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Your Responses to ‘Does the Client Really Have All the Answers?’

November 17, 2017

We received dozens of responses to our blog post “Does our client really have all the answers?” and we’re grateful to everyone who openingly and honestly shared their thoughts with us. It is clear that this is a juicy question at the forefront of coaches’ minds, your minds. So juicy and important, in fact, we are working to provide time and space to further this conversation via a webinar platform. Stay tuned, details to come.   

Did you miss our initial blog post? No problem, you can get caught up here. 

It turns out, our coaching community has been mulling over this hot button topic of whether coaches should advise their clients or not. And while this topic seems to be at the top of mind, the conversation around it takes many different valuable shapes and forms. With hopes of continuing this important conversation we are sharing a summary of your valuable perspectives. 

Do You Coach Outside of The Lines? 

Overwhelmingly, you answered YES.  You regularly reach beyond the traditional co-active approach by:  1) doing what works for the client with recognition that all clients are different, which calls for a unique approach for each 2) doing what the client hired you for by coaching (mentoring, advising, and educating) them to improve performance, attain goals, and achieve their defined results (whatever they may be) and 3) holding your clients creative, resourceful, and whole – while warning and advising  them if there is a cliff ahead. 


One of you summarized this approach so eloquently:

 “The coach works to create the delicate balance between sharing information that expand the client’s knowledge in combination with questions that enable the client to expand their thinking through reflection, creating new learning that supports their needs and goals.”    

Giving Clients a Nudge

Some of you have found advising, directing, and “a little nudge” are essential to getting your client’s “unstuck.  Here’s what you had to say about offering a little something extra: 

“Some (clients) need to be taken by the hand, guided, and shown some options, even provided with suggestions or advice that they can take or leave, of course. Coaching, for me, is more than just listening and waiting for them to come up with their own answers (or not).”

“Do I ever offer my thoughts?  Sure, when the client runs dry, I’ll ask if I can offer up an idea or if he or she wants to do some brainstorming.”

 “Questions are important. I have gotten MUCH better at asking them. But – it’s not enough, sometimes.”

How Did We Get Here?

Some of you reminded us of the humble beginnings of the ICF core competencies by reflecting on how they were created to intentionally separate the coaching profession, created a platform for incredibly successful coaches, and now can be a springboard for continued conversations in the evolution of coaching:


“The ICF Core Competencies and certification track were developed at a crucial time in the emergence of the coaching profession. We, as a coaching collective, were becoming scrutinized by other professions that didn’t understand how we weren’t treading into their regulated areas and because we didn’t have a self-defined, self-regulated unified body of knowledge with a foundational set of competencies and a way to assess and measure proficiency in them, we left ourselves open as an emerging profession, to become defined by OTHER professions and adhere to outside standards of proficiency.”
 

The Questions We Are Still Asking Ourselves 

Some important and intriguing questions came up for some of you reflecting on the process of “when it comes to moving away from the client being the one that has all of the answers” including:

  • Where is the line between coaching and consulting?
  • How do we measure a coach’s ability to advise properly and correctly?
  • What if the wrong advice is given and has large repercussions?
  • How do you keep the client from holding the coach in a hierarchal position as the smartest one in the relationship?
  • How do you teach a client to be resourceful when they DON’T have the answers and you are not around as their coach?
  • How do you avoid client dependency on the coach for guidance on how to think and act?

We are inspired by the stories you shared around how YOU delicately balance the tension of self-inquiry around what will serve your client best – advising them in a way that can improve their performance or coaching them toward empowerment, resourcefulness and self-authorship:

“I’ve been doing some pro bono coaching recently for a good friend who is a business owner, and he’s been struggling with how to lay out clear expectations for a staff member who is in charge of all their marketing.  It’s a conversation he’s avoided for a long time.  I tried the coaching approach first – had him walk through pros/cons of having the conversation, asked him how he could approach the performance gap, asked him what’s been holding him back.  He just wasn’t seeing it.  Finally, I told him I thought he was avoiding a conversation he needed to have and that if he wasn’t direct, he was doing his staff member a disservice.  Once I gave him that little poke, he opened up and admitted he was afraid of being vulnerable with her about his lack of leadership.  I told him that vulnerability could increase trust and get the staff member to more readily hear the feedback – what he was avoiding was the very thing he needed to tap into.  Once we had that conversation, I shifted back into coaching and empowered him to build the plan for actually having the conversation.”

