This hilarious meme based on a leading character in the Netflix hit show, Ozark, found its way into my social media feed this week.
Most of us not only relate to the phrase in the meme but probably wish a number of “experts” on Covid-19 would relate to the sentiment as well.
As I kept thinking about the phrase, “I don’t know sh*t about f**k,” it occurred to me that this concept is the “secret sauce” of Executive Coaching.
I know the face you are making now…”the person I engaged to help me with some of my biggest challenges doesn’t know sh*t about f**k?!”
When an Executive Coach engages with a client, the client is considered “the expert” and the coach provides specialized knowledge about coaching, business and leadership. So coaches do, in fact, know some things…
What we do not need to bring to a true coaching relationship is a deep understanding of the client’s industry nor should coaches get too much in the weeds of this. Otherwise, we slip into consulting mode. And that is NOT the role of a coach.
As a coach, when you recognize that you don’t know sh*t about f**k, you allow your client to be the expert on solving their challenges – which research will tell you is the most effective way to help someone overcome obstacles.
Great coaches understand that when a client uses their knowledge, skills, character strengths and values to solve their own problems, change happens more easily and is often more permanent.
When coaches embrace the idea that they don’t have to “know sh*t about f**k” with respect to the industry their client specializes in, the coach can step away from the minutia and help the client see the themes and the big picture.
Coaching with the big picture in mind helps the client learn about their role in the challenges as opposed to focusing on the challenge itself. Great coaches “coach the person not the problem.”
There are times when not knowing sh*t about f**k drives coaches to do what we often do best: research. Helping clients apply research-based tools to create behavior change is one of the things we do best. When we find ourselves wanting to know more, we hunt for tools our clients can experiment with.
In conclusion, the humility that is required to get comfortable with not knowing sh*t about f**k is a skill coaches hone over time. When starting out, most coaches are obsessed with learning everything they can about everything.
When you get to a place in your coaching career where your focus is on listening, remaining curious, applying compassion and offering high level thematic support, you know that you have arrived.
So go ahead and embrace the idea that you don’t know sh*t about f**k. It will make you a better coach.
Reach out for a consultation with Kimberly at Kimberly@KimberlyPutmanCoaching.com to talk about your coaching needs.