come back to bite them in the ass in another way. Guaranteed.

And as much as I do dig the song, I will not try to fix you. Why? Quite simply stated, you’re not broken. You know it. I know it.

So seriously, have I just talked you out of hiring me? Wait, wait, there’s more!

What I DO do is help you discover what you truly want. Potty humour aside, I help you to become aware of what’s possible and available to you in your life and business AND what’s been holding you back. Help you make the choices rooted in your truth (because, really, no one else’s matters). And then I sit back and watch you take over the world. Or write that book. Shaking my pompoms the whole time.

Discovery + awareness + choice = coaching

Probably best to just try me out. You’ll see.

5 Comments