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March 11, 2008

10 Ways My Coaching Clients Inspire Me

The inspiration theme has got me thinking about my own sources of inspiration, not just what inspires me to write, but to do what I do, including my work as a writing coach

I get a great deal of inspiration from the people I work with and I thought this might be a good moment to explore some of the why and the how (using the structure of the numbered list to get me thinking.) 

These were the ten ways I came up with.

10 Ways My Writing Coaching Clients Inspire Me

#1 I am lucky enough to have a number of clients who are themselves coaches, or leaders in their field, people who are interested in big ideas, pushing the boundaries of the professions they're in.  I get to learn from their learning, their ideas, their teaching and coaching as we go

#2 I have clients all over the world.  This excites me, intrigues me, inspires me - this crossing of borders, boundaries, continents - I love it

#3 However much I try to package and bundle the services I offer to make it easier to explain and promote - the beauty of coaching is that every client brings a different story, a different set of issues and requirements, which means I learn something new from every interaction

#4 Writing is important to my clients - I know it sounds obvious but learning about why their words count be it for business, to write a blog, for creativity, self-expression or a stronger sense of identity reminds me that what I do is valuable, it matters, it counts

#5 I can lose myself in the detailed work of editing, providing feedback and critiquing - maybe this is what people mean when they talk about working in a flow state 

#6 It's a buzz when I see my clients putting what they've learned into practice

# 7 Everyone's writing style is different - so getting under the skin of their words helps me learn from other people's writing, to extend my own register, to see things I could do with my own writing

#8 I know that opening up and asking for feedback can be a big thing - so each time someone does it feels like a privilege to be invited in to share their words.  I value and respect that invitation.

#9  I'm learning with a purpose.  When I'm researching something for a client whether it's detailed guidance on comma splices (not too often thankfully!) or coming up with assignments to get over blocks, to get the words to flow - I'm reading, researching, thinking, checking notes, files, books and references with a purpose, making it a most enjoyable search

#10 Their words want to be free.  And it is so much fun helping to find the way to liberate them!

How about you?  What kind of inspiration do you get from the people you coach, teach, manage, raise, encourage, write for?

If you'd like to inspire me with your own writing project, please do contact me.  I work with people in a variety of ways including telephone coaching, coaching by e-mail, writing critiques, assignments + feedback as part of a mentoring programme - you'll find out more by clicking onto the work with me page.

This piece is a contribution to this month's inspiration theme - stay tuned for more!

Joanna Young, The Confident Writing Coach
Because our words count

Photo Credit: Leading By Inspiration by Thiru Mirugan on Flickr


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Hi Joanna, you continually inspire me with ideas to ratchet up my writing. I'll check out your inspirations challenge and see what comes when I mull it over a little... ;-)

Robyn, you must get so much positive feedback from watching people's brains start to spark - I bet it's fun to watch sometimes!


Hi Joanna - It sounds like you love your work. I get inspiration from all around me - at work and also on the Internet.

I love the Internet, because you get to meet people from all over the world and you learn so much from them. I think I've definitely learned to take more risks too.

Reading about the brave and audacious things others have done is inspiring and I think it gives you more courage yourself. I definitely wouldn't have done yesterdays blog post if you hadn't encouraged me, but I'm glad you did.

Joanna, you have a marvelous attitude for a coach. You obviously derive a great deal of joy from helping others and feeding off their ideas and experiences. I enjoy being around people who think creatively and are not afraid to think big, because it inspires me to do the same. Maybe that's why I usually do my best work for my most demanding clients.

Cath, I do love it. I enjoyed trying to work out some of the specifics as to 'why'

I love the Net too, like you I find it a constant source of curiosity, interest, inspiration

I'm glad you felt encouraged by me yesterday but please note I'm not taking any responsibility for things you said about your ex-husband! :-)


Hi Brad, thank you.

I think the "thinking big" part is hugely exciting and inspirational - it shows us what's possible, encourages us to push the boundaries, including our own.

I have to say though I am glad my clients aren't (at the moment!) being too demanding :-)


I can relate with the rush of seeing your student put what they have learned into practice!

Hi Damien - rush is a good word for it, thanks :-)


Hi Joanna,

I read this yesterday and had to come back and read it again today. So many of your points just hit home for me but #10 really resonated as this is exactly what you have done for me! You set my words free and reignited my joy for writing. I am forever grateful. You really are the greatest writing coach, ever. :-)


Karen, what can I say :-)

Maybe I should add one more. The feedback I get from the people I work with fills me with gratitude and joy.


We are also encouraged by our clients' enthusiasm for improving their writing. The idea that people care about their writing, care about improving their communication ability, excites us.

That's great David. It's good to get those kind of feedback loops in our work :-)


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