This is something I’ve been personally working on quite a bit lately. First off, you have to set a goal to be able to do this. So I set a goal to get to make my coaching more powerful, focused, and condensed.
To do this, I had to focus on a couple of things…
I know you hear this one all the time, but have you done it? This is the key in DIAG’s, calls, etc. Example, “What I’d like to do today is really keep focused on the top 1 or 2 things you have going on. Let’s address those and then get you back to business. Sound OK to you?”
2. Asking better questions by listening more
This is just a key to coaching in general. I find a lot of people get off on all kinds of tangents and try to address every possible need a client has that week. Wrong move! I’ll address this more in my “Fastest Ways to Kill a Client” post in a few days.
If you really want to help your clients and ask better questions, you just have to listen to them. Listen to what they say in the WIFLE or your version of the WIFLE and then ASK QUESTIONS about that. I also ask this important question EVERY CALL, “So, what would you like to get out of today’s call?” Ask that question no matter what they put on their weekly focus sheet.
From there, ask questions like:
How is that impacting your business?
What do you think needs to happen this week to fix that?
What do you think the result would be if you fix this?
What benefits would fixing this have for you personally?
How important is it to you that this gets taken care of immediately?
What obstacles do you see to getting this done?
Most importantly…. Ok, so when will you have this done by?
If they are struggling with doing things…. How would you like me to hold you accountable?
3. Less Prep and more listening
I can hear you… “less prep!” What are you crazy? Crazy like a fox maybe… Often, coaches spend a lot of time prepping for what they think a client needs or what they feel they should deliver that week. WRONG MOVE! Yes, you need to be prepared for your call with the client, but most of that should come from their focus sheet. If you focus on learning the 5 ways, and a few other key flipcharts (post on key flipcharts coming soon…) you will be prepared and can focus on listening.
I know listening is a spillover from my last topic, but its here for a reason. Most coaches DO NOT LISTEN ENOUGH! We have a big mouth and a lot to say AND some of you are always trying to find your fee… Want to find your fee? Listen to your client and respond appropriately. When they are talking, clear your mind of the next question to ask and JUST LISTEN. Respond with natural questions. Sometimes you have to just ask, “Can you tell me more about that?” That’s a GREAT question to ask so you can get to the heart of the matter.
Here’s another tip… See how long you can keep your mouth shut after a client answers your questions. You will be amazed at how much more they share with you when you aren’t talking.
4. Keeping the call focused
I’ve noticed over the years a lot of clients and even coaches that want to talk about everything they can possibly imagine on our call. A lot of times they want to make sure we get a full hour in. Clients will often bring up additional topics when they feel uncomfortable about something and want to distract themselves from dealing with it. You see, one of the primary functions of the brain is to keep you happy at all times and at all costs. So anytime someone becomes uncomfortable, the brain overrides their logic of dealing with the issue and just brings up another one. This is where we come in as coaches and go back to the issue at hand and help them deal with it. This is where you will deliver most of your value as a coach. You may need to say, “That’s a great topic, but not for today. Let’s focus on the first thing you brought up and deal with it. How’s that sound to you?”
5. Wrapping up when done
Simply put, know when you are done. You can’t put more than a couple of tasks on your client each week. I like to focus on 1 or 2 things. 3 is a stretch and 4 tasks will burn them out. I like to ask this question, “do you have enough to do this week?” They most often say YES. My answer to that is, GREAT then I ask one last question…. “So tell me, what are the top 2 or 3 things you got out of our call today?” They know we are done at that point. I may also ask, so how do you think this is going to change your business this week and over time?
Follow these simple steps and you too can deliver more value in under 30 minutes.