New Dates now Open
January 14, 2002
An excerpt from the CoachVille Coach Training modules today
on the topic of where to start with a new coaching client.
this list for ideas on how to progress more quickly to the
heart of issues important to your clients.
Also in this issue is information about a specialty
program from Career Coach Institute. Details
Top 10 Places to Start With a Coaching Client
- Thomas J.
copyright 1998, all rights reserved.
What should you and your client focus on first when
starting your coaching? Here's a list of the 10
areas that I and many other coaches start with.
Ask the client what they are putting up with and
they'll give you a list of between 5 and 500 things.
In this list will be great things to focus the
client on handling. When the client starts getting
rid of tolerations, they'll feel like they are
making progress in their life and the momentum
created (because energy is freed up) will keep the
client motivated, which is very important when a
client is new to coaching.
Find out what the client thinks they 'should' be
doing right now, personally and professionally. Most
of us have lots of shoulds, yet we don't feel we can
readily toss them out, given the potential
consequences. Have the client make a list of at
least 10 shoulds. This educates them, and you/they
will quickly find out how much of their life they
are living and how much of someone else's life they
What is frustrating the client? Ask the client "What
are the 5 things that are most frustrating you right
now about yourself, your life, your work, or
others?" Feelings are a great place to start the
coaching process because when the client gets in
touch (and shares) how they really feel, the truth
starts to come out. And when the truth comes out,
there is relief and movement. Let truth drive your
client, not you.
Money -- or the lack of it -- is at the heart of at
least 50% of a client's current problems, whether
they recognize it or not. Find out how much the
client makes, how much they owe, how much they are
saving or debting and see if the client is willing
to make some financial changes quickly. If they do
so, they usually reduce stress right away and this
frees them up to better benefit from your coaching.
5. Client Programs.
CoachVille has over many client programs such as a
Clean-Sweep. Find out if your client likes
working with this type of tool. If so, recommend one
or two, or send them the collection and let them
pick out the one(s) that fits for them. You can
still focus them on other things, but many clients
like the independent structure that these client
programs provide. These programs can also help the
client to discover something about themselves, so it
meets the needs of the client who is into
self-discovery and self-improvement.
What does your client REALLY want in their personal
or business life? What is the goal that they've
given up on or have put off for a while, due to
circumstances? When a client feels that someone (the
coach) cares enough about them to encourage them to
reach for what will make them the happiest, it may
be all the client needs to succeed in that area.
Remember, success is stressful and getting what you
want is sometimes a stretch. That's why the client
has hired you -- to help them get through whatever's
in the way. When you help the client tap into what
they most want, they get inspired and don't need
It's very important to find out how strong your
client's integrity is. In other words, are they
doing the best stuff for themselves and their body?
Are they stressed out? Eating/drinking too much?
Running on adrenaline? Stepping over problems?
Avoiding the truth of a situation? Not taking time
for themselves? Without enough integrity, whatever
you help the client to achieve will eventually fade
because the "container" for their life is cracked.
Many clients know exactly what they want and they
want your support to achieve it, so by all means
help them reach these outcomes. You can definitely
have a tight focus with the client on outcomes, but
also weave in some of the other 9 of these 'starting
points' into your coaching. But always get the
client's permission. Some clients are very happy
with a single focus of achieving outcomes, and they
really don't want to work on the intangible or
Personal Foundation strengthening type of stuff.
Some clients want you to help them develop a
strategy or a plan so they can achieve their result
in the shortest period of time, with the least
stress. If the client asks you "how" they can
achieve X, then you know they are asking for
strategy. Sometimes, the client will ask what action
steps they should take, but you may want to work
with them on strategy development first. Because,
with the right strategy, the steps become obvious.
10. A change or improvement.
Most clients want to change or improve something.
For example, they may want to change jobs or improve
a relationship. The trick is to discover if their
'change goal' is what they really want or if it is
something they want to do because it will get them
something else, as in "If I get a promotion, I'll be
more fulfilled." As a coach, you might want to work
with the client on Values first to find out what
WOULD fulfill them, because a promotion may not be
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