No, not earth, wind, fire and water.

No, not John, Paul, George and Ringo.

The Four Elements in this post address the four necessary elements to a beneficial money coaching relationship, and they are:

  1. Historical Context (the past)
  2. Daily Events (the present)
  3. Forecasts (the future)
  4. Personal Info (critical, firsthand life experience) 

When you engage with a coach, they should be bringing a wealth of life experiences with them. Ironically, most coaches’ own money experiences are not the most critical value they bring to the table. The coach’s ability to understand and interpret your needs and desires, your biases and behaviors, and your attitudes about such diverse things as living within the confines of a budget to taking market risk, to how you felt when you couldn’t afford to pay the bills. These and many other personal factors will spell the difference between a fulfilled client and a confused client.

Additionally, the four elements each requires examination in the context of two worlds: the world at large and your world.

The world at large

It is important to understand the extent of impact the outside world can have on you, We’re not just talking the stock market here; we’re talking the world of geopolitics, the speed of societal change, economies, domestic and abroad, and, of course, what is happening in the wide world of money.

Knowing the historical context, what is happening in the moment and interpreting experts’ forecasts of the future, all provide the necessary context in which your world operates.

For instance, let’s assume you are a thirty year old woman born in 1980. It’s likely your world is heavily informed by your demographic group (the cusp between Gen X and Millennial), the major world events you have personally witnessed (9/11 and COVID-19), and the relative wealth of your middle class parents.

These and many other large and small life experiences will have shaped your attitudes about money and your relationship with money. And that relationship is so very personal, that your twin sister can have an entirely different set of biases and behaviors about money.

An exceptional coach will want to know everything relevant they can about your personal experiences within the world at large.

Your world

While heavily influenced by the world at large, this is the world you live in. The world of “what matters most.”

Family, health, money all play a major role, and empathetic coaches seek to understand these highly personal drivers. Remember, your coach is not out to change your mind about things, or create goals for you to reach; rather, it is your coach’s job  to empathize and understand you so deeply you can feel it, and then the path forward reveals itself!  

Coaching is not a “do as I say” role. It is a partner’s journey, a collaboration that can accomplish more than you may be able to accomplish on your own.

Understanding the two worlds in which you live, where the worlds intersect and where they diverge, is the key to effective coaching and happy, satisfied clients.