Some of you pondered how “the gurus” who have changed millions of lives through coaching fit into the equation. But wait, would Tony Robbins make it through the ICF exam?


“I read an article some years ago that claimed that Tony Robbins with his very directive coaching approach would not be suitable to pass an exam from the ICF. That made me think, that there must be something wrong, if somebody like Tony Robbins and his incredible successful method would fail.”

Where is the Coach in the Coaching?

Finding the space to interject with some “me” seems to be part of your special sauce and an essential way to coach, advise, mentor, educate, and consult your clients on the journey towards their goals (why they hired you to begin with). Many of you have experienced the value of a diverse toolkit when it comes to your coaching methodology:

“Do I provide advice?  You bet your biscuits I do!  I was just speaking to a colleague yesterday about this issue, someone who I have the privilege of mentoring.  I said to her that if a coach won’t be honest with their clients, who will be? When my clients hear about my downfalls or struggles they know that I bleed too, and our relationship is strengthened.  Also, it gives them the opportunity to learn and grow from my experience as well. ”

Another coach shares the importance of giving the client what they are paying for:


“My clients would fire me in a minute if I didn’t inject some “me” into the coaching. With that I mean, they WANT my perspective, shared experiences, suggestions and any resources I have for them. They WANT me to be a partner with them and act as a confident peer where they can say what’s really on their mind and not into a void of endless open-ended questions.”

“I try to default to a coaching approach, but I always have the “consultant” and “mentor” in my toolkit.”  

And finally, while you use a lot of tools in your toolkit, you recognize that the most transformational and valuable life shifting moments for our clients most often come from what our clients discover for themselves:

“Hands down (though), the biggest and most deeply resonating a-ha moments I’ve seen clients have over the years were the ones they found themselves, not the ones I had for them.”

Where Do We Go From Here?

So, now that we know we are all wrestling with this question, where do we go from here? As coaches, it is easy to become siloed and create our own processes. We must continue to leverage what our experience and gut is telling us by walking the line of coach, mentor, and advisor. We must keep pushing the boundaries through engaging in these uncomfortable conversations with the larger coaching community. We must use our voices and experience (with our clients best interest in mind) to successfully shape the future of coaching as a profession.

We invite you to continue to conversation.  Watch for our upcoming webinar to keep the dialogue going.

 

– Corrie

Corrie Weikle
Director of Training | Learning In Action


P.S. We have several upcoming EQ Profile certification courses. Check out our course catalog.

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Posted in: Learning in Action

How to Price Your Coaching

November 10, 2017

 

How to Price Coaching

Having met and gotten to know hundreds of coaches, I’ve come to believe that many of us suck at valuing ourselves. Personally, I find myself alternating, in equal measure, between the belief that I should be charging more and the belief that I’m charging too much already!  And idea of talking to other coaches about how much they charge for coaching just feels so taboo.

My belief that I should be charging more comes from my experience of just how challenging it can be to make a living coaching. (BTW, a huge percentage of coaches don’t make a living coaching. According to the 2016 ICF Global Coaching Study, on average, US coaches made $61,800/year. And unless you live in South Dakota, that’s simply not enough to thrive on.) I’ve coached full time (meaning as a focus for my career, not coaching 40 hours/week) for almost 15 years, have logged over 5,000 hours of paid coaching, completed three coaching programs, (two through Invite Change and one through Adler) and attained the PCC coaching credential (MCC proves to be elusive for me), and though I’m making a living, I feel that in any other profession (attorney, accountant, consultant), I’d be making a LOT more money for my level of experience/education/ability.

