Helping other people is a very selfish thing to do.
It makes us feel good, but if we’re not careful, feeding our own sense of satisfaction can take over and we end up overbearing our clients with what WE think is right, rather than pausing to discover more.
Our clients tell us of their problems, and we instantly dive right into “fix it” mode – because we believe that’s the reason they’ve come to us (for help) and our egos love to demonstrate that we know what we’re talking about.
But there are many ways to help someone out of a “bad” situation.
Let’s take “Kerry” for example.
“Kerry” is a bit of a sad-sack in nature. You know, one of those “glass half-empty” type people who loves to moan about how terrible everything is.
She’s the first one to tell you about all her problems (even though you didn’t even ask).
She’s the kind of person who uses these problems as a way of getting sympathy or attention from others.
So when she tells you about her problems, and you dive straight into “fix it” mode, she’ll come up with every excuse under the sun as to why she can’t do any of those things – because deep down she doesn’t WANT to get rid of her problems while they’re getting her so much sympathy and/or attention.
When our clients are hurting or struggling with problems, they all have an element of their personality that wants someone to soothe them, listen to them and tell them it’ll be ok, but that won’t help them out of the situation they’re in.
So, how can you help if your client doesn’t seem like they WANT help?
Firstly, we need to check our own egos.
This isn’t about what you know, or you being able to “fix” the problem.
In fact, it isn’t about you at all.
This about your client and what THEY need.
“Kerry” isn’t telling you about her problems because she wants you to fix it.
She doesn’t want you to wave a magic wand and make it all ok.
Coaching is a partnership and it’s your job to make the steps to progress as easy as possible for your clients, but they have to do some of the work too.
And you can’t do your job effectively if you don’t know what it is they want – or your ego is forging ahead into “fix it” mode.
So, what can you do?
A simple question like “so, what shall we do about it?” or “how do we move forwards from here?” not only puts the ball back in your client’s court, but using the word “we” let’s them know that you’re with them and supporting them in whatever steps they want to take next.
The simple but HUGELY important action of asking your client the question builds massive amounts of trust and helps them to move beyond any barriers (either physical or emotional) that are holding them back and preventing them from getting the results they want.
Without it, your clients may adopt (or continue with) self-sabotaging behaviours that they seem powerless to prevent.
So, I guess the question is, how much does your ego drive your coaching?
If you’re ready to dive deeper into unspoken communications so you can help your clients move beyond their barriers and deliver the outstanding results that your coaching deserves, check out my “Eyes, Ears, Ask, Give” strategy in my FREE book “The Coaches Guide to Long-Term Injury Prevention Success” right now!