I was talking to another coach recently and she told me about a client who wanted to stop meeting with her because she felt like she wasn’t living up to the agreements she made. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that this happens to all coaches occasionally. I have clients who discontinue coaching because they are unwilling to keep the commitments they make. Some use the excuse that they want to “try it on their own.” Others sheepishly confess that they were ashamed and just didn’t want to continue.
I have a weight loss coach. When I first started using this coach, I wasn’t reaching my walking goal on most days. I thought about not showing up and decided out of respect for the coach, I needed to face the music. She noticed my disappointment and we worked through the real issue.
Here are three possible steps if you sense your client is missing the mark.
- Don’t ignore it. The ICF is clear about the role of the coach, “The coach trusts the client to be accountable to themselves and lovingly calls the client to account or discussion if agreed upon forward movement does not occur.”
- Look for progress. Ask, “What did go well?”
- Look for over-committing. If a client is missing the mark consistently, you may want to check in and explore the motivation and/or reason for not meeting the actions designed.
The ICF core competencies outline the value of exploration, “The coach’s invitation to exploration precedes and is significantly greater than invitation to solution.”
I always see my time with my coach as important in the process. I know the value of someone holding me accountable. As a coach, I want to lovingly hold my client’s behavior in their mirror.