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Beyond the Mechanics of Coaching

By Toku

The path towards becoming a master coach

Many of us in the coaching industry are focusing on the wrong things. We have ideas for the future, like how we’re going to grow, what our unique offering will be, or how we are going to set ourselves apart from the rest and become a master coach.

But there’s a problem with this approach.

Many coaches haven’t actually mastered the fundamentals of coaching first. 

Now, coaching is simple in theory— figure out what people want, understand the context they’re in, and then learn how to ask really good questions to figure out what they actually want and what is in the way from their achievement of that goal. 

However, once you reach this point of being a good coach, if you don’t continue to transcend the techniques you’ve become accustomed to, then you just stop. 

You are a good coach, yes, but you won’t be able to become a master coach. 

What is a master coach?

A master coach is someone who can execute the mechanics of excellent, high-level coaching without a lot of thought or effort involved. They understand that the process of creating a coaching practice is as central to becoming a practitioner of transformation as actually delivering the coaching is. 

Master coaches are not caught up in the distinction between coaching and a business that serves clients. They understand that the pathway to mastery is a mountain with no top. They know that the only way to stay on one’s edge is to constantly be learning and asking oneself, what can I improve? 

Master coaches are walking a lifelong path of discovery. And they are comfortable in the understanding that mastery is not a destination, but a journey. 

Becoming a master coach

The journey of becoming a master coach is an interesting one. At first, you are doing the coaching, but at a certain point something strange happens–a shift of some kind–and you become the coaching. You start to transmit something, just in your being. Your coaching takes on a new feeling and tone. 

It may be counterintuitive, but to reach this point, you have to kind of lose yourself.

This is what masterful coaching feels like—you are not coaching; the coaching arises through you. There’s no conscious thought about doing anything, it is just happening. And ultimately, this level of coaching is no longer a technical profession. It’s more of a spiritual pursuit. 

The problem for many coaches is, they remain at a particular level of “good” coaching because they’ve mastered the mechanics, but they haven’t begun to actively engage in the spiritual pursuit of their practice

Here are some things that will help you get there:

  1. Let go of winning or losing. It’s important not to get too excited after a great session. Similarly, don’t get bummed out when it doesn’t go the way you thought. Just accept that whatever happened in a given moment was supposed to happen. 
  2. Put your attention on the person being coached. Keep all your attention on their desires, on the context of the coaching itself, and on the conversation. Let go of anything you’re thinking or indulging that makes the session about you in some way.
  3. Trust the process of coaching itself. If you show up and engage, then what is supposed to happen will happen. You will no longer need the coaching to happen or feel a particular way; you just allow the coaching to be

When a person shifts into the realm of being a master coach, it’s not that all their doubts and fears go away. Rather, a deep trust in themselves and in the process of coaching is formed. 

Achieving mastery makes your coaching stand out

Very few people ever move beyond simply engaging with the mechanics of coaching. It’s exceptionally rare to find someone who can blow you away. So if you can be one of the few who does it, if you can truly become a master coach, then your coaching will finally stand out. 

Of course, you still have to do the work to find clients. That part doesn’t go away.

But once people experience your coaching, they will find the money, the time, and the motivation to keep paying you. They will figure out how to work with you. They will do whatever it takes, because the experience of being with a master coach is so different it’s truly undeniable.

It becomes an incredible advantage that you can bring to the coaching space, and one that will keep you in work for a very long time.

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