July 16, 2018
Some time ago, I was contacted by an individual who just had just signed their first client; however, fear had settled in, and they were really struggling with self-confidence issues.
In just a few minutes of our conversation, we boiled down their greatest fear to be:
What happens if my client doesn’t get results?
I said, “Great question. What do you think?”
They responded that they felt like they would be a failure as a coach if their client doesn’t get results.
I replied, “So I guess that means that you get to take all the credit if they do succeed?”
And they said, “Of course not. If they succeed, then they get the credit.”
I said, “Well that’s interesting. You can’t take credit if they succeed, but you have to take the blame if they don’t succeed. Does that sound right to you?”
Even on a Skype call to this coach on the other side of the country, I could see the light bulb go off as a hopeful twinkle appeared in their eyes.
At that point, I shared 7 mindset shifts to enable them to own what they are actually responsible for as a coach and to allow the client to own what are their responsibilities:
Most of the time, the bigger the goal, the longer it takes to reach, and the more steps and plans change.
Change is difficult for people. Getting extraordinary results requires things like followthrough, tenacity, unexpected events, flexibility, etc.
And the reality is, all of these things are out of your hands as a coach.
I’ve personally helped 1000s of people over the years. I’m results-oriented, and I’m really confident in my ability as a coach. But success is ultimately determined by the client.
Having said that, the only thing that you can guarantee are the things that you’re actually responsible for in the coaching relationship.
In coaching, listening is focused on listening on the deepest level possible. There are 3 levels of listening (1 being the lowest, 3 being the highest). As we reach Level 3 (Global Listening), we move past simply listening to what the client says, but all the nuances of how they say it and the energy surrounding it.
When I started out as a coach, I had to learn to put my own thoughts and judgments (Level 1) aside, and place all my attention on the client. This skill comes with time, and intuition can be developed.
Even if you’re a new coach, you can still guarantee that, during the coaching session, you’ll be free of distractions, and the client will be the most important person in the world.
Communication can be direct without being critical or judgmental. A client should be able to expect you to be hopeful while pushing them towards taking action.
You won’t be telling them what to do, but you will help them explore their options and design actions.
One of the biggest reasons why people don’t follow through is that they lack plans of action, deadlines, and accountability. Yes, we can guarantee these bases will be covered in the coaching relationship.
As I said before, change is hard. Accomplishing goals that have never been dared before takes guts and patience.
There will be some challenging times for the client. We can assure them that they can expect consistent encouragement and flexibility from us as coaches.
Trust is proven over time as we keep our promises and maintain the integrity of our relationship with the client.
Let me conclude by saying this:
Knowing your responsibilities will keep you from disappointment and unreasonable expectations for your coaching practice. If you take ownership of what truly belongs to you, your coaching clients will indeed have a track record of success.
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