My belief that I’m charging too much already comes from this horridly guilty feeling that “OMG, what could I do in an hour that would be worth that?!” (Yup, I’m one of those coaches that sucks at valuing myself.) Logically I know that the value I create for my clients can be significant and meaningful and is, in essence, priceless. And that doesn’t keep me from having some emotional baggage around my pricing.


Taking the Emotional Baggage Out of Pricing

I had the good fortune to take a class on pricing during my MBA program at University of Chicago, from Nobel Laureate, George Stigler. He was a sweetheart of a guy and made pricing a subject that wasn’t just theoretical, but also logical. Even now, as I think about raising my prices and how I get my head around it, I’m grateful to have a framework for thinking about pricing that takes the emotion out of it for me, and gives me the distance to make a logical choice I can feel good about.

Factors to Consider In Determining Pricing

Obviously, there is no one answer to how all coaches should price. That said, there are a set of factors each of us can consider and use as guideposts in creating our own framework for determining pricing we can feel good about, or at least support logically. Below I offer up a way to think about pricing, examples of my own pricing, and other ways of pricing that coaches have shared with me. To be clear, I’m not presenting myself as an authority on this topic. My sincere intention is to help as many coaches as possible value themselves appropriately, make a living coaching, and capture more of the value they create for others.

Who’s Paying

For most services, who’s paying doesn’t matter when it comes to pricing. For landscaping, legal, cleaning, accounting, haircutting services, most everyone pays pretty much the same price (unless, of course someone has buying power that allows them to negotiate the price down). Not so true much for coaching. With coaching, who’s paying really matters in determining pricing (whether it should or not).

In general, companies will pay more (much more) for coaching than an individual will. By way of example, my target market is CEOs/Entrepreneurs/Owners.  I like to coach where business meets personal. So both the individual and the company are paying, as they are the same. A few years ago, I had a C.E.O. client that I was charging the rough equivalent of $250/hour. At the same time, I was coaching his wife (who worked for a Fortune 500 company who paid for coaching) and charging $500/hour. What I offered was the same and what the buyer was willing to pay was quite different. And I did not feel guilty about it, though sometimes I think I should.  🙂

Target Market

While target market is similar to who pays, it’s not the same. For example, the C.E.O. client’s wife I mention above, referred me to her best friend who worked at the same company in a similar role. Her friend didn’t ask or couldn’t get her company to pay for coaching. She couldn’t afford to pay personally the rate I charged the company, but could afford the rate I charged my C.E.O. clients, so that’s what I charged.

While I don’t have the data to prove it, I’m confident in saying that the 70% of coaches who identify as leadership, executive, business or career coaches make substantially more money than the 30% of coaches who identify as life, vision, health, wellness or spirituality coaches. (To be clear, I’m not in any way suggesting that is deserved or related to quality or ability.) It’s simply, IMO, related to target market and who’s paying.

Targeting individuals (or teams) at higher levels at companies with greater revenues will yield (in general) more than targeting individuals at mid-levels or at privately held companies or outside of a company setting. The more money people have access to, the more money they’ll pay for coaching. (I know, obvious, right? And sometimes it needs to be said.)

Years ago, I coached a woman who was a coach herself, had a best-selling book, and was a keynote speaker for Global 1000 companies. Her target market was Global 1000 CEOs and she charged them $95,000 for an annual coaching contract. (Yup and I was coaching her for $250/hr, 2 hours/month. Definitely something wrong there!).

Geography

Even though the telephone was identified as the delivery method 68% of US coaches use in the 2016 ICF Global Coaching Study, geography still matters, even if the coaching isn’t in person. There remains a relationship between coach pricing and the cost of living of the location in which the client resides/works. On average, clients in New York, DC, and LA will pay more for coaching than clients in Texas, Nebraska, or Colorado.

A senior coach who works with high level executives at Big Pharma companies in NY recently shared that she charges $18,000 for a six month coaching assignment. She works with her clients about one hour every other week. (Of course, it’s never that simple. There’s always discovery and development of the coaching plan and maybe a 360. And $18,000 for one client for six months doesn’t suck.) BTW, most senior coaches I talk with in the DC area charge $12,000 – 18,000 for similar six month coaching packages.

