A coaching student asked me earlier today about coaching approaches with someone who just wants results. “How,” she asked, “do we work with the ‘who’ of the person when all they want to focus on is outcome?”
First, clarify what the client really wants. The stated or initial result may be a band-aid™.
Remember that you don’t serve them if you rush to outcomes
Said another way, allowing yourself to get hooked into or driven by what your client says, means you have left your curiosity behind and become attached to having the coaching reach a specific destination. This is a set-up for all parties involved.
Ask what the result will give them that they don’t currently have.
- Listen for any possible attachment.
- Listen for beliefs and story.
- Listen for motivation.
- Listen for the truth that may be wanting to surface.
If you hear urgency:
- Acknowledge it,
- Ask to confirm that’s what you are hearing, and –
- Ask what it is about.
Clarify and confirm:
- Is this a matter of the client simply wanting a strategy with clearly defined steps?
- Or is something else motivating them? (Remember: Invite truth to the surface.)
Listen for how this person thinks, perceives and creates in his/her life.
- Is this an action-oriented person?
- Is this a linear thinker?
- What serves this person best in getting into the movement s/he desires?
If this pattern shows up for you with some frequency:
Check your enrollment process to be sure you are screening accurately for clients who are a good fit for you.
Work with your mentor coach to explore what you might be attracting and why.
- How do clients who are linear thinkers, just-the-results types, impact you?
- What gets triggered or stirred for you?
- What do they mirror for you?
- What is there for you to flex or stretch into?
- What possible shift/change/transformation might be calling you?
- What about this is not comfortable for you?
- What is your story about coaching these types of clients?
- What is your story about how you have to show up as a coach?
Yes, there are people who are linear thinkers and people who are very action-oriented. It may be that you DO serve someone best by focusing primarily on results and outcomes – but these dishes are best served with self awareness and choice so the outcomes are sustainable and aligned for the clients.
And notice how organically the “who” of the client gets included when you remain in your curiosity. This requires you to stay present in the moment and when you do, the resulting discovery process may reveal a pivot point. This in turn can actually change what the client wants as outcome.
And just think: If you had rushed to the original outcome without your curiosity intact and online, you may have missed the deeper, richer, bigger outcome all together!