When was the last time someone said, "stay in your lane," in response to you offering your input, insights, and experiences? What does that even mean? Are they traveling along an invisible highway you were not aware of, and you accidentally merged in front of them? Probably not. However, upon further observation of their behavior paired with their "stay in your lane" statement, you may have felt the need to "take the next exit" or "make an immediate U-turn." After all, they seemed pretty upset and adamant your presence was not appreciated. No matter what, do not veer off course! There is much to learn from this scenario that can be effectively applied in the future.
When first starting, coaches often market themselves for a specific niche, generally based on their educational background, professional experience, or life passion. The expectation adopted is to stay within the boundaries of what you know (your lane) when working with clients. However, there is reason to challenge this thinking; below are three main considerations:
Remember, people are uniquely different in their behavioral responses, especially when stressed. Perhaps “stay in your lane” is an indicator to clue you in on the fact an individual is experiencing some form of an increased stressor. This is an opportunity to work through potential blind spots, establish trust, and build positive relationships. As a Coach in any niche, THIS IS IN YOUR LANE!
Consider scheduling time with the individual to listen and learn how you might assist them more effectively. Maybe they need insight and information that falls within your coaching niche, or perhaps you end up referring them to another resource that better suits their needs. Coaching is about helping the individual overcome their unique challenges by identifying a pathway to their success.