Do you ever worry that your clients don’t move forward quickly enough?
Here’s a question I got on Instagram last week…
What do you do when you see your client is not progressing due to lack of time, resources, or drive? What do you see as your responsibility and course of action for the sake of the client?
Okay. Once upon a time, I had a client who I’ll call Lazy Susan (ha, ha!).
From my perspective, Susan was slow as molasses. Our sessions felt a lot like Groundhog’s Day; talking about the same issues, identifying the same action steps, and then not taking any action.
From my perspective, Susan spent a lot of time talking about taking action but she rarely followed through.
If we’re being honest, I secretly looked forward to the day Susan would turn to me and say “you know what? This really isn’t working out.”
Then one day, at the end of a session, she looked at me and so sincerely said, “I always feel so good after our sessions. I feel like I’m making a lot of progress and I couldn’t do it without you.”
Then it hit me.
Her definition of progress was not the same as mine. And our approach to problem-solving and business building wasn’t even in the same solar system.
Here’s the truth: Your client may not actually need or want what you think is best for them.
And their progress is not your progress.
As a coach, your job is to create the space for each client to experience and fully participate in their own journey.
Sure, you can share your expertise – please do!
Yes, you can challenge your clients, call their bluff and hold them extremely accountable.
But let them determine whether or not they’re making progress. Don’t rob them of ownership.
Back to Not-So-Lazy-Susan…
After this one conversation, she quickly shifted from dreaded-client to dream-client because I got my ego and my personal expectations out of her way.
Since then, I’ve learned so much about what it means to be a coach and hold space for my clients. The experience also made me realize that my judgments of her progress were actually a projection of my fears around the quality of my own work.
The truth is, you can’t make your clients progress define you.
I wish I could take credit for my clients who go from making $2,500 a month to $25,000 a month in a very short time frame. I wish I could take credit for their five figure launches and six figure years.
But really, they did the work. I created an environment, gave some ideas and coached them through certain setbacks.
But they’re the ones who stepped up! Having a rock-star client doesn’t make me a rock-star coach.
The opposite is true, too. If you have a client who moves slower than you’d like, it doesn’t mean you’re a crappy coach.
It means there’s an opportunity to communicate about how you can help them get the most out of coaching.
Would you like some ideas about how to make that happen? Watch this quick Facebook live now.