Truth is a tenant of coaching
Truth is a tenant of coaching. Clients need to be able to rely on a coach to be absolutely truthful. This needs to be explicit as to ensure that clients know to expect this.
It is a very unusual situation to be in; not only being allowed to be completely honest, but having to be! And it’s rather difficult, however truth is a tenant of coaching!
By creating the relationship a coach is creating an environment in which truth is possible. It can, as with responsibility, be easier to raise these issues while the client is in hypnosis. It’s also important that your truth encompasses differences in perception and TACT.
Imagine a client who is looking to get a new job. When they come to see they coach, they are wearing odd socks, in need of a shave and have body odour. It might be considered truthful to say:
If you go to an interview like that, you don’t stand a chance. You need to get yourself together; you are a mess and you smell!
But this has forgotten perception and tact! Maybe this would be better:
Do you remember that I promised that I would be truthful with you, and by being so you know that you can trust all the comments I make about you, good or bad? Well, let’s think about what an interviewer may be looking for, bearing in mind that initial impressions often (rightly or not) count a lot. Today you are wearing odd socks. Maybe you like to, but if I were an interviewer, I would see that as a sign of being somewhat careless and might wonder whether you would be careless at work. You also haven’t shaved, which similarly might be interpreted as not caring. So you might like to think about how you present yourself, looking at it from their point of view. Finally, this is a delicate one, but perhaps I could just say that it might be time for that t-shirt to have a wash.
Note the gentle use of language that would be matched with gentle tones. The coach would also be looking for reactions, verbally or non-verbally to what was being said throughout and adapt as required.
It may be possible to utilise hypnotic tools such as surface structure metaphor for such situations, or to use questioning to allow clients to come to their own conclusions.
Finally, a reminder that truth is rarely absolute, so most truths would be best couched in terms of opinion to be on the safe side. That being said, it is essential to remember that Truth is a tenant of coaching.