"Say The Thing That Will Get You Fired" Guest Post by Bonita Richter

Posted Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I sat across from him, and told him a story about some of my deepest fears as a coach. He listened intently, his soft, light blue eyes gazing into mine, seeing right through into my soul. I asked him if I should have done more. Could I have helped more?

Was I supposed to have spoken out loud the words that were swirling around my brain? I wanted to say them so badly. But, I didn’t want to say the wrong thing, in the wrong way. I didn’t want to hurt her. So, I kept quiet, murmured words of support, knowing I danced (not so delicately) around the true matter.

How do I say what I wanted to say without hurting? How do I tell her the victim story she is so attached to is a lie? Not that something bad didn’t happen to her. But, it continues, to some degree, because she allows it. She clings to it. I want to tell her it is time to release this story, this way of being. Yet, she is so deeply attached.

As coaches, we’ve all had a client that clings to their disempowering stories or beliefs. Or, for one reason or another, they didn’t do the work, didn’t get the results they were seeking; went AWOL, disappeared without a trace; didn’t respond to our calls and emails, our reaching out to help.

We know it’s not us. The type of client I am talking about has some deep stuff going on inside them that’s difficult to break through, no matter how earnest our efforts. I know in my heart of hearts this is my truth.

But, the question remains; is there more I could have done?


He told me this is what we are hired for, to tell people what they need to know so they can grow. It’s not always nice, and pretty, and sweet. But, it’s always intentioned to help someone see something they are missing, ignoring, allowing them to be disempowered, stripping them of their brilliance.

He told me, “You must say the thing that will get you fired.”

That statement hit me like a bag of bricks. Say the thing that will get me fired? I knew instantly that this was the answer I was seeking. Yes, this is it.

What I learned that day was I must have the courage to say things to my clients that may make them angry with me, frustrated with me, even hate me for that brief moment.

What I risk is them appreciating me for telling them the truth, telling them the things they know deep inside, but sidestep and avoid because they think no one else sees. Everyone sees. There is no hiding what’s happening under the rug. And, I must let them know.

Yes, as coaches we all know this, we’ve all heard this before. We do our best to practice it. Today, I finally ‘got it.’ I felt it in my bones. I had a breakthrough. I know now I have the courage to tell my clients what I am thinking, what they need to know, whether it’s pretty, or not. Even if by doing so I get fired.

Speak your heartfelt truth. Let your client know how they are sabotaging themselves. Because if you don’t they will remain in pain. I know many of you reading this already know this. I knew it, too. Now, I really get it.

So, my dear client, if you are reading this, you know who you are. Thank you for teaching me this valuable lesson. I love you, and am willing to risk being fired to help you.


Bonita Richter, MBA, award-winning business expert, international business coach, and 'Get Clients' Business and Marketing Mastery Mentor, is known for her keen insights and ability to expertly guide her clients how to market, brand, and create a financially rich and rewarding ´┐╝business. Her full bio is here!

Learn more about Bonita's programs and products by visiting her website at BonitaRichter.com.




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