Robin Johnson, ACC • August 22, 2022 • 4 Minute Read
Setting Clients Desired Outcome
A coaching session usually begins as we connect with our client. We check in on their week and build rapport. We allow time for accountability and discuss their efforts to take action on their goals during the week. We connect to our hearts and slow down from the hustle of life to prepare for the coaching experience. The flow of the coaching conversation begins when the coach enquires into the clients’ current desires:
- What is on your mind today?
- What is on your heart today?
- What would you like to talk about today?
The coach asks open-ended questions to help the client articulate what he or she wants. We are looking for clarity and the meaning behind the clients desires. Subsequent questions help uncover more specifics about the situation. Powerful questions engage clients in identifying more clearly what they want.
- What is the real challenge here for you?
- How is this impacting your life?
- Share more about that.
- What have you already tried to do about this?
- What else?
This is a time to dig deeper and explore the problem – this is not the time to be coming up with solutions. In asking what they have already tried to do about the situation, we are not looking for solutions – we are looking into the depth of effort they have put into solving this problem. We are looking for what has worked and didn’t work. We are listening to clarify what we are hearing. We check in with the client and must be willing to be wrong. Share what you understand and let them correct you if you are off. This is such a critical step in the coaching session. The rest of the session will hang on the framework of what they decide here. Once the problem is discussed and defined, we want to understand what they hope to achieve during the session:
- What would be a good outcome for today’s session for you?
- What would you like to walk away with today?
- What would you like to know or feel at the end of the session today?
- On a scale of 1 to 10, where are you now with this issue?
Maybe they are hoping to feel more peace about a relationship. Maybe they want to walk away with an action plan to achieve a goal. Maybe they need 2 or 3 ideas of how to overcome a current challenge. Maybe they want to increase their self-confidence. Whatever the clients desired outcome is, create a measurement for success. Help them clearly envision what success would mean from your session today.
- How will you know when you have reached the desired result?
- If you could make progress in this (issue) today, what would it look like?
- How will you know when you have accomplished this?
- If you are a 4 on the scale now, where would you like to be when we are done?
If a client wants something intangible from the session – maybe they want to feel more peace – explore with them what having that peace would create in their life. How would that peace affect relationships? How would that peace affect their heart? What would that peace do for their mental state or stress level? Look at the tangible effects created by the intangible goal.
Once the outcome is clearly defined in a measurable way, give the client a moment to connect to the vision of accomplishment. Create a vision with your client of what it would look like when they achieve that success.
- What will it look/feel like when you achieve that goal?
- How important is achieving this goal to you?
- Imagine you have accomplished your goal. What will be different five years from now?
In envisioning the success, and the goal already implemented, we are opening the pathways in the mind to help find and explore new possibilities. We are spiritually creating the idea first. Without having a vision of where they want to go, clients will continue to think, act and live the same.
Realize that we are this far into the session and have not asked for any solutions yet. We are not expecting ideas at this point. We have simply 1) Explored the clients desired outcome, 2) Got clear on what the issue is, 3) Created a measurement for success, and 4) Created a vision of accomplishment.
This is the first agreement you create with the client. Whatever they are looking for as an outcome for your session is now your road map for the session. You know where you are, and you know where you need to go. Your job is to help navigate your client to get there.
I hope this post helps you understand the process of creating a contract for the session with your client. Please reach out if you have any questions.
Have a blessed week!
Big hugs ~ Robin