Those of us who have taken up coaching as a career do so because of a desire to have impact on people - to make a difference. Every professional coach knows that significant change takes time and, unfortunately, time is a resource that is becoming more precious every day. This was poignantly reflected in a recent one-question survey we conducted. We asked coaches to respond to the following question: "What's your biggest challenge in achieving the level of impact you want for your clients?"
The number one response? "I need more time with my clients to have impact in their lives." This response was voiced in different ways, "clients can't stop long enough to change," or "clients are in such a hurry for results that they won't stay focused," and "clients don't stay long enough to benefit from our work." No matter how it was said, the bottom line is time!
The truth is we all get the same 24 hours every day. No more and no less. People find the time for things they really want to do. So the challenge of getting more time to have impact on our clients will not be solved by bemoaning the reality of our fast paced society, but by applying coaching techniques that get our clients excited about coaching.
Bottom line is, clients will make the time for coaching when they find it interesting. And clients find coaching interesting when it is about them. Everyone wants to feel special, and the best way to make someone feel special is to provide them with an experience that allows them to feel that their unique qualities are understood. Fortunately, providing such an experience of understanding is also what coaches need in order to develop the bond of trust that is necessary to make the kind of impact they want to make in their clients' lives.
The kind of "wow" description that will hook a client in such a way that they stay involved long enough for the coach to have impact must be provided quickly. To be fast and accurate, you cannot rely on a casual process or informal assessment. You must use a formal assessment and preferably one that has been specifically created for coaching.
So the solution to getting more time from your clients so you can have the level of impact you really want? Try these three coaching tools and techniques:
- Use formal assessments; ones made for coaching and ones with the type of results you can easily share with your clients.
- Use the assessment results to quickly connect with your clients and establish a bond of trust based on their recognition that you understand them and their situation.
- Keep your clients interested in the coaching process by providing them with that powerful connection every time you work together.