I've had more than my share of clients call in at session time and say, “I don't know what to talk about today.” My reply? “Awesome! It's going to be an amazing session.” Since people often misconstrue business coaching as an accountability pact with a second person, it's understandable that a client may feel compelled to bring a problem or concern to every call, but you know what? That's not what really matters to your coach, nor should it matter to you.
When clients bring an agenda into every session, it is likely to block progress on something even more important. When the ongoing focus remains on a list of questions, updates, and goals, you and your coach won't have the opportunity to tap into your subconscious mind often enough. The REAL problems aren't usually addressed. In fact, I find that clients who are overly diligent about an agenda are usually avoiding difficult discussions; whether it's a conscious decision or not, this falls into the self-sabotage arena and blocks progress.
So, if coaching isn't strictly about a laundry list of goals and activities, what really matters? Commitment. Many people believe that they are committed to the process, and to a successful, happy future, but they block themselves from really diving in. Your coach should call you on it and support you as you learn to open up, allow yourself to be vulnerable, and create sustainable, meaningful change internally, in your business, and in your personal life.
Below are a few things that a great coach measures to identify whether or not his/her client is fully committed and means business. These are things that matter to your coach–and should definitely matter to you!
Commit fully, or not at all.
In my old business model, I accepted clients on a month-to-month basis. I found that some of my clients would cancel sessions at the last minute, schedule sessions weeks apart, and delay beginning a new month. These are not the people I want to work with, so I changed my model. Now, I require a 6-month or 1-year commitment payable upfront–and what a difference it's made! 100% of my clients are all in. All of them make amazing progress, and every one of them continues to discover deeper layers within.
Demonstrate to yourself that you are committed to growth and success. Treat your session like a critical meeting with a client; you would not cancel it because you're too busy or because Johnie forgot his lunch. Also, take your work seriously; if you feel that you don't have the time to work on your goals, then work on that limiting belief with your coach. You must make the time by reorganizing your business and priorities.
Block out distractions during your session and pay attention.
I can always tell when a client has a browser or their email open. You may be the queen or king of multi-tasking, but you're fooling yourself if you believe you're still absorbing your coach's words. I've had clients who had to resort to driving to a park to resist distractions and find some peace and quiet for their sessions. Do whatever it takes.
Be honest and open–be vulnerable.
This is the most important element in an amazing relationship–with yourself and with your business coach. Many entrepreneurs have told me that, since the business is paying for the business coaching sessions, they don't want to talk about themselves. That's crazy! In many ways, YOU are your business. If you are not happy, focused, and whole, the business will fail. Period, end of story.
If you are unable to achieve a well-rounded, open, and honest relationship with your life or business coach, one of two things are most likely at play: either you don't trust your coach, or you don't trust yourself. Talk about your deepest fears and anxieties. An amazing coach is in your life to help you reframe and resolve limiting beliefs–to help you expand your comfort zone and shift your paradigm. An amazing coach will help you to achieve absolute confidence and to believe in yourself. This is the stuff that a life-changing experience is made of!