Packaging

Coaches package their services in many different ways, and those differences have some significant implications for long term revenue. Below are a few different ways I’ve learned that coaching is packaged. I’d love to hear from you what I’m missing.

Lump Sum for a Six Month Plan

I would call this a traditional ICF coaching packaging. It’s basically a single price (paid upfront or maybe in two parts, half as a deposit and the remainder at the three month mark) for the completion of the six month coaching plan. Coaching sessions are typically every other week.

The upside of this arrangement is that payment is made upfront for services performed over time. A downside is in six months you’ll be looking for another client, or your client has a big decision to make as to whether or not to spend that big lump sum again.

Coaching by Day/Week

When I was at the Institute of Coaching Leadership Forum last month, I met the CEO of a coaching business in Colorado. He has a staff of 30 employees, all coaches. Borrowing a pricing model from the oil and gas industry, he “sells” coaches to companies for a certain number of days or weeks per month. Those companies can use those coaches for whatever they want – coaching, facilitation, training, interviewing. And they are willing to pay a healthy price to have that coach “on staff.” (I didn’t get the pricing, but he told me his business was thriving and all 30 of this employee coaches were engaged and making good money). Of course, the coaches he employed were like Swiss Army knives, with a number of different tools for a myriad of applications. (That sounds pretty awesome to me.)

Membership

About 4 years ago, taking a song from the Vistage hymnal, I made the switch to a membership model for my coaching. My clients pay a flat amount every month (like a gym membership, which is drawn automatically each month using PayPal) for a package of benefits that includes a certain amount of coaching time. The benefits include: 1) invitation to a quarterly dinner/ workshop series – and they still pay for dinner, 2) 360 feedback every six months, and 3) one EQ Profile assessment per quarter (for them or one of their people, and it’s free to me since I own the company).

Coaching time within the membership is typically one or two 55 minute sessions. Most of my coaching sessions are conducted via Skype or phone. If my client prefers to see me in person, they come to me, either at a coffee shop ten minutes from my home or a Regus office suite that is 15 minutes from my home, which I rent by the hour.

The benefits of the membership model include: 1) keeping clients for long, long periods of time because there’s no big decision to make at the completion of a coaching package. (Of the clients on my current client roster, I’ve worked with them on average for four years.)  2) a steady, predictable income stream (I get paid whether I meet with my clients or not. My clients cancel A LOT. And I’m ok with that because I don’t have to pay the price for it)  3) coaching becomes for my clients, less of an event, and more of a habit/lifestyle.

While this model wouldn’t be attractive to some coaches, I love it. My client roster is always full and I have long term, meaningful relationships with my clients. Oh, BTW, I charge $399/month for a package that includes one hour of coaching and $699/month for a package that includes two hours of coaching. Sure, it’s a pittance compared with what I could make if I were working with executives in Corporate America. And having spent decades working in a series of Fortune 500 companies, ending up an SVP at Bank of America, I find working in that environment to be soul-usurping. That said, as I noted before, I am contemplating a price increase. What do you think? (BTW, if you have significant, first-hand experience coaching CEO/Owner/Entrepreneurs I’d love to get your thoughts.)

Performance Based Pricing


Marshall Goldsmith is well-known for his performance-based model of pricing. When I met Marshall last month at the IOC Leadership Forum, he shared a bit of his approach. He does some benchmarking work with his clients upfront, which includes a 360 to determine where they are in terms of their performance. Then he contracts to improve the performance of his clients, on the agreed upon benchmarks. If his clients don’t improve, he doesn’t get paid. Also worth noting is that his contract requires his clients to do what he tells them to do. And when they do, and they improve, he gets $250,000. From every client, every time. (This is where the mic drops.)

Hourly Pricing

Some coaches, usually newly certified, charge by the hour for coaching time, usually for the duration of a contract. Most senior coaches don’t ostensibly price by the hour, but any contract eventually comes down to price for time spent coaching. A direct (and perhaps obvious) correlation exists between how much a coach charges per hour and how much they make annually.

