What is the Value of Great Coaching?
I’ve had established fees for nearly twenty years. They are lower than some in the coaching industry and higher than many. I enjoy being well paid for my work. So why would I offer a PayWhatYouEnjoy* option to clients?
Some people see coaching as a service profession. I see it as a “modeling” profession. And one of the things I want us to be able to model is a relationship where we both get our needs met, a professional relationship that we both enjoy.
So, what would you enjoy paying? This can be a challenging question. And since a powerful coaching relationship includes challenging questions, I don’t mind asking this one.
I’ve had some curious reactions to this question. Some people would truly just prefer to pay my published fees. And that is fine. Some have chosen to give me a year-end bonus, which I greatly appreciate. Others have felt some discomfort, as they sorted through a thought process, trying to determine what the right number is for them…a combination of "What will he accept, and what won’t have me feel guilty?" How exquisitely human!
If you're still thinking that you might like to pay what you enjoy, here’s another possible approach to picking a number. I suggest first checking in with your heart. I know it may not be anatomically accurate, but something different does happen when you breathe and focus on your heart area. Different thoughts and images may arise and those may be valuable. It may also be useful to notice your smile. Do your facial muscles shift when you think of different numbers? Is there a quiet smile, a big grin, or even a belly laugh? What would happen if you trusted that response more than your thought process?
Does that mean I work for free? Hardly! When you choose the PayWhatYouEnjoy* approach, I get to weigh in as well.
What’s in it for me, the coach? What do I enjoy?
I enjoy working with people who, in some large or small way, are interested in creating a world that is more connected, a world of compassion and honesty, a world of diminished pain and heightened humor.
I enjoy working with people who come to coaching appointments with an eagerness to dive into passionate and energetic conversations, who engage me as a partner not a parent, manager, or guru.
I enjoy being respected, being able to engage in a creative process, learning, succeeding, and taking an interest in the full spectrum of our lives.
I enjoy working with clients who are willing to tell others about their experience of coaching, so that I can focus on the success of my current clients more than looking for new ones.
So I'm pretty clear that I am paid by both a fee and your participation. That's what's in it for me. That's what I enjoy.
If we both choose the WhatWeEnjoy approach, we’ll be grounding our relationship in honesty. Not a bad place to start.
* In order to keep a healthy balance I limit the number of Pay What Your Enjoy spaces in my practice.