First I’ll give you some context so you can try to see from my perspective:
The lifestyle conversations were one of the first series of events in the network, but it didn’t take long before more than half of the audience was composed by life or lifestyle coaches looking forward to either debate about a topic they liked, or to find potential clients.
This was not a bad thing per se, neither made them bad people, however, it was contradictory to my purpose when organizing these events, which is to support ladies on their struggles as international women in the Netherlands.
With time, to be honest, this situation became rather annoying to me. Some coaches came to find clients, others simply behaved as if they were co-hosting the event with me, others as if they came to give a presentation or sell something. I felt abused, but I tolerated it, until the day when some of the (non-coaches) attendees called me for a conversation, reporting that she didn’t feel comfortable when noticing that almost everyone in the meeting was either a coach or an expert in the topic, instead of coming to genuinely show up vulnerable like her.
I realized that the situation had gone too far, then I apologized to the lady and realized that the problem was not on them, but rather on the lack of clear communication on my part, so I sent a newsletter in the network, where I explained more or less what I’m explaining to you right now.
Soon after that, the Women Entrepreneurs, which happened spontaneously after a coffee conversation, was created and the coaches started to concentrate mostly there.
It’s worthy saying that this happened already some years ago, and that these are not the wonderful coaches we have been hanging out with recently. However just to be sure, I feel that it’s important to assert our boundaries sometimes, before things escalate to us having another coaches networking group on our personal development talks.
Of course the hosts are not in the position of guessing people’s intentions, neither we want to behave unfairly towards anyone, but I take pride from having heard from different ladies that one of the nicest things of our network is that we are authentic and that no one leaves feeling deceived or trapped into meetings where the purpose is distorted and at the end someone is trying to sell you something. I want to keep it this way! After all, our talks aim at being of support to women in a practical way, for those in need of guidance on that specif topic.
That’s why, just for precaution, and also to don’t make myself, the hosts of the network, and our guests hostage of annoying situations, I’m sharing some guidelines about the attendance of coaches/ therapist’s to our talks:
1- If you’re a coach/therapist that FOR PERSONAL REASONS, NEED SUPPORT about the specific topic of the meeting, you’re welcome to join and it’s always a pleasure to welcome you.
2- If you’re a coach wanting to expand your network, or to join some sort of coaching learning group, or just because you want to see a topic of your interest from different perspectives, we have the Women Entrepreneurs, the Coaches for Coaches and the general networking events such as the Ladies Brunch where you can do one thing or another.
3- We created the clubs precisely because we wanted to make sure that everyone has their own tribe, space and no one is left out. In another hand we also want to have our own spaces respected, which has been happening so far.
Please let me know how I can be of further support. It’s a genuine pleasure of mine to serve on our community.