The 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?