Have you ever coached a client who just couldn’t seem to move forward? And she was stuck for week after week after week? I was recently working with a UCU student coach on one of her clients. I have permission to share the following.
The UCU student coach wanted to spend her session talking about her client. Her client was saying all of the right things and appeared to be doing all that she committed to do, but there was no progress. Sales, recruiting, and promoting were all stagnated. Coaching calls also seemed to have stagnated. Neither coach nor client could figure out a way forward.
As we talked our way into the scenario, the student coach had an amazing AHA moment. For a client to do something differently, she has to think differently. The same is true for a coach. You have to coach differently in order for your client to respond differently. The rest of our call was taken up with possible alternatives to the “business as usual” coaching model. The student coach was going to ask the client to “experiment” with some different coaching techniques. (Let me stress that without client permission, none of these would occur). Here are some of the alternatives that might be used:
- The coach may ask the client to allow interruptions.
- The coach may ask the client to describe her week like a movie script or fairy tale.
- The coach was only going to ask “what” questions.
- The coach would speed coach as if the session was only half as long.
Get the picture? The student coach is committed to coaching differently to see what different results she may get.
At the end of her experimental coaching session, the student coach will ask her client for feedback and thank her for experimenting.
How could you experiment with a client?