The Coaching Conundrum

Jessica Tietjen
4 min readJul 20, 2021

Conundrum: a confusing and difficult problem or question

In my upcoming book, The Exceptional Life R-Evolution, I talk about the importance of having experiences to learn, grow, and develop the skills necessary to perform our roles successfully. Even more importantly, to continue to improve and evolve how we perform our roles. When I talk about the roles we perform, I mean all the roles we serve: the role of wife, the role of mother, the role of parent, the roles we perform at work, in the world, and in our communities — every single role that we perform in our lives.

The challenges with performing all these roles is we all can’t be experts at everything. In fact, it is truly impossible for us to have expertise in how to perform at our best in all the roles that we actually are expected to perform. We can’t already have the wisdom and expertise necessary to perform them well without having had experience performing the roles. Do you see the conundrum? In order to get the necessary experience, to have the necessary expertise, to acquire the necessary wisdom, to do the role well, we need coaching from someone who, in fact, has already done the role. Someone who can provide us their expertise, knowledge, wisdom, and understanding coupled with their external perspective, advice, and guidance.

The coaching conundrum is that in most circumstances, we don’t have access to the coaching we need. Unless you are lucky enough to work in a workplace for an already great manager who can perform, coach, direct, lead, guide, and support you in your development and the performance of your role, you’re basically screwed. I know when I first started managing, I was awful. I did not provide my early employees the support they deserved in terms of helping to coach and develop them as employees. Now after more than 10 years of coaching, managing, and developing employees, along with additional skills development, training, and coaching for myself, I think I’m pretty decent.

But what if you have a new manager like I was who doesn’t know what they are doing or never got the necessary experience to be a good manager and coach? Or worse, what if you have a bad manager who has no intention of improving? And what about all the other roles we perform? Where do we get the coaching, support, skills, and guidance that we need in our roles at home and in our community? How do we find the right coach for the particular need that we have at a given moment in our career, in our lives, or in her personal journey?

I’ve recently been exposed to a whole new world of coaches, of guides, of healers, of leaders who provide support, guidance, experience, and expertise in many different areas. They exist, but most of us don’t even know to look for them until we unfortunately encounter a problem, issue, challenge that we’re trying to solve. Like when we encounter marriage issues, or child behavioral issues, or find ourselves needing to make a change in our careers — voluntarily or involuntarily. And it can be difficult to find the right person that fits for us. The person that can provide us the specific guidance and direction that need in our life and our specific situation.

Which is why I think we need two things: first we need significantly more coaches, and then we need a better way to find the coach that will be a fit for us! In fact, I think even the coaches themselves need coaches. And the coach we need will change throughout our life. I may need a coach to help me with my marriage at one point in my life. Then, I may need a coach to help me write a book at another point in my life. I may need a coach to help me with my career or a coach to help me with my parenting. And at different times, I may need all these different coaches.

Recently on a journey to write my new book, The Exceptional Life R-Evolution, I was struggling trying to figure out how to get my book written. Then, I stumbled upon my own coach, a coach who specializes in helping women write books. At the same time, I started with a career coach, an Executive Leadership Gallup Strengths Certified Coach, who guides and coaches based upon how best to use the strengths of those they are coaching. Both these coaches have made a tremendous impact on my life already. In just a few short months, I’m finishing a book, I’m getting clarity with respect to my career, and I’ve grown in my knowledge, skills, ability to leverage my strengths effectively.

I recognize not everyone can afford a coach and the support they provide to help them in their roles. Which is why I wrote The Exceptional Life R-Evolution, to provide everyone the framework for how to think about their performance, evolve their performance, and reach peak performance in any role. As part of the book launch, I will be creating an open Facebook group, for anyone to join, share, give, and receive coaching! You will be able to share your experiences to help others and receive the experience others to help you! I hope it provides access for those who need it.

Originally published at on July 20, 2021.



Jessica Tietjen

A mother, wife, employee, working woman, leader, strengths coach, writer, and passionate performance advocate. Author of The Exceptional Life R-Evolution!