Coaching Insights #2 Why you should only give one percent

Deep Ocean

Over the past decade I’ve worked with more than a hundred coaches around the world. For me developing the next generation of coaches is my big purpose, my reason for being.

I am writing these blogs to share with you my coaching insights, developed from my own personal enquiry where I swim to the depths daily to learn more about myself in service of others.  I hope that sharing these insights will lead to transformation for you and the clients you support.

One message comes through again and again when I supervise coaches.

At it’s essence the message is simple – you want to make a difference.

I know many of you have a big hearted, empathic mission, which gets fulfilled through this caring and meaningful profession. Coaching is a place to help and a space to give.

But if you look closely there’s an undercurrent that runs deep with any altruistic role.  

Sometimes it requires delicate exploration but is wise to discover. It’s the aspect of the healer that wants to be healed. A part of many coaches which is often ignored and then projected onto their clients.

When our wounds lay dormant and undiscovered they start to show themselves in different ways.  They begin to seep out of our soul, demanding our attention. Deeply desiring healing.  It’s not just evident in coaching sessions, but let’s stick to that for the purpose and context of this blog.

If you are a coach working with others then it helps to be alert and watch out for:

  • Over helping your clients
  • Excessive talking by you
  • Not managing your time
  • Trying to force your client somewhere
  • Taking responsibility for your client’s outcome
  • Over identifying with your client’s pain
  • Not being able to let go of a client’s story

You can see the clue to the wound in these examples is an excessive amount of giving on the coach’s behalf.  Trying too hard, pushing too much, giving more than is needed.

Recently I met a shaman who said: know who you are 99% and give 1%.

I’m sure his words will raise a chill in the heart of some coaches.  Surely the very nature of the role of a coach is to give 100%?  Before you discard this coaching insight you might be interested in the rest of his idea…

He went on to say that 1% given with love from a place of knowing yourself 99%, will be more powerful than giving yourself 50% 80% or 100%.

I believe that’s a message worth considering.  Of course this flips the idea of coaching on it’s head.  It means instead of giving excessively to others, you give to yourself to reach a place of deeper understanding about who you are.

I know you already know yourself well, but how much more could you know yourself?

If you’re interested in this inner exploration, here are some enquiry questions for you to journal on:

  • What themes and patterns do you see in your current clients? What are they teaching you?
  • What is laying dormant in your coaching practice that wants to be awakened?
  • If you were an observer to your coaching practice what would you see that is currently unseen?
  • How could you dive deeper into the depths of yourself in service of your clients?

These are big questions so don’t rush to find the answers!

Let the enquiry be as interesting as the answer.  Click to Tweet.

I was supervising a coach recently who said, “there are always more questions than answers”.

It’s true, and for me this is the magic of coaching!  As a coach you are always able to learn more about who you are in service of others.  The pursuit of the quest to know yourself 99% is a lifetime’s work (maybe more!)  This is the great privilege of our work.

If you’re a coach ready for a deep dive into yourself through supervision please do get in touch.  It would be an honour to travel that path with you.

With love,


2 Responses to “Coaching Insights #2 Why you should only give one percent”

  1. Kylie McDonnell

    Thank you for sharing this post Danielle, it’s brilliant food for thought x


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