Who are your business coaching clients?
I mean really?
Business coaching, perhaps more than other professions, depends on the strength of the client-coach relationship.
If you don’t have a solid understanding of the way your coaching clients think, feel, act, and are motivated you won’t be a very effective coach.
Likewise, if your coaching clients don’t understand your thinking, goals, and tactics, they’ll be wary of your advice.
Think about it this way: imagine that you’re a limo driver in Brazil. It’s your job to ferry important people from one appointment to the next. Maybe they’re movie stars, diplomats, or worldwide business leaders. You’ve got a great limo with a good engine and a comfortable interior, and you’re well-prepared with all the alternate routes and tricks to get your clients where they need to go as quickly as possible. The only problem? You only speak Portuguese and all your clients speak different languages.
How effective are you going to be as their driver if you can’t understand where they’re coming from and where they’re trying to get?
Your client-coach relationship is the same way. You might be both speaking the same language, but if you don’t understand each other’s emotional styles, modes of thinking, and motivations you might as well be speaking different languages.
You might be both speaking the same language, but if you don’t understand each other’s emotional styles, modes of thinking, and motivations you might as well be speaking different languages.
Speak the Same Language as Your Coaching Clients
You can solve that problem, though, by gathering information about your clients’ personalities. Try one (or several) of these methods to increase understanding:
1) DISC Profile. The DISC profile rates traits of dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness. It is especially useful because it can help you determine exactly how you should approach your coaching sessions with your client. For example, a high dominance client will want a fast process while a high conscientiousness client is more task-oriented and will thrive at a slower pace. There are free DISC inventories online, although it’s often useful to spring for the official, comprehensive tool and incorporate it into your coaching process.
2) Myers-Briggs. Myers-Briggs is another popular personality tool that rates people on four different personality traits like extroversion versus introversion and intuition versus judgment oriented. Like the DISC, there are free online options for this, but you might want to consider purchasing rights to a test yourself.
3) Observe, observe, observe. Observe how your client reacts to suggestions and interactions. Look at their body language. Listen to the type of rhetoric they use. Look for patterns and then gently and respectfully point out how those patterns are or are not working for them. No one can be perfectly defined by a personality profile. Often the deepest and most effective approach is based on your own observations.
Personality, like variety, is the spice of life—but it can also be the biggest hurdle you have to leap as a business coach. Understand your clients to optimize your success.
Learn how Eric Dombach went from $0-$1 Million as a business coach in just 4 short years. Download his FREE ebook, Secrets of a Business Coaching Rock Star.