When coaches work with individuals, the relationship is affected by both the client’s personality and the coach’s. Different people approach things differently. Think personalities, gender, age, socio-economic status, and cultural background.
As an example, consider how different personalities influence approach in a coaching session. Some clients make decisions quickly; others want time to investigate and to think. When a client makes decisions too fast, the coach asks questions so that the client considers whether they have enough information and the possible outcomes of the decision. When a client is slow to decide, the coach provides tools for decision making and asks the client about the implications of a timeline for deciding.
If the coach in this example is decisive, then the coach must be aware of their own tendency so that they balance it to best serve the client. The same rule applies if the coach is slow to decide – the coach must be aware of their own style and balance it with what works for the client.
A coach is aware of the influencing factors from their own life: personality, gender, age, socio-economic status, and culture. The coach is aware of the same influencing factors in the client. Whether the approach of the client and the coach are the same, similar, or completely different, it is incumbent upon the coach to be aware of the differences and to create balance.
The value of similarity is in the coaching relationship; the value of differences is perspective from the coach.