One thing that is fascinating about being a coach, and working with coaches, is the fact that human beings don’t make a decision–most of the time–unless they’re nudged.
I’ve seen this time and time again in my coaching. When a deadline is looming, my client makes choices that otherwise might be out of reach. Even if it’s an obvious choice that could’ve been made weeks ago, the deadline is powerful enough to be the thing that nudges them forward.
How close to the deadline a person can vary greatly from client to client. Some folks need to be absolutely up against the wall. Other folks just need to know that the deadline is looming sometime in the near future. This is something that’s important for a coach to know about their client so they can serve them most effectively.
Because of this tendency, coaches can leverage this human tendency to increase effectiveness–or more accurately–the client’s effectiveness. How can you build helpful deadlines into your coaching conversations so that your client to action sooner rather than later?
One helpful strategy is to simply ask “How soon do you want this done?” or “What will finishing this do for you and your vision?”
Vision is the most powerful change agent in coaching. If you are working with a client that has a clearly articulated purpose for being coached, it is an advantage for both coach and client to evaluate how every action plan connects to the larger purpose.
In a recent coaching session, my client was envisioning how including a certain assessment in his team development would benefit the team. Every session had built toward developing a skill that the team didn’t currently have. A breakthrough moment came when the client named the skill in a crystal clear description.
He knew what it would take to develop the skill, but couldn’t name how he would assess the current state of his team member’s abilities in this area. That’s where the assessment came in.
There was a reasonably large time commitment to learning to use the assessment and include it in his team’s culture. The financial cost was pretty high as well.
The first coaching question I asked was “What will this information give you as the team leader?” He talked for almost seven minutes listing the benefits.
I followed up with “What reasons can you come up with to NOT learn and use the assessment?” His only hesitation was the cost, but then said “I have the money and the time to do it.”
My next question was “How will this help you accomplish the team’s purposes?” He had another long list of ways.
My final question was “What would keep you from getting trained?” He immediately responded “Nothing. I’m already on the registration site.”
The vision motivated him to act. It was powerful.
This kind of vision-related nudge works virtually every time. This particular client ended up choosing a training that started two weeks later, and had his team take the assessment before our next session.
What vision or deadline could you help your clients articulate and embrace in your next coaching session?
I also have a personal deadline that I want to extend for you. Let’s see if this inspires you to act.
We’re currently offering a promo code on the CoachNet store that discounts every item in the store–training, memberships, assessments, even mentor coaching. But it’s only good until midnight EST TODAY.
The code is 20NYE, by the way. Here’s where you can find the CoachNet store.
I’ve had probably a dozen emails asking some variation of this question: “Could you please extend this promo code offer until Monday (January 5), so I can access it when I get back to my office after the holidays?”
You bet. I’ll do that.
Monday at Midnight Eastern Time the promo code 20NYE will go away. We’re extending it until then.
In the meantime, if you’re thinking about coach training or mentor coaching at all during 2015, this is a great opportunity. That promo code will take 20% off any item in the CoachNet store.
I hope we see you in the training room!
Let me know if you have any questions.