I get a little extra excited with any new task at hand. If it happens to be helping out people, I get happier. So, when I trained to be a coach, I just was overjoyed. Firstly, because I realized the immense power it had to change lives and during that time, I had a beautiful feeling of self-awareness and fulfillment.
So, I started my journey with a lot of hope to add value and help people get better. I started coaching everyone who remotely showed interest. I realized later that some of whom I coached in the initial days, were helping out the “new coach” in me.
Post the initial euphoria I realized that coaching depends a lot on the client too and not on the coach alone. For some clients, I thought that my skills needed more polishing and then there were clients who were doing extremely well. At around 70 hours of coaching, when I looked back at my clients, I realized the success of coaching had a lot to do with the chemistry. The chemistry between the coach and the coachee.
I would like to mention here that during the coach training we were categorically told that everyone is not coachable. But then, like a truant student, I did not want to pay much heed to it.
Today, I understand what they said about – every client may not be coachable. It’s important as a coach to train yourself to understand the client completely before taking up an assignment. I do this now with the risk of sounding choosy, but in the longer run it does help to get that feeling of adding value and a sense of fulfillment for both the coach and the client. It is a partnership relation. The client needs to be as involved as the coach.
Some things that I look for now a days.
1. Have a growth mindset
The client should want to really grow and make an effort towards it. It helps to be committed to the reason for coaching, so when each session is over there is a new clarity and sense of taking a step forward.
2. Willing to change
This is a journey of transformation. To let go of the old and embrace the new. It requires courage to break old habits and develop new ones, so that at the end its all worth it.
3. Action oriented
There has to be significant effort from the client’s side to move forward. The coach will support in every step. The client needs to follow through and implement. Work towards the goals to actually achieve it.
4. Accept the fact that there is an issue.
If the client has an external locus of control, it can be a little tricky. Mostly because the client feels the world must change and there is no trouble with him/her. I have found this to be a little challenging at times.
5. Open to trying new things
When you are in your life changing path you need to do something that you weren’t doing before or at least do it differently. You need to trust your coach. You have to be willing to go with the flow.
Though this is my last point, it holds as much importance as much as the first. If you have committed, please stick to it. If you have lots of other things, to do please complete them. Discipline is critical.
How do I ensure all this?
I have a detailed (very detailed!) conversation with the client and explain that we are in the journey of transformation. We are partners. I promise my full attention and effort, do you? I am also trying to develop a keen sense (intuitive) to understand clients before I take up any assignment.