Sharing The Knowledge

Globally With Everyone.

Foibles of a trainee-coach!

Rajat Garg 

- May 20th 2019



As happens oftentimes in life; while learning something new; the mind easily grasps what ‘needs to be done’ but ‘doing it’ is slightly more complicated!
So also in coaching; when my mentor coaches conducted a coaching session, I could recognise their skill in applying the coaching competencies flawlessly; but come my turn….and the client check-mated me pretty easily!
One such experience challenged me into fundamentally debating the premise that coaching is all about the coachee! This is what happened…
I was signed on to coach a senior executive in an organisation. In the initial meeting, we went over what coaching was about and more importantly, what it was not…set up the coaching contract, decided on an initial four sessions of an hour each with a review after each one. Next, I scheduled a ‘chemistry’ meeting with her. That session was smooth-sailing and we both felt confident about the actual coaching!
In the first session, we re-familiarised the format and began with the coaching conversation…everything was humming along just fine; when she suddenly burst out, “You are my coach, so YOU tell me what to do!” I gently explained to her that this was about her and while I would happily share my thoughts over coffee afterwards, it would be inappropriate for me to do so now! She seemed fine with that but, soon enough, asserted, “I want to know YOUR opinion. You are my coach and I will follow your advice.” Perceiving her state of mind; I empathised with her situation but cautiously reiterated my discomfort at expressing my personal thoughts in the ambit of the coaching conversation. I am unsure whether that went down well but we completed the session… with me feeling inadequate and keeping my fingers crossed that there would be no, such, further requests!
This episode triggered serious introspection…..enough that I deliberated about it as a coachee in my peer coaching sessions…. “Is it about the client and her needs or at some point it is   about me as the coach being true to the coaching code and ethics”? “Did the client interpret my refusal to engage in the manner that she wanted as a rebuff”? “While I remained true to the coaching conduct, did I help the client”? Most importantly, “how could I have handled it better?”…
While the easy answer is simply that the more you coach the more adept you get at handling potentially tricky situations; my main takeaway has been the understanding that being a coach is a journey of discovery, disruption and growth about our own selves as well!
My distinguished coaches may be wondering, what this whole hoo-ha is about? But as I mentioned in the beginning, at this stage of my coaching journey, I can recognise the pit falls but can’t always avoid ending up in them! So till such time as I learn to weather the volleys like a veteran, may I, respectfully, ask you to kindly bear with my tales of turmoil!

About The Author

  • I am Rupa Kothari. I love engaging and making a difference in people’s lives in whatever manner I can. I am also a qualified journalist and have worked and written  for  various publications and have been editor of a children’s art newspaper, and consulting fetaures editor among others.  You can read my blogs – From My Window at

  • Apart from coaching and journalism; I am a professional terrarium maker and I sell under the label, “Happiness in a bowl,’ (and it is truly that!) You can find me on Instagram as ‘rupakothari20’.
    Image Courtsey:

Rajat Garg

Rajat is a Master Certified Coach (MCC) with over 18 years of industry experience and over 2500 hours of coaching experience, helping people and organizations attain maximum effectiveness. His background includes working with CXOs, senior managers, managers and board of directors of small private companies to multi-billion dollar publicly traded organizations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Blogs

The Journey to the Centre of my Being

7-year-old me: What should I draw? 10-year-old elder brother: What would you like to draw? Me, hoping I will get some ideas: I don’t know. You tell me na? Bro (absolutely unperturbed): But how can I tell you what to draw when it is you who wants to draw? Me (sighing): Arggggg!! This is how … Continue reading "The Journey to the Centre of my Being"

How do Teens benefit from Coaching?

Are you the parent of a teenager? Do you find it increasingly difficult to talk to them? All the mood swings, the sulky looks, the “I’m fine” and “Whatever!” No matter how hard you try you just can’t seem to understand him or her? Parents want their teenagers to be confident and happy. To be … Continue reading "How do Teens benefit from Coaching?"

Uncomfortably Excited ??? Growth and Emotions

I have trained … I have learnt new skills … I have practiced these skills under different environments … I am ready.. Let me tell you my journey of learning to drive… I was 14 years old. My Dad was catching an afternoon nap and his car was parked in the garage. Over the years … Continue reading "Uncomfortably Excited ??? Growth and Emotions"

Am I really me?? – Self Leadership

Close to four decades in corporate life,  I have seen a lot of effort in ‘Behavioral Change’. This is very one dimensional and I knew I had to go deeper than Behavior to really start making lasting Behavioral Change. Below is a snapshot of my research and my reality. “Leadership is a choice, not a … Continue reading "Am I really me?? – Self Leadership"

Hence…..People Will Never Forget How You Made Them Feel"

A very famous quote by Maya Angelou “ People will forget what you said, People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. While I decided to enroll CTT while I started my journey, I understood the deeper meaning on how our mind thinks, works and speaks. Various … Continue reading "Hence…..People Will Never Forget How You Made Them Feel""

Creativity is born for Curiosity

It was on a fine day on Jan 2020, It was very accidently that I came across a mail and somehow my curiosity took me to explore the website. I talked to the respective person and was not sure about if for 4 months and just thinking. While I was busy with my routine jobs … Continue reading "Creativity is born for Curiosity"