How can you prevent burnout in coaching and mentoring relationships? How about in sales, or being a manager? Or basically burnout in any relationship? The solution is universal. Detach from the outcome. However, most people soon realize this is easier said than done.

It was about 1990. I  was just beginning to build my coaching practice. As my practice began to fill, I recall one particular conversation with my mentor coach, Karen. During one coaching session with Karen, I mentioned, “Coaching is exhausting! I coach one person and I feel like I have to take a nap.

You can coach 10 people a day and can keep going. How do you do that and have the energy to do so?”

She said, “you’re attached to the outcome.”

I reacted, “No I’m not. I just want to ensure I deliver value to each client in every conversation.”

This continued for months. The lessons continue to grow…

Then, I finally got the lesson.

In order for you and others to grow, you have to let go.

While paradoxical, once you set goals and establish boundaries around the coaching relationship, the greatest coaches let go and detach from the outcome during every conversation.

To further clarify what an attachment is, if you’re ending a conversation feeling exhausted, there was something you were pushing to happen, control or trying to guide the conversation in the direction you wanted it to go, whether it was:

*To Be Right
*To Get Your Point Across
*To Have People Agree
*To Have Them do Something
*To Give Value

If you notice, being attached to the outcome is about you, not the coachee.

Who Defines Value

I gave it my best shot to justify my point. “I wasn’t attached to the outcome, I only wanted to deliver value.”

And then it hit me. When training salespeople, I ask them, “There’s you and the customer. Who’s the sales process about?

The customer.

So who determines value?

The customer.

Now, when it comes to coaching whose’ the coaching relationship about.

The coachee.

Who determines value?

The coachee.

I had an attachment! Interestingly, I was attached to giving value.

Even though my heart and intentions were coming from the right place, it was still my agenda, as I was determining what value was through my eyes, not theirs. You know it’s often your agenda when you feel resistance from the other side.

Self-Park Your Agenda

Detach from the outcome, future desires and expectations, by mentally living in the present instead of trying to push  for something in the future or manipulate your agenda and outcome. This is exhausting, as now the conversation becomes a struggle for power and control.

So if you’ve ever ended a conversation feeling drained and exhausted it was because there was something you were pushing for in the conversation.

I’m not suggesting to abandon your goals, but focusing on them doesn’t help them manifest any faster. That’s why you coach the process, not the result.

The process lives in the present.

Paradoxically, one of my favorite quotes according to Gandhi, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” By detaching from your-SELF and self serving outcome, great things will then happen naturally that would normally go unnoticed.

The Yo-Yo Effect

Do you trust that when you let go of a yo-yo, it will wind back up to you?

It’s a lot easier to sell, coach and manage, when you let go of your own agenda, and focus on theirs. The byproduct is – you get what you want.

When you give people the space to share their most important priorities, goals and challenges, they will quickly identify the solution and value themselves. Doing so builds critical thinking, accountability and confidence.

Also, what people create they own. And what they own, they act on.

Shift from what’s next to what’s now. That’s where life happens, where coaching and communication happen, and, and where new and better outcomes and possibilities are created, when you let go of trying to control or manipulate the outcome.

Now’ you’ll have all the energy to run a coaching marathon.