Is it better to be an expert or a coach?

Many years ago, I met my husband’s aunt Lou for the first time. She was an amazing lady, a strong woman with clear ideas and a very firm and assertive voice. She knew exactly how things needed to be done. When my husband and I announced we were getting married, she assumed the role of […]

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Many years ago, I met my husband’s aunt Lou for the first time. She was an amazing lady, a strong woman with clear ideas and a very firm and assertive voice.

She knew exactly how things needed to be done.

When my husband and I announced we were getting married, she assumed the role of our wedding planner.  She knew how a wedding should run and what needed to happen.

She had all the answers. The only thing was, she didn’t ask the questions.

In our workshop, Wealth and Wellness 2.0 – the Wealth Advisor as a Coach, we share the differences between being an expert and being a coach.

The expert has the answers, the coach has the questions.

By far, this is the concept that gets the most questions from our audience. Our participants ask what role expertise should play.

Afterall…

“Clients pay me for my expertise.”

“Clients want to know that I know a lot.”

“My clients want me to fix their problems for them. They want me to do all the work.”

I remember my aunt Lou. She did a lot of work. Some of it wasn’t necessary because it didn’t meet our needs or wants. When we take on the role of expert, we let our priorities, experiences, and perspectives guide the work instead of letting our client’s true priorities, needs, and perspectives guide the work.

We work hard. We do a lot. And, we get frustrated when our clients don’t follow-through or when they aren’t overjoyed with the plans we’ve created for them.

So, should you be an expert or a coach?

Yes.

  • Don’t just take my word for it. Check out this article from the American Academy of Family Physicians.
  • And, this one from Hall of Fame Track and Field Coach, Tony Holler, “I have nothing against being an ‘expert’… just don’t forget to coach. Good coaches beat the experts every time.”
  • And, when you need motivation to remember your coaching skills, plug in the headsets for the best coaching song ever…

What do you think? When have you been a coach? An expert? Both? What worked for you? Please share here or send a note.

If you like this or just want to read more stories about Wealth and Wellness, be sure to subscribe to my blog. You can also follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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