By: Andrew Neitlich
Center for Executive Coaching
Following are three of the top insights that came out of our recent coach certification seminar. As always, this event brought great people from around the world to the Center for Executive Coaching.
One: The key coaching conversations are deceptively simple
Members of our program are already-successful executives, consultants, speakers, and leaders. However, it takes a bit of time to get the hang of coaching conversations.
That’s because in coaching, we start by understanding the client’s world and guiding the client to have his own insights.
Successful people sometimes can’t help but give advice. That is fine. However, if you jump too quickly into giving advice, the client is likely to resist, or not share with you the challenges keeping him from taking your advice.
The best coaches know how to ask questions that have power to them, that force the client to think differently, commit to new behaviors and levels of performance, and take action to achieve them.
At the Center for Executive Coaching, we make this process easy to learn, with practical and proven toolkits and methodologies that open up new possibilities and results.
Two: You can measure whether your coaching conversations have power and quality or not
During the seminar, participants received a tool to evaluate the power of the coaching conversations they were having. This tool graphs out which coaching conversations are effective, which are neutral, and which tend to move things backwards. Over the course of the seminar, participants see progress in the power and impact of their approach.
The point is that coaching effectiveness can be measured not only by the results the client gets, but also by tracking the quality of the conversations the coach is having with a client.
Three: You don’t have to sell coaching. Instead, coach the client through the sales process.
We make it easy to set up a coaching practice because we show you how to attract clients without selling, pitching, or feeling like you have to chase prospects and convince them that they should hire you.
Our philosophy is that a coaching engagement is either already there, or it isn’t. The coach’s job is to coach the prospective client to find out whether the engagement is there or not. There are specific questions one can ask to find out, questions that probe whether the prospect has a compelling problem to solve, the cost of the problem, the value of solving it, and whether they are willing and able to commit the time and money needed.
If the coaching engagement is there, the coach and client can move forward. If not, the coach can move on to other possible clients and engagements. By thinking this way, you never waste time chasing prospects that want free advice or won’t hire you, and you never feel the indignity of having to chase clients rather than having them come to you.
Once you learn to ask these questions, coaching becomes a much more fulfilling profession.
The trick, as seminar participants learned, is to master the conversations that quickly lead coach and prospect to agree on whether there is a fit. Newer coaches tend to shift back into making a sales pitch, or coaching the client to solve his problem before being hired to do so.
Leading these seminars is so much fun, because it is wonderful to observe coaches as they get better and better, grow in confidence, and get excited about the difference they can make.