The ICF Global Coaching Study found that coaches making greater than $150,000/year charge an average of $607/hour. Coaches making $100,000 – $150,000 per year coaching, charge an average of $365/hour. That’s a huge difference! So you CAN make a thriving living coaching, depending upon who pays, what your target market is, where they are located and how you package it. (And of course, it helps a lot if you’ve written a best-selling book, have developed your own coaching model and/or have tons of relevant experience.)

We can package our coaching in lots of different ways. At the end of the day, the price for coaching is whatever the client will pay. And the more value we bring as coaches, the more a client is likely to find the experience of coaching and what they get from it, indispensable. What’s important is that we coaches value ourselves and respect the value we are creating for our clients. That way, we can all thrive, making a sustainable, bountiful living doing what we love. (I’ll keep you posted on whatever I decide to do with my pricing)

Would you like to know more about how comparable your pricing is? How other coaches like you price?  (Yeah, maybe it’s taboo to talk about money – and hey if it means that all of us can begin to make a better living as a result, let’s get rebellious!)


If so, complete this brief survey about you, what you offer, and how you price. Once the results are in, we will compile the data, keeping it all anonymous, and share it with you.


We’d love your thoughts on all of this and anything else you’d like to share. Let’s keep the conversation going.

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Posted in: Learning in Action

Coaching Outside the Lines

November 3, 2017

Even though I’ve been coaching for 15 years, I still sometimes ask myself, “Am I doing this right? Do I have permission to do this?”  (No doubt, that’s my doubt showing up.)  And yet, when I look at the World’s Top 30 Coaching Professionals for 2017, it’s clear, to me anyway, that they didn’t ask anyone for permission.  And apparently, they didn’t ask the question “Am I doing this right?” Instead, they opted for figuring out what was right for them and did it.  (And of course, wrote a book about it, got it published and successfully promoted it – which is nice. 😊 ).

The Secret Sauce of Coaching

I don’t know what “My Way” of coaching is, my “secret sauce.”  And I sincerely respect (and am somewhat pissed off by) people who do.   I barely understand my way of coaching well enough to do it, much less write a book about it.  That said, I don’t believe there is any ONE secret sauce of coaching.  There’s a secret sauce we make for and with our clients.  Perhaps if we each could figure out the recipe for our own coaching sauce, we each could bottle it and sell it.  And what feels important is that we coaches create that secret sauce with our clients in a way that brings out not only the best in them, but the best in us, as well.

Coaching Outside of the Lines

I’d only been coaching a few years, when I realized that one-to-one coaching was wonderful and awesome – and not enough for me.   I wanted to do more for my clients…and for me.   Fortunately, while I have my doubts, I’m not afraid to try things.  So I began creating unique coaching experiences that allowed me to express more of myself and granted me the ability to try things with my clients that weren’t possible in the traditional one-to-one coaching model.  

Here I offer you ways in which I’ve experimented with coaching outside-of-the-lines, in the hopes that it encourages you to create coaching experiences that you love and that reflect the uniqueness and wonder of YOU.

Experiences that Inspire

In 2009, the US was in the depths of a recession. My CEO/business owner clients were feeling the devastation of it.  I was desperate to find some way of restoring their hope, reconnecting them with the inspiration of why they do what they do.  So, I organized one of the first TEDx conferences in the US.

Luckily, I stumbled on to Simon Sinek, author of the then soon-to-be-released book, Start with Why.   I paid to fly him from New York to Seattle to be the opening speaker for my conference, TEDxPugetSound.   Simon gave what is now the third most viewed TED talk of all time.

In this TEDx Talk, he presented, to a group of 50 of my coaching clients and prospects in the Georgetown Ballroom in Seattle.  This conference, this experience I created, gave my clients something that traditional coaching couldn’t.  I went on to organize two more TEDx conferences as an extension of my work as a coach.

