7 Critical Steps to Coach for Outstanding Results
Have you ever wondered about the secret to the success of some coaches? How they get outstanding results for their clients every time?
Clients come to them and get the answers they need, with dramatic results as proof in a short time.
You want to have this type of success track… to make a difference in the lives of your clients… to help them grow personally and in business.
This is a personal life purpose that can transform the lives of your clients. Positive changes that will take place in the lives of your clients if you follow the right steps.
The right steps to getting outstanding results are like building a fortress. You know what you hope to achieve, hence, you take your time testing the strength of each stone – laying them right, until they all come together to give you a formidable edifice.
With these, let’s look at the steps that will help you deliver outstanding results below!
1. Have A Step By Step Plan
For any coaching program to be very effective, you should break it into a step by step guide for your clients. These steps should be actionable and simple, not necessarily easy, because as the saying goes, “nothing good comes easy”.
Clients should be saved the burden of getting overwhelmed with so many steps without any course of action to follow. If you throw information at your clients sporadically without concrete steps to follow, clients will end up doing nothing or muddling the whole thing up. This can make you lose clients, credibility and money, which could in turn sink your morale.
There should be a point along the way where they can pause, give room for accountability and see how much progress they have made. There should be a space for tracking progress, even before they get to the end of the steps. Each of your steps should have an expectation your clients can watch out for. Then, they can move to the next level. There is only so much that the human mind can take at a time.
One of your most important jobs as a coach is to guide, and that is why they are in your program. Dumping so much information on clients without an actionable plan negates that role. You will not get optimum results from clients, because they are either not taking any actions- or they are confused.
A definite step by step actionable plan will help them gauge progress, keep them motivated and increase their will to get results.
2. It’s About the Client
After creating a step by step plan to get your clients their desired outcome, you should focus entirely on them. Do not think about yourself, but suppress all your importance for a minute. Doing this will help you stay receptive to the client, without judgment, bias or disrespect. All your thoughts and obsession should be focused on getting them results. Lose yourself in the process and you will win them completely over. This makes your client trust you. They also feel that they are important to you.
As a coach, it is very wrong to shove down what you think is right for your clients or judge them as they unburden. Discard the need to enforce how right you are. Throw out the urge to always want to prove a point to your client even in their vulnerable state. This will close them up and you just might lose them.
If you want to get outstanding results with clients, make them feel comfortable around you. Create around you an aura of acceptance and equality. You really do not have to make them feel inferior to you by throwing how better you are in their faces. Regardless of how strong the urge, put a leash on your ego.
If you were not better, if you were not the expert, they would not be talking to you. So, allow clients unburden without trying to chip in how you could never make such mistake. That is a kind of judgment which can damage a client.
Empathy should be a strong trait of a coach. Acknowledge the efforts of your clients where they get it right and help them get better, without making it about you.
3. Be Attentive and Curious
It is one thing to listen, and another to be attentive and curious about your clients. Attentiveness helps you pick up unspoken words and with curiosity, you build a workable plan with your client. Find their pain points and identify missing pieces through effective questioning techniques.
As a coach, navigate the depths and breaths of your client’s world. Explore the “when”, “whys”, “what”, and “how” of the situation of things. A lot of clients are not articulate in speech, but bear their thoughts in mannerisms, pauses and looks. If you are attentive, you will pick up on all that.
Let clients unburden their thoughts without interruption from you. Your patience breaks down the resistance of your clients. They know that you are really interested in them.
If you must interrupt, your speech should start with curious statements that will gear them on, and in some cases, help them find their own answers.
I am talking about statements like;
Go on, I want to hear more…
I don’t know, can we find out…
What do you think about this…?
Your genuine curiosity makes them open up more, and through your statements, see the situation from different angles. This will go a long way to facilitate the change that your client needs, before results can be achieved.
4. Apply Flexibility in Your Approach
As a coach, you are only very certain of your processes at the beginning of your coaching program. You are also hopeful for the best results. But in truth, you don’t know what lies ahead. A lot of challenges will pop up on the way which you will have to face with the client… and together with the client. Your approach to client A which worked, may prove disastrous if applied to client B. Your ability to be flexible is what makes it easier. Be dynamic and fluid in your systems without losing the core essence.
