Are you giving clients what they REALLY want?

Many coaches believe that clients need them to dominate the conversation and forcefully plow through the thickets ahead.

There’s certainly a time and a place for that, but we as coaches also must be sensitive to our client’s needs to be heard.

Some of your client’s most profound shifts may come as a result of letting them walk through their own concerns, frustrations and roadblocks as you stand supportively by their side.

When asked what were the top things he wished he knew early on as a coach, Thomas Leonard replied:

All the client needs much of the time is to be ‘heard

It is OK to just be with the client for a while and say absolutely nothing.

Your value as a coach is not diminished by silence. The appropriate time will come for you to interject and bring more clarity or guidance to the situation.

Action Plan: When coaching, be still.  Give your client a chance to talk.  Let them hear, out of their own mouth, what’s holding them back or what they are still using as excuses.

Give them the assurance of knowing they can speak openly and honestly without the fear of dismissal or judgment.

What are your thoughts on allowing clients to be “heard”?  Is this a struggle for you?  Do you agree with Thomas on the importance of this?  Please leave your insight in the comments section below.

2 Responses to “Are you giving clients what they REALLY want?”

  1. Stan Tyler  on March 31st, 2011

    Early in my coaching career my ego was worried about not being the Star in the coaching relationship. What became very obvious was the amazing effectiveness of active listening versus telling, preaching or hinting. The need to be heard once satisfied, allows the clients gifts to emerge as contrasted with their stories or history.
    Thanks for sharing Thomas, he continues to touch my life.

  2. Andrea J. Lee  on April 1st, 2011

    Sometimes it takes time, it seems, to stop ‘needing’ to be the star. Thanks for the reminder, Stan, that it’s okay to let that go.

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