Expanded Perspectives

The question of whether or not my clients have all of their own answers is one that I’ve wrestled with for years.  And at one point, for better or worse, I determined that if I couldn’t or wouldn’t give them advice, I’d find someone who would.  😊  For many years, I ran peer roundtables through Vistage.   Peer roundtables gave me several opportunities:  to see my clients outside of the traditional coaching setting, to facilitate their receiving multiple perspectives on their internal and external challenges, and to provide them with advice -even if it wasn’t from me!  I still run a CEO roundtable in DC, and love the freedom it gives me to co-create a group coaching experience.

Deeper Learning

By the end of 2014, I’d completed my time with both Vistage and the TED organization.   I was coaching on my own, and acting as an advisor for a company called Netcito that created and supported roundtables for entrepreneurs in DC.   Once again, I found myself wanting to do more for my clients than traditional coaching.   I wanted to go deeper on essential topics, playing with them and exploring them in ways that my coaching didn’t allow.  So I’ve created a quarterly dinner/workshop series for my clients on both east and west coasts (DC and Seattle).

The purpose of these dinner/workshops is to connect people to an idea, to like-minded peers and to a deeper understanding of themselves.   We do that by exploring a single meaningful topic (like shame or anger or the ladder of inference or mindfulness), sharing and connecting through our fears, doubts, and vulnerabilities, and resting in a safe and creative space.  All while eating yummy food and drinking good wine.   It’s pretty much the most fun I have all quarter. (If you’d like to experience a taste of the workshops I do with my clients, and you’re in the Seattle or Boston area, please join us.  We’d love to have you.)

What about you?

My hope with sharing these examples is to encourage you to explore coaching outside of the lines, giving yourself permission to define coaching however you want.   Maybe you already coach outside of the lines. Bravo!   I believe that what the profession of coaching calls on us all to do is to create our lives in a way that we love and that expresses the fullness and preciousness of who we are.   Because when we do, we lead the way for our clients and they flourish as a result!

How do you coach outside of the lines?  How do you make your coaching yours?  What’s your secret sauce?  I’d love to hear it.

Alison Whitmire

President | Learning In Action


We have several upcoming EQ Profile certification courses. Check out our course catalog or click on the link below.

 

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Does the Client Really Have All the Answers?

October 27, 2017

I’ve been wrestling with this question for some time.  Must I only ask and never tell? Does the client really have all the answers? I recently completed a course intended to prepare me for MCC.  While it truly transformed my understanding of coaching (from an ICF perspective), I also found it frustrating.  When I tried this more MCC –like approach with my clients, many just didn’t want to play along.  (Likely because I had “trained” them to expect something different from me).  All the same, when I recently surveyed my clients about what works about our coaching and what they wanted more of from me, the comment most frequently made was “Tell me what you think!”

Does only asking questions work?

I attended the Institute of Coaching conference in Boston a couple of weeks ago and had the opportunity to get up close and personal with few high profile coaches to ask them this question.    I spoke with David Peterson, head of coaching and leadership for Google and asked him, “How much do you believe the idea that the client has their own answers?”  He responded “If you didn’t know where the bathroom was and said to me, ‘I want to figure out how to find the bathroom”, am I going to ask you how you feel about it, or why you want to go to the bathroom or what finding the bathroom is going to give you? No!  I’m going to tell you where the bathroom is!”  This pretty much summed up what I heard from a number of coaches who attended this very academic conference, focused on the research and study of the efficacy of coaching.  

Also, I had the opportunity to spend a day in a small group with Marshall Goldsmith.  I asked Marshall point blank his stance on the efficacy of the classic ICF-style approach of mainly just asking questions.  His response: “There is no scientific evidence of any kind that proves that approach to coaching works.  Mine works.  I have decade of proof that it does.”  BTW, Marshall requires all his clients sign a contract saying that they’ll do exactly what he tells them to do.  Neat job if you can get it. 😊

Do you break the rules?

