A new client sat down opposite me and offloaded (nothing new there).
But what was different was that no matter what I said or what coaching tools I used this person did not want to look at the things that they said was they wanted to work on!
How can you help someone achieve more when they won’t talk about it?
Over the course of two hours I asked so many questions to find out what they needed. As I coach I recap with my clients so they can see the journey we are on together. It is always fascinating, often enlightening and sometimes even a little nerve wracking as someone takes you into the depths of their mind.
By the end of the session this client had a plan of action that was in no way connected to what they said they wanted to deal with. While I’m quite used to people discovering the true issues in their way or the actual things that need sorting so they can get on with the big picture. This was a small part of their life and yet to them it was an obstacle that literally filled 2 hours and the client couldn’t see how to pass it.
When we deviate so far from what the client brings to the session originally I will bring their attention back to what they said they wanted to discuss and see what they think. This client blurted out “I didn’t want to talk about any of that!”
“I know” I replied. “How does that feel?” I asked.
They didn’t know. So I reminded them that if they didn’t feel they got any benefit from our time together then they don’t pay me (simple easy guarantee right?) They booked for 6 weeks time, I sent a coaching report and started to get messages…
I tell all of my clients they are welcome to get in touch any time;
This client started messaging me to say that the plan of action was in place and that they’d not met much objection from those that it would impact. (A good start right?)
Then they went quiet. I never panic about this, because if they go quiet I know they know I’m there for them and that I trust that they are more than capable of being amazing (I’ve plenty of evidence of clients doing amazing things to be confident in this). I’m just the vehicle to get them going, keep them focused and accountable and ensure they get there.
When I met that client for the second time, it was like I was looking at a shinier version. Before I could even take my seat they held my hand and said with a smile “I didn’t know what to make of our first session, because it wasn’t what I’d planned to talk about, but I now know why it was the way it was.”
This client went on to describe how much of life had changed since our session together. Not just in one area, but across the board. From family and social life, to dog walking and profit margins. Something had shifted.
“But how could big things come from something so small?”They asked.
It’s a good point.
The fact is that no matter what you want to achieve, no matter what you face – you will find your brain will create a ton of ideas. Some good. Some lousy. Some damn right ridiculous. All of them will play on your mind. Whirl around driving you crazy and little will move you forward. Our coaching session had enabled this client to step away from all of that (and a ton of other stuff) to find a starting point. And had we not dealt with the start first (obvious really) then they couldn’t have moved on to the big stuff they want to achieve.
ACTION; The next time you find yourself asking “What should I do?” Don’t just look for the big answers. It’s likely that what you really need to start on will be far smaller. But it’s the small stuff that we ignore at our peril.
I’m happy to have a chat about how I can help you. If your budget is tiny but your ambitions big I’ve courses and books that will fit and if you want to invest working with me this year. I’d be honoured to join you on your journey. It’s an exciting journey that I never tire of!
My client knocked at my door, totally dejected and like the metaphorically worlds problems were their fault and problems to solve all alone. They walked in looking like thunder and Cruella DeVille, grunted yes to a cup of tea and splurged on 3 conversations at once as they tried to deviate from the moment we would actually talk about what was making them so p***ed off.
They knew as well I did that it would take some work and honesty to find solutions, but that we always did, but it didn’t stop this person walking in like a dinosaur with a boil on its butt the size of Lithuania pulsating away destroying any chance of real thought and happiness.
I could practically feel their despondency, despair and lack of passion for anything. It was like a tangible thing trying to eradicate the happiness from the room. Black and oppressive. The person I knew seemed consumed by? Well? Crap, life, too much stuff and a sense of complete overwhelm.
This client is not alone in bringing me their despair and despondency and from the years of helping people to stay on track, achieve more and feel damn good about it, I know a lot of things that really work to get you back to happiness and away from hell.
Here’s a quick read guide to 3 things that could make today better (and probably help you steer clear of some crap too);
Got it sussed!
It’s tough to look at your life and be honest and say “Mmm, things aren’t good, are they?” to be fair that’s a pretty bland quote, usually it’s more along the lines of “If I don’t sort my Sh*t out I don’t know what’s going to happen” or something similar.
The ironic thing is that as a coach and someone that people naturally talk to (my children are always complaining I talk to everyone and can always find a commonality to have a chat over!) I know that my clients are not alone. The amount of times I’ve shared a Facebook Live and then been inundated with people saying “thank you for your honesty Mandie, My life has been plagued with this” or “I thought I was the only person that feels like this!”
The fact is that you are doing your best and while that doesn’t always feel like enough trust me when I say you are doing fine. If you can be bothered to read an article about being happy and achieving more you are not going to fail in the long term. When I first wrote Fight the fear, I would have some people come up after a speaking engagement and say “I thought I was fearless” (to which I would usually sigh) only for them to admit that they had the very fear I’d been talking about. We are all human. Remember that.
It means that we don’t learn a new algorithm and never slip back. It means that we don’t have it all sussed and only by being honest will we be able to. You don’t’ have to know everything, just remember, most people don’t have the same solutions you are looking for either, reassuring isn’t it! (Unless of course, you employ a coach, then “magically” you seem to have it sussed.)
What a beautiful life!
It is an intriguing state of affairs that a client can be honest and divulge their deepest darkest dooms and yet they have never considered that they are not alone in feeling like this. The crucial
point to always remember about social media is people only share what they want you to know. They may have taken 30 photos to get the one that makes them look like they are sat at the infinity pool on their own and there is not some annoying kid splashing everyone that is trying to swim leisurely admiring the rainforest around them.
We assume that everyone else has a perfect life. No cat sick, no broken phones, no shrivelled plants that you hide out of shot, no stroppy kids, no partners leaving their dirty washing on the floor, no bank accounts that make you sweat because you are too close to being red hot for all the wrong reasons. Trust me as a coach, people come to me when they are desperate. And they are so often people that look like life is perfect. I was taught from a young age, that a flashy car and big house does not negate riches. (Real or spiritual) I alas have been at the door of a business associate that has had the bailiffs arrive and everyone was shocked for weeks that this could happen to XXX. Which leads us nicely too….
Look what I’ve got!
We can spend our life planning for the future, looking over our shoulder and wishing for more. We are in an age where we believe we can do great things, change the world and still read our children bedtime stories, and have the energy to whisper sweet nothings into our loved ones ears and go to sleep on a blissful bed of passion and contentment. While all of that is true, it takes more than just dedication, passion and determination. It takes a lot of work, and not everyone on this planet is made to work 24/7. That doesn’t make you a bad person. And if you can eat a 12 hour day before lunch, then go you. The point is that we are individuals and you need to appreciate you.
Really really love who you are and what you have. We are a society that is intent on achieving more, creating big goals and going for it, however never forget what you already have.
Sometimes even I have fallen foul of this. I remember at my book launch I sighed and said “Next door to the Savoy but not quite there”
“Oh no, I’m only next door to the Savoy!”
My husband pointed out that my book launch was with the UK’s leading non-fiction publisher in a building next door to the Savoy on the 10th floor, overlooking the Thames with panoramic views of London (It made for some awesome PR!) Not bad for your first book Mandie I had to remind myself. You see we can all forget how far we’ve come and how much we have. Take a moment to look around and really notice what you have got. It does tons for your motivation, happiness, determination and action’s results!