What does it mean to be a feminist life coach?
Coaching is a dynamic & diverse field, and it's seriously booming. It's exciting to be part of the life coaching world, and I love that the ability to customize and innovate in this field allows me to serve women well. I also think that when you're on the front end of a new industry, you have a responsibility to identify trends and call your co-workers into a higher level of integrity.
As a lifelong feminist & a life coach, I obviously believe in the overwhelming ability of coaching to empower and support people from all walks of life, or I wouldn't have dedicated my business to it! I've seen firsthand how simple clarity, structure and accountability can transform one's daily experience and help individuals overcome some existing societal support gaps. However, I also see coaching sometimes used in incredibly disempowering ways, and I'm not down with that.
If a coach is offering you support in overcoming your blocks, that's empowering. If a coach is using your fear, insecurity or shame around those blocks to manipulate you into hiring them - that's not cool.
If a coach believes that all potential clients are capable of achieving their goals and are willing to hold the space for them to do so, that can be incredibly powerful. If there's a sense that you NEED this particular coach and will never be able to achieve your dreams without them, their secret recipe, or their new group program, that's not cool.
I consider all of my coaching to be feminist fueled, because that's how I identify outside of my business too. I don't claim to be the perfect feminist or to be the perfect coach, but I do believe that as coaches we have a strong responsibility to make sure that we serve our clients in full integrity and with the utmost respect for them. Here's what that means to me.
A commitment to inclusivity: The Well Supported Woman was designed for all who self-identify as women. I work primarily with this demographic because it's a community that I'm a part of, and one that still lacks the same opportunities for societal support that are inherently offered to those who identify as men.
That being said, I am committed to make sure that my coaching services feel welcoming and available to any who desire that type of support. I do this by offering customized coaching packages based on my clients' needs, considering each inquiry independently, and never refusing to work with clients based on sex, gender, race, ability or any other mitigating factor.
Furthermore, I try to check my privilege on a daily basis: as a white female coach in an industry that is dominated by white female voices, how can I help to shine the spotlight on other voices? How can I make sure that my message is inclusive to all, and not just part of the feedback loop that already exists for young white women?
A coaching program that is client-led: As coach, I honor the expertise and empowerment of my clients by allowing them to lead the conversation. I do not direct the conversation or give advice, because I want you to see yourself as your own guru. My role is merely facilitating and supporting your momentum.
I offer customized coaching services: Each client has unique challenges, circumstances and realities. While I believe that we often give too much power to circumstances (and I don't advocate a blind acceptance of those as truth), my sociologist background will never die. For some of us, there ARE very real limitations or even institutions that directly impact our lives. My job is to help you work around and with those circumstances to still achieve what you desire, not ignore their existence.
I am committed to making my services as accessible as possible: While I am running my own business, I do make a conscious effort to make coaching as accessible to everyone as I can. I do that by offering multiple tiered price options and lower price point events and products. I offer payment plans and do free sessions. I show up in person at local events to share my knowledge, and do my best to refer out clients to other coaches if we cannot work out a financial resolution, so they still get the coaching they desire.
These are just a few of the ways that I seek to consciously integrate my feminism with my life coaching business. I'm not claiming to have all of the answers, and this is just a starting point, but I do want my fellow coaches to consider this:
Are your services focused on building people up in the world, or causing further insecurity or fear?
I'm excited to make even further moves in the direction of a feminist fueled coaching practice in the future. Let me know in the comments: what does working with a feminist life coach mean for you?