I live my life in a few ways, partly due to my huge man-crush on the fictional character, Mr Atticus Finch…
Mr Finch, possesses unworldly powers of empathy, a quality which will take you very, very far indeed with your clients.
But with all the empathy in the world, you’ll have a problem if you can’t get your clients to take an introspective stance.
Let’s take the example of a client who has problems sleeping at night; we all know the importance of sleep, rest, recovery and the outcomes that buggered sleep has on our overall goals, it’s one reason why we harp on about it so much.
The coach lacking empathy tell the client they must:
- Go to bed on time (10.30 at the latest)
- Turn off their phone or TV before bed – at least 1 hour before
- Only do simple chores that allow the mind to unwind before bed
The client, has many reasons as to why they don’t do this already, mostly it revolves around time, the responses knee-jerk, honed from years of excuse making, they know exactly why they can’t do any of these things.
You’ve failed already.
The coach with empathy, asks a client, to be introspective.
- You are a bit of a night-owl, what stops you going to bed earlier?
- Make a list of your evening routine, after 7 pm, why don’t we see what we can change, so you are a bit more relaxed in the evening
- How would you feel, if you couldn’t have a coffee at 6, if you found you only had hot chocolate in the cupboard?
But that’s not all!
To make a client reflect on their limitations, to admit the things that are getting in their way of reaching the ‘ideal’ is far more poignant than to be told, “currently, you’re doing it wrong, this is how to do it correctly.” by their new coach.
Involve your client in your process.
Try this for yourself, we do it this way;
List your biggest “why’s” in detail – these are your motivating factors, be really fuckin’ brutal, reach down and grab the belly fold, if you dipped it in ink it’d have it’s own signature on your list.
You’ve got to focus on the biggest issues here, health, motivation, personal reasons – maybe you won’t be able to play with your kids if you don’t shed the weight? Maybe you know your marriage has been in slow decline since your recent sofa-king coronation.
Next, align your goals, with these powerful “why” reasons.
“I’m going to drop the beer before bed on weeknights, because I will feel better in the morning, for pre-school play with the kids.”
Find the action and link it to your whys, how will one action, work towards your goals? write it down, stick it somewhere, remind yourself of it.
Finally (for clients) audit yourself.
Those introspective points we mentioned before, here’s where they come in, write all that crap down and laugh at it – now’s the hard job, some of this has to change, look at each ‘excuse’ and see how it counters your big ‘why’ goal.
Finally (for coaches).
You are motivated by the client’s money, which doesn’t make it to your hands, unless you are motivated by your clients goal.
You should get more excited when a client loses weight, than when a payslip lands.
Because that client’s excitement, IS your payslip.
And nothing beats being surrounded by happy, positive and focused people, we spend a lot of time with our clients, they often become friends.
Nurture your business, your clients and your friendships.
Rich – out.