During the coaching journey, you become many things to your client. You will collaborate with the client to build strategies towards achievable results. You will open the client to new ideas. You will influence their orientation and perspectives. You will keep the client in focus towards the goal. You will confront the client and hold them accountable to noncompliance. You will instill self-discipline and responsibility.
As you do all this, make up your mind to be flexible and easy to work with. Be a coach, not a manager. There are times when you will be tempted to bully clients or bark orders, especially when you face challenges with the client. Remember that the client needs you.
Decide to work as an equal. Have a plan B, because you are uncertain about what you will encounter along the road. Your ability to adapt to your client’s situation, guide them right, while maintaining your role as an equal, will ensure great results.
5. Ask Leading and Effective Questions
The power of effective questioning is overwhelming. The most pronounced is that, when drilling to identify source of problems, the clients find answers to their own questions. This can bring about an unraveling that takes you to the root of issues. Issues when solved can bring about a lasting change. This will make you look like a rock star in the process.
However, this is a very tricky technique, as it can make your client flow like a dam, or close up like a grave. They can get either relaxed and ready for a change, or get defensive and lose their temper.
Do not ask question that require a yes, no or monosyllabic answers. This will keep the client relaxed and not tick their brains. Questions should incite a brain battle and set some kind of mind conflict in motion. Questions should open the eyes of the clients to answers they have been seeking.
Leading and effective questions stimulate the brain and gets your client’s creative juices flowing. This will also provide you with more insights from the client’s answers, to delve into the problem… by asking more leading questions. It is like a cycle, one answer begets a new and deeper question until your client gets their desired results.
For example, asking “Will you work with this plan?” will get a yes or no answer. But asking a client, “What steps will you take to achieve this plan?” gets the client thinking. And as they answer your question, they are getting insights into their work plan and putting down ideas.
The question also insinuates that you have a vote of confidence in them… you believe they have the capacity to come up with something outstanding to aid their own progress. They will be glad to share.
6. Apply the Critical Alignment Model
This is the Meta dynamics of coaching which goes way deeper than the old model coaching style. The critical alignment is based on the only proven and research-based technology in the coaching industry. The old or traditional coaching style focuses on the steps a client can take, based on the information they get from the client- and their own investigations. They buttress on the place of mindset in creating sustainable results.
It works very well on the surface, with great results. But the truth is that, more can be done and better results can be gotten. The old model borders on;
Events > response > results
The critical alignment model goes even deeper. It borders on;
The perception of your clients is their reality, and you cannot take it away from them. The earlier, you get into their world and see it through their eyes, the better and quicker you can get them results.
To apply the critical alignment model effectively, there are some measures to stick with. It serves as the road map that the client uses to guide you into asking leading questions.
They are split into four phases
Environment: provide a calm ambiance for all your conversations. This is where they tell you their goals, purpose, beliefs, values, and worries.
Structure: this is the reality and work level. Assess the situation, and create a plan or strategy to tackle the situation. Work with benchmarks and timelines too.
Implementation: implementation is discovering where you are at the moment, and how you’d progress from there, using the strategies you’ve made. It’s a reality check and a step to progressive action.
People: with the structures set and implementation in motion, you step back and allow the client take the lead. All you need do is to offer a world class support to your clients, see their capability, form quality relationships, and get feedbacks. This model gives you a sound structure and start point to build your program into actionable steps.
7. Give Them Some Responsibility
Avoid helping the clients solve their problems, no matter how pressed or how easier it’d be if you did it. You could give them a world class support, but do not spoon-feed them. Again, do not blame yourself for your client’s failure if they fail as a result of your refusal to spoon-feed them.
You would, without knowing, blocking your client’s growth. Your role as a coach is to bring about the process of a dramatic change. This is done by creating an environment and strategies that work for the client.
The actual change happens with the client by the inherent decision they make within themselves to follow through. You are not responsible for all that.
The ball is now in your court…
Above are 7 critical steps to coach your clients for outstanding results. Remember, it is always about your clients. You are there to serve, guide, and support your clients through their journey. The critical alignment model is also a very important component.
It is like the magnet that holds all the other metals. It serves as the guide to implement other steps from the beginning of your program till the end. This is a fit for every coaching field, so go ahead and apply these steps to get life changing results for your clients.
If you need help or support implementing these in your business, so you can see results show up in record time, do schedule a call with someone on our team.