Last, I had the good fortune to meet the funny and charming CEO of Coachville, David Buck, at a camp for entrepreneurs that we attended this summer.  We, too, got to talking about this question and he let me know that he had just written an article on a similar topic for Choice Magazine, entitled Breaking the Rules: Is it Time for the Coaching Paradigm to Expand.  In it, he compares the ICF model of coaching to yoga and  his model for “Real Coaching” to the Olympics.  The ICF Co-Active model as he calls it is not about performance and “Real Coaching” is.  BTW, Dave would love your feedback on his article.  You can email him at coachdave@coachville.com.

What is coaching?

Do my clients come to me because they want to perform better?  Of course!  Do my clients also want clarity and restoration of the essence of who they are?  Do they not only want to perform better, but also BE better? Be more of who they want to be?  Be self creating?  YES!  So, I think for me, coaching is about being with the tension of self-inquiry around what will serve my client best – advising them in a way that can improve their performance or coaching them toward empowerment, resourcefulness and self-authorship.   Or more likely, a delicate blend of both.

What about you?  What do you think?  What is coaching to you?  What model do you follow?   

We’d love to hear about it.

– Alison

 

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5 Signs Your Clients are Asking for the EQP

September 25, 2017

Do you use the EQ Profile with everyone you work with?  I don’t.  (Uh oh.  Maybe I shouldn’t admit that). I do use the EQ Profile with every team I work with because I want to know what I’m getting myself into when I challenge them. (See an example of our new EQ Playbook for Teams here).  And I don’t use the EQ Profile right out of the gate with every coaching client.  I want to look for signs that the client is essentially asking for EQ Profile before I introduce them to it.

When I say asking for it, I mean that my clients expect me to help them see what they can’t see about themselves.  And when a client’s blindspots become apparent to me (and not so much to them), I’ve found that is the ideal time to introduce the EQ Profile to them, to help them see themselves more fully.

 

Do you want to become an expert at identifying your client’s blindspots? As an EQ Profile Practitioner, you can take advantage of a special offer for our upcoming refresher course.
More details below.

 

Here are five signs or indications that a client is “asking” for the EQ Profile by how they are showing up in the coaching:

1) Their focus is outside of themselves. 

Sally was exasperated with her boss.  “He’s micromanaging my department.  He’s never available.  He leaves me out of meetings that affect me and my department.”  And I would ask Sally, “What do you want around this?” to which she would respond “He won’t let me do my job.  The board believes in me, but he doesn’t.  Other companies would love to have someone like me on their staff.”  And I would return to the question “And what do YOU want?” and she would continue with her latest grievance about her boss.

Her focus was almost completely outside of herself (a strong indicator of Other Orientation), to the point that she was nearly blind to what she felt, thought or wanted for or about herself.  This was a big billboard of a sign that she would benefit from the EQ Profile (and developing a deeper understanding of Other Orientation).  The EQ Profile provided the platform to discuss where we tend to focus under stress and how one can cede the locus of control to another without even realizing it.  With this new awareness, Sally has become significantly more empowered, more confident in her role and her boss has backed off, giving her more space to perform.

2) Their difficulty in seeing what’s possible.

Jeff was one of my most challenging clients.  We would start most every session by identifying what he wants to have come out of the session.  We would explore his situation, his relationship to the outcome he’s wanting and what his options are.   And one by one, he would explain in detail why anything we talked about wouldn’t work.  And I would ask “what else is possible?” And we’d explore another option, which he would meticulously dismantle.  And I would ask “So what is possible?”   And by the end of most of our early sessions, he’d talked himself out of every possibility we explored and was returned back to where we started the session.  Jeff couldn’t see or believe in what was possible (because of his strong Negative Orientation).

Jeff’s negative orientation served him well in his profession (as CEO of a professional services firm specializing in compliance).  However, it blinded him to any vision for the company.  If he couldn’t see it, touch it, feel it, it was “magic fairy dust.”

After the EQ Profile, Jeff gained some perspective about how differently he saw himself, others and the world, under stress.  He was able to reflect on how he had been successful in  situations of uncertainty in the past and came up with a way of framing the future that helped him get his head around it (e.g. we’ll probably never be able to do this, but if we did by some miracle in the future do it, here’s how we would have done it – kind of reverse engineering a vision).  It works for him and gave him the shift he needed to move forward.

