If you do coaching or teaching of any kind – through email, blogposts, webinars, information products or Skype – you’ve got to be blunt and ruthlessly honest with them.
I know you don’t want to hurt their feelings, but telling them only what they want to hear isn’t doing you or them any favors.
If you spare their feelings, then you’re not being an effective coach.
If you genuinely want to help your readers and students, you’ve got to tell them the truth, no matter how awkward it might be.
Of course, if you can sandwich the truth between good stuff, that helps a whole lot. For example, “You’re doing a beautiful job on this, you need to work on that, and I like the way you handled that thing over there.”
Or some such.
Now here’s the paradox – when you’re wooing new subscribers and selling your entry-level products, you’ve got to hold back. Don’t be as blunt and ruthless. Be gentle and encouraging to build trust.
Does this seem hypocritical?
Maybe, but think about this: Two people tell you that you have lousy taste in clothes and you should get someone to help you the next time you go clothes shopping. The first person who tells you this is a complete stranger. How do you feel about this stranger being so blunt with you? Odds are you’d like to punch him.
The second person is your close friend. You know your friend only has your best interests at heart, and you know it wasn’t easy for him to say that. How do you feel now? Maybe a little irritated, but still, you probably feel grateful that he was able to tell you this, so you can maybe do something about the problem.
Be gentle with prospects and brand new customers.
And be blunt with your tribe.
The ones who want to learn will thank you for it. The ones you simply want affirmation of how terrific they are, well… they probably weren’t your customers anyway.
After all, if someone thinks he or she is perfect already, then why would they need to buy your products?