and what differentiates okay, good, and GREAT coaches
In the coaching industry, we don’t typically look at clients as jobs or projects to be completed. We see a human to service. But what if coaches did view their clients as a kind of project with the goal of being ‘finished’? When is the service ‘complete’? When is it time to let a client go?
Humans are ever-changing, ever-evolving, beautiful, creatures who are innately pure. One thing most of us can agree on is the human desire to create purpose and meaning in this lifetime. So how do coaches balance recognizing this life-long process of change while still striving for an end-date and a time to set their clients free?
This is a story about letting clients go, and how doing so shows the job has been completed.
Okay coaches want clients, good coaches want quality clients, great coaches want to teach their clients to coach themselves.
‘Okay’ coaches are focused on selling, not serving. How many people can they funnel into their email campaign? How many Facebook members can they get in their super-secret-elite-VIP Facebook group? What buzzword metrics can they focus on like ‘retention rate’ and ‘churn?’ Okay coaches see numbers, not faces. Okay coaches can make some changes but those changes don’t always stick.
‘Good’ coaches are focused on serving, not selling. How many lives can I change? How many people will this person affect after we are able to help them reach their XYZ goals? Good coaches wanted clients they know they can serve. These clients have a niche problem and these coaches usually have a niche solution.
‘Great’ coaches are focused on serving their clients today, tomorrow, and decades from now. These coaches not only see a person for who they are today, but who they could be in the future. Great coaches recognize potential, dedication, grit, and tenacity. These are the humans who hope their clients leave one day. They look forward to the words, “I think I’m ready to try this on my own.” There is no scarcity of clients. Billions of people exist on this planet. Great coaches don’t have time for a scarcity mindset, as they are focused on creating abundance in their clients' lives.
Coaches who fall into the latter category spend their time educating, empowering, and entrusting their clients to strive for greatness. Language is revolved around “we” and “us” and never blaming/shaming “you’s” or “I’s”. A healthy, quality coaching relationship is attended to like a personal one. Trust must be established, respect and communication stay paramount, and a growth process occurs organically.
Social media is full of ads targeting ways to get more client leads, better client software, quicker methods of communication. Never do we see ads regarding the evolution of a coach. It’s not sexy to talk about having clients leave because the job is finished. Why would someone “sign up” or “click here” or “join this webinar” if someone was going to tell them how to let clients go? It’s not sexy and it’s not always easy. Coach/client relationship (with “great” coaches) can last months, years, and even decades. It really isn’t just a client/coach anymore, it’s a team. It’s a unit. It’s a tribe. Sending a tribe member off to explore the world doesn’t mean the member has been exiled. Rather, the tribe member is given an incredible gift — to be able to go explore new possibilities with all of the tools, resources, and support the tribe has given them. If they never need to return home, they can. If they need to call home for some guidance, advice, or a quick hello, they are always welcomed with open arms.
Coaching with a long-term, sustainable approach is necessary to serve to the highest degree. Letting go is a positive and farewells become familiar. In my coaching, I help people prioritize the steps they need to take to get to optimal health. With so much information out there, sometimes it can be exhausting to understand which sources to trust and why.
As a coach, I do this for a living (and freaking LOVE it). My clients ask for more information on certain topics so they are able to make decisions for themselves under healthy guidance. We create a safe space for them to grow, learn, maneuver, fail, achieve, learn, and repeat. No two people are the same, yet this long-term approach of having the clients best interest in mind works for everyone I’ve encountered.
I’m still learning, growing, and developing along with my clients. They teach, inspire, and support me on a regular basis. We’ve gone beyond a client/coach relationship. We are a tribe. We have a system in place designed for cultivation and growth. We have an ability to create, redefine, and transform as needed.
Regardless of where you as a coach (or client) currently sit on the spectrum, there is always a way to improve. If you’re a client looking for a coach, look for one who isn’t afraid to say, “I’m not sure” or “It depends.” If you’re a coach looking for clients, ensure you’re providing them a safe space to ask, learn, and wonder.
RC Coaching Clients are taught to be powerful, balance work and play, and expected to live on PURPOSE. If you think you’d be a good fit for the tribe, you’re invited. Fill out the contact form at RCOnlineCoaching.com and let’s talk.