A few months ago, I became aware that my work had evolved significantly over the past couple of years and that using the term ‘coach’ to describe my role didn’t feel accurate anymore. Neither did mentor, teacher, or consultant. Instead, my work had developed into a seamless blend of all of these skill-sets together. For months I sat with the question: what do I call myself now?
One day a client used the term ‘Thought Partner’ and my whole body thrummed. Has that ever happened to you? It felt like a deep cellular yesssssss. So I reached out to claim that title for myself.
This is what a Thought Partner means to me in my business, and how those two little words have shifted everything.
In an article by Rania Anderson in Forbes, a Thought Partner is described as someone who:
- Challenges your thinking.
- Causes you to modify or change your paradigms, assumptions or actions
- Has information or a way of thinking that provokes you to innovate or otherwise leads to value creation in your business, career or life.
I agree and I’ll also add that my thought partnerships:
- Are built on highly confidential relationships
- Value and leverage female strengths and preferences in business
- Focus equally on inner and outer transformation–we are focused on both.
You might be wondering how a thought partnership is different from a traditional coaching relationship?
I see coaching as a very specific skill-set designed to access the client’s own wisdom and to help them stay accountable for the things they say are important to them. The client always chooses the agenda and the coach stays objective and tends not to share her opinion or business experience (answers come from the client).
A thought partner will leverage her client’s wisdom but she will also freely share her own wisdom and experience. The client will always remain the expert in her own life and business but the expectation is that she can move forward faster, more strategically, and with less self-sabotage by utilizing the experience and support of her thought partner.
The differences are subtle but significant for me and my clients.
This shift has allowed me to be bolder with business strategy, share my natural affinity for teaching, offer honest and tougher insights and deliver it all with deep empathy.
Here are three ways my clients consistently report that our work together has directly affected their bottom line:
1. No more lone wolf.
The power is in the relationship. My partnerships help women thrive by positioning their business around their zone of genius. We achieve this together because the partnership is a real partnership–we design an alliance, agree to actions and outcomes, we define our roles and we come together as equals. We both bring the magic. I contribute my unique methodology, perceptive insights and strong track record of success and my client brings her commitment, vulnerability, intuition and knowledge. Add in some top-shelf coach training and our own personal expressions of love, honesty and integrity and we’ve got a solid partnership set-up for BIG success. This is business alchemy at its finest.
Expand your idea pool. Innovate. Stretch your thinking and your courage. Ride the edge of what you thought was possible. All because you have someone else intimately aware of the details of your business. Another brain and heart holding your vision for growth and impact with you. Sharing the load of this can feel like a massive relief, one that will allow you to get out of your own way and into consistent and intentional action.
3. Conceptualize, create and deliver new programs, courses and offers.
Your bottom line has everything to do with how you position your business in the marketplace, how you grow your community and what income streams you’ve created. Having a thought partner means you have someone who can help you strategize your next series of big-truth moves and encourage you along the way. This kind of support can make all the difference between aimless exertion and incremental success steps in your business. Ideas won’t make income unless you put them into action.
Over to you
When it comes to increasing your bottom-line, what kind of support has worked for you? What questions do you have about Thought Partnerships? I’d love to hear from you.