3) They are not accessing their feelings.

Bill’s wife had “caught” him.  Bill’s business partner had “fired” him.  When I asked Bill how he felt, he said “Well, I think this will be a new opportunity to start over and do something new.”  And I asked “And how do you feel, using a feeling word?” (You can tell I’m persistent, like a dog with a bone).   Bill said “I’m pretty ok with it.”  Hmmmmm.  “You seem pretty disconnected from your feelings, Bill.”  “I don’t know. I feel pretty good.”

Bill didn’t have access to his feelings.  He didn’t know what he was missing.  And he was missing the essential information that his feelings would provide him.  Information that could help him save his relationships.

Introducing Bill to the EQ Profile gave me the platform to talk with him about the information that feelings provide and how not accessing distressing feelings can impair authentic relationships. The language of feelings is somewhat foreign to Bill and he’s slowly but surely learning to speak it.

4) Their Inner Critic is merciless. 

A serial entrepreneur, Randy’s life and career were like a roller coaster, with lots of ups and downs.  Randy had a merciless inner critic that shamed him relentlessly.  When Randy obeyed the Inner Critic, he was thin and buff and on top of his business game (while his sleep and relationships suffered).  And when Randy didn’t do everything his inner critic demanded, he felt like a failure, packing on pounds and doubting his business abilities.

When I introduced Randy to the EQ Profile, it gave us the opportunity to talk about shame and how it can be healthy for us in good measure and how it can make us miserable (as well as those around us) when we let the shame drive the bus.  Also, it gave us the opportunity to talk about the role of the inner critic, to give it a name and to discuss the role it plays in Randy’s life.   When we developed strategies for Randy to simply notice the voice of his inner critic and observe it as witness, he was able to find some distance from it and make more conscious and healthy choices.

5)  Their boss and subordinates love them – their peers, not so much.

Jane didn’t understand the mixed messages in her 360 feedback.  Jane’s people loved her.  They felt seen by her, supported and engaged by her.  To her boss, Jane was indispensable.  She always seemed to know what needed to be done and she was a problem solver, quick to step into action to fix whatever was broken.  Jane’s peers had a different experience.  They didn’t trust her.   They felt she was trying to compete with them, make them look bad.

Jane felt like she was the same person with everyone.  She didn’t understand how people could see her so differently.  Her peers just didn’t know her.  They didn’t understand her.  (And let’s face it, they weren’t that smart, anyway).

The EQ Profile helped Jane gain some clarity about her relationship strategies, the ones she was comfortable with and the ones she wasn’t.  Jane wasn’t comfortable depending upon someone else, especially when the chips were down.  If the going was going to get tough, she was going to get going.  She wasn’t going to wait for someone else.  And Jane didn’t really realize this about herself until the EQ Profile debrief of her relationship strategies.  And it brought all of her 360 feedback into perspective.

There you have it.  Five signs that your client is asking for the EQ Profile.

Are your clients asking you for the EQ Profile?
Are they missing some perspective?
Do their issues sound the same?
Is there a pattern to your coaching sessions?

If so, your clients might be asking you to help them see what they can’t.  The EQ Profile can support you in showing your clients themselves and what they’re missing.

With the EQ Profile, you can open up all new choices for your clients that would never have been available to them otherwise.  Wow!  What a gift you have to give them.

Many of our EQ Profile Practitioners have found that taking a retraining course is an excellent way to get clearer on how to use the EQ Profile to go deeper with your clients faster.

 

Our next virtual EQ Profile refresher training starts October 19th. 

Already a practitioner? For a limited time, we’re offering 2 free EQ Profile’s with the purchase of our EQ Profile Certified Coach Retraining Course. That’s worth over $300, which is more than the price of admission.

This offer ends on Oct 6th so be sure you register before then here.

Please email our team at liat@learninginaction.com if you have any questions.

 

Hope to you see you there!

– Alison Whitmire

President | Learning In Action Technologies

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