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October 31, 2001
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October 22, 2001
Read about helping clients get unstuck
This week, Today's Coach features a lesson from CoachVille's
upcoming, "How to Coach Anyone eCourse." This lesson answers the
big question: How do you help a client who's
stuck with their goal, and nothing you, or they, are doing seems
to help? It looks at several diagnoses that could cause this "stuckness"
and offers corresponding remedies to try for each one.
The "How to Coach Anyone" ecourse
is the scheduled to begin in November and is free of charge to all
CoachVille members as part of the lifetime membership fee of $79.
more information and to join.
Also, if you haven't already visited
please come by. Since
launching 2 weeks ago, there are 800+
approved listings and already a few individuals hooking up with
potential clients and mentor coaches. The online campaign to
bring clients to the coaches in the database begins today. Again,
your listing is free with a lifetime membership in CoachVille.
do you help a client who is big time stuck with their
goal and nothing you, or they, are doing seems to help?
It is NOT uncommon for a client to find themselves in
stuckness indicates that...
The client needs a much bigger game to play.
If the goal is too small, some clients simply aren't
motivated enough to fire on all cylinders.
The client needs a smaller game to play.
If the goal is too large, some clients get overwhelmed
or feel that they'll never get there. So, either make
the game smaller or identify important milestones along
the way and target to those.
The client's paradigm needs to be shifted or expanded
If the client is thinking too small, or historically,
help them to upgrade their paradigm by....
The client may need to start doing the opposite of
what they've been doing.
Don't laugh at this one. It can work. Just ask the
client what would happen, or what they would feel if
they started doing the opposite of what they've been
doing to reach this goal. If nothing else, it's a
creative exercise. Remember, the client is stuck, and
it's not a natural state to be stuck, so sometimes a 180
or 90 degree turn is what's needed.
The client doesn't really want the goal even
though they say they do.
I see this a lot. The client has a goal in mind but
it's actually a 'should' goal vs a 'want' goal and so
they don't get very far with it. The trick is to help
the client work on 'want' goals, or to shift the should
into a want. 'Should' goals, while important, are
likely to derail the client. 'Want' goals, however,
usually keep the client motivated. Again, it's a cool
coaching skills to help the client reframe or redesign a
should goal into a want goal.
The client needs a very different goal.
In my experience, the client is rarely able to clearly,
simply, and cleanly articulate what they most want, so
an important part of the coaching process is to tease
out what matters most to the client and in words that
are meaningful to them (vs. jargon, vague or Hallmark
card mushy language).
The goal needs a very different strategy.
There are many ways to cause an outcome; these are
called strategy. Our job as a coach is to help the
client find the most appealing and effective strategy
that gets them from point A to point B without going
through point Z. And if the client isn't making
progress with their goal, consider using an different
The client may be concerned about perceived loss or
Hey, success can be very, very stressful because a
personal is replace the old, the known and the familiar
with something else. Welcome to evolution. Even if
everything is going to be terrific when they reach their
goal, the fear of losing someone's love, their old
friends, their routine, etc., can be more than enough to
get a client stuck in the present.
The client is resisting the pressure they may be
feeling from you.
Clients can be touchy. Sometimes, your eagerness is off
putting, or the client will sense pressure if you're
more excited about or committed to the goal than they
are. Client's may resist so much, they actually get
stuck around the goal. If this happens, ask the client
how much pressure they are feeling from you. And ask
yourself whether you're pushing, pulling or otherwise
trying too hard.
The client's environments are not properly set up to
support this goal.
The types of goals that people set today are much more
complex that the goals our parent set, and the
environments we are surrounded by need to be tweaked in
order to give us the 24/7 support we need. Environments
include family, friends, networks, emotional
environments, memes/concepts, paradigms, paradoxes,
creative stimulation, performance support (like a
coach), what we eat (for the energy we need) and how
clean our energy is.
The client may need a break from coaching.
There comes a time when a client needs a break from you
or a break from coaching but either they don't know it,
or they don't want to tell you, so they 'get stuck' and
then have a reason/justification/explanation to opt out.
The client is just plan scared.
Sometimes, the goal is to exciting that it becomes
overwhelming to the client and they get mired in the
process. Find out if this is true and work on the
distinction excitement vs. fear. It can be a subtle
distinction. I've found that by identifying and then
reducing/eliminate the perceived consequences of
reaching the goal, that the client can move back to
toward excitement and away from fear.
The goal is not a clear enough expression of the
client's true values.
This happens a lot because the body slow/shuts down when
goals aren't aligned with one's internal values. Work
with the client on their top 5 values and find the
connection between the goal they are stuck on the value
that it expresses. See
PersonalFoundation.com for info on True Values.
ask your client...
Do you know why you're stuck?
If we back burner this goal, what is one that you rather
work on instead?
Do you sometimes get stuck when you're this close to
reaching a goal?
Do you need a supportive kick in the pants?
Tell me what I should do in order to unstick you in the
next 10 minutes?
How much longer are you willing to be stuck on this?
Are you willing to try a backdoor approach to reaching
What else should we try?
Be patient, but don't be the tail of the dog.
The client may need time to figure out what big changes
to make in their life in order to reach this goal more
easily, or perhaps they'll need to select a very
different goal instead. I'd give a client no more than
3 sessions for us to work it out and to have them
propelled forward with plenty of energy to reach the
goal or complete the project. Otherwise, it's too
tiring for both of you and it's probably not even
coaching by that point. Personally, I prefer to resolve
this type of thing within 20 minutes. I don't want it
carried over to the next call.
Goals are meant to be exciting to reach.
If the client is resisting, laboring, complaining or
just not into it, find another goal or develop another
strategy that IS self motivating. The alternative is
that both you and your client get dragged down. Do NOT
be afraid to require the client to pick another goal if
the one they are working on isn't getting anywhere.
Abandon hope. Feel better. Move forward.
by coachville.com. written by thomas j. leonard. all
rights reserved. coachville member use only. no
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