A ‘free’ seminar

A few days ago I signed up for one of those ‘free seminars’ with a life coach. Those are very often prerecorded but this one was live. It was meant to be 90 minutes, but I lasted like 3.

I find coaching industry fascinating – it’s a place where someone with a degree in acting, for example, can earn loads of money by telling people that they can achieve whatever they want, even though they didn’t achieve what they wanted because they’re not an actor. I’m hoping that there are good coaches out there and that possibly one day I’ll find one; someone who I can learn from, who would inspire me and correct my mistakes. For the time being I’m using the free resources available to better understand human communication.

When coaching first started being popular it was about coaching individuals. Now it seems like everyone upped their game and coaches are coaching other coaches about how to coach. This phenomenon is something that I don’t understand but it must be working for them somehow.

The seminar started with the coach introducing themselves and after that she went straight into asking other people to introduce themselves. Normally people are very reluctant to speak at the beginning of an online meeting, if they don’t know anyone else there. They get much more open as the meeting progresses but at the very beginning they are extremely quiet. This time a lady from Illinois, or possibly Milwaukee jumped straight in to say who she is and then the host asked her about the weather where she lives.

I had a sudden urge to finish the call immediately, and that’s what I did. I got petrified that I may be asked to speak up next and, possibly, expected to say what I want out of this call. ‘Yes, the conversation always starts with the weather – I thought – and then it progresses into what I do and the host will be trying to use what I’m saying to assess what she can get out of me for her own business so that she doesn’t spend much time on someone who’s not going to buy anything.’

I felt like I was manipulated: I was promised free information from the host and instead it got twisted into the host trying to get information from participants.

And let me assure you, I do understand that by offering free seminar the host was looking for business opportunities for themselves. But how come she couldn’t see the situation from the participants’ perspective? There is so much nonsense out there that it seems natural that everyone wants to first assess if what they’re signing up is any good. How come a life coach could not see that?

Not to mention I realised the seminar wasn’t actually free.

And anyway, after I went off the call I had the idea that the person from Milwaukee could have been the host’s friend who was there to aid engagement. Didn’t quite work on me though.

It put me off so much that I didn’t even watch the seminar when I got the recording to my email.

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