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Business Coaching Secret #3 – You Can’t Be Trusted

I hate to be the one to break this news to you but you cannot be trusted to keep your word…to yourself.

Almost no one can, and trusting yourself to keep your own promises to yourself is mandatory for success. Even the most disciplined individuals on the planet and world-class athletes employ personal coaches to help them stay on track to perform at the top of their game. It is the rare individual who doesn’t break a promise to him or herself. I won’t go into the reasons for this human predicament, but luckily there is a solution.

Create a structure of support to help get it done.

Find advisors, prodders, handlers, friends, teammates, co-workers, family, support groups, and yes, a professional coach. You need to be held accountable to keeping your word to yourself. The benefits of setting up a structured agreement (not casual or informal) are astonishing. For a variety of reasons, when someone other than yourself holds your promise you are far more likely to keep your word. There is nothing more powerful than the power of keeping your word.

Say: “I agree to be impeccable with my word”.

This is the first agreement in Don Miguel Ruiz’s classic masterpiece, The Four Agreements. The simple act of consistently keeping your word will set you free and set you apart. The best way to help you keep your word is to give it to another dedicated human that will hold you accountable. I say dedicated, because the person you choose to hold your promise must be 100% committed to you keeping your word.  

Set it up in your life so that you have a structure of accountability and integrity.

Make sure your friends, significant other, and trusted colleagues know what promises you are making in your life. But do not expect them all to hold you to keeping your word. Those who are closest to us in our lives are often the last ones to support our integrity. That is because they want us to be happy. This is not about happiness.  As a coach, I say your integrity is far more important than your happiness.

I am not a friend to my clients.

I may be sympathetic to their cause but I do not attempt to be friendly. Instead, I am their ally and I perform the task of upholding the integrity for all my clients. I support them in accountability in various ways including by asking questions like; “what are you going to do, by when, and how will I know you did it?”        

My clients pay me to ask them if they kept their word.

Sounds crazy, right? That is just the way it is for most of us and as a coach, if I do nothing else, I hold my clients accountable to their word.  In a sense, the coach becomes an authority figure in the service of supporting a client’s goals and vision. That is called a structure for integrity and you can trust that I will uphold the standard for my clients.

Professional Coaching Tip #3

Surround yourself with people who are committed to your success, not just your happiness. Your success depends upon you keeping your word. Ideally, hire a professional executive or life coach. However, if that doesn’t work for you then create a structure for integrity on your own. Let people in your life know what you expect of them in supporting you in your holding yourself accountable to keep your word. Make promises that can be measured and easily tracked for performance. Choose people whom you trust to maintain high standards. It will work, if they know, and you know, that this is designed to hold you to your word and nothing less. It works. Trust me.

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