Coach-Client Partnership?

coaching partnershipThe subject of partnerships is one that has become very important to me, especially since starting my own business two years ago. Reflecting back on two years of running a small business, with three different partners, convinced me that possibly the most important thing in business is who you  partner with (or, as one friend of mine put it, also a business owner, whether you take on a partner at all).

The penny that dropped for me today was around coaching and partnerships. The point is often made that the coach-client relationship should be a partnership. To make this point clearer one can contrast it with other kinds of relationships: parent-child, doctor-patient, therapist-patient, teacher-student, mentor-mentee.

I guess the distinction is that coaching should be a partnership of equals, and there shouldn’t be a difference in rank between coach and client. However, in practice this is often difficult to achieve, I guess because the format is so similar to a mentor-mentee or therapist-patient relationship.

So the penny that dropped for me was essentially this: What would it be like if I approached my coaching relationships the way that I now approach potential business partnerships? What if I  only moved ahead with a coaching engagement if I was excited about working with the client, because of an alignment at some fundamental level, and because I truly believed we could produce exciting results by working together?

Comments anyone?