When 1-to-1 work will accelerate your growth and when it will NOT

Let’s start with the negative. When does 1-to-1 work not accelerate your growth? In my opinion, this is actually quite often. And truth be told, sometimes I feel disdainful about working in the personal development space. Because many people who have worked with some sort of practitioner and did not achieve the results they expected. Many practitioners are unable to get results for their clients. I have been in the client seat, handed over money to practitioners, and subsequently not received the value that I was promised. This is a situation I hope to help you avoid.

Obviously, someone working with a therapist/coach/mentor has an outcome that they are striving for. What is less obvious is: What actions will help them move towards that outcome? What is even less obvious is: How working with a practitioner will help them move towards their outcome? Working backwards from the outcome, if you can clarify what support will move you forward, then you will be able to select the right practitioner.

What follows is a little framework, based on my experience, to help you make this decision. I see 5 forces that a practitioner can provide to fuel progress:

  1. A safe space to release and be heard without interruption / “Friendship"

  2. A space for reflection, increasing awareness and creating realisations / Perspective

  3. A sounding board to review strategies and consider alternative approaches / Masterminding

  4. A mirror to reflect alignment of promises made versus actions taken / Accountability

  5. Direct solutions for problems / Solution (or guidance or healing)

The different “labels” that practitioners use can be confusing but typically mean that they provide different forces. This is my simple map of the space:

5 forces of facilitation vs 4 roles of practitioners

5 forces of facilitation vs 4 roles of practitioners


Using this map and the following process should allow you to pinpoint the right practitioner to work with:

  1. Ask yourself "What is your primary objective right now (in which you feel you need some support)?”

  2. Ask yourself "Which of the 5 forces do you believe that you need in order to make progress here?”

  3. Shortlist practitioners who can provide the “fuel” that you need pointing at your primary problem.

  4. Interview the practitioners with a focus on discussing your outcomes. Make a decision based on how you resonate with them and congruence of their story with their behaviour.

This might be a little theoretical, so let’s bring it to life with some examples:

  • April is not selling enough for her business. She isn’t entirely clear why. She knows that she is not taking enough action. >> April looks for a Sales Coach. She picks the one who seems to understand her audience and she feels will keep her accountable without clashing with her.

  • Dave feels quite angry a lot of the time and doesn’t understand why. He doesn’t really want to talk about it for a long time, he would simply rather not feel angry all the time. >> Dave looks for a Transformational Therapist. He picks the one who he feels he can show all of his anger to and has resolved anger issues before.

  • Shenaz has lots of issues. She often feels that she has to keep her issues to herself. When she tells her friends they tell her what to do and expect her to stop talking. She feels stuck, repressed and unheard >> Shenaz looks for a talk therapist. She decides to work with the one who creates a lot of space and seems to ask the right questions that open her up.

  • Gurpal is not satisfied in his working life. He wants to start a business which will revolutionise healthcare but does not understand the market or have connections in the space. >> He looks for experts and mentors. He chooses to work with someone who does not normally sell themselves as a mentor but has a well-established business in the space and will make valuable introductions when a business offering is ready.

One last thing to be aware of: Sometimes the practitioner you work with will operate in different roles depending on the context, which can make the relationship a bit confusing. It is important to be very clear on what role they are playing and which forces they support you with.

Take my services as an example:

  • On We Flow Academy, I mainly offer mentoring in a group context. My responsibility here is to impart understanding and provide resources to empower my clients with new skills. Where possible I use data to make students aware of their progress so that they feel a sense of accountability - including some coaching elements generates better results.

  • My 1-to-1 coaching focuses on cultivating habits, accessing peak state and removing any blocks to peak performance. In this context, I not only provide perspective and accountability but mastermind with clients and (where relevant) directly solve issues in-session.

  • When I work with someone as a Transformational Therapist we are hyper-focused on solving a particular emotional or mindset issue. This is the focus of my 1-to-1 work. My responsibility here is to guide my client to completion on the issue.

(As an aside, if any of the above might be of interest to you, then you can arrange a consultation here)

To summarise, if you follow the 4-step process above, it will be clear to you what sort of help you would benefit the most from. It will be clear which support will accelerate your growth the most.

Use the map. Get the right support in place. Grow faster.

Play bigger.

[Source: This post was originally posted on Instagram]

Sukh Kalsi