During a recent discussion in our Aligned Earning Mastermind, we discussed how to help clients who tend to ramble and steer them toward a breakthrough. I’d like to share some coaching strategies you can implement immediately to help your clients achieve deeper insights and better outcomes.
We have all had that client who just keeps on talking and talking, leaving us unsure of how to jump in, get to the point, or find a space to introduce all the amazing content you have prepared for the session.
It can be frustrating when you see your client being held back by their story and failing to achieve the breakthrough they came for.
Here are a few simple tips to help you move your client out of their story and into a bigger breakthrough:
- Make sure you are not making this about you. Always view your clients as capable and resourceful adults. Keep an eye out for co-dependent tendencies, such as wanting to rescue your client, achieve a particular outcome, or prove yourself right. It’s important to question whether there is really a problem. Often, my clients whom I thought I wasn’t getting anywhere with … were the ones who said our conversations changed their entire lives – and we worked together for years and years as a result!
- Embrace deep listening. Often, your clients are opening up because they feel safe with you – this is a GOOD thing. Have you ever encountered someone who was ACTUALLY listening to you and not planning their next comment or solution? There is a sense of space that feels SO good. Remember to consider the VALUE you are providing by allowing your clients the space to talk and truly be heard. Often, through deep listening, you will get SO much out of what they are sharing – patterns, belief systems, blocks, and dreams that you can use and draw from as you deepen your relationship.
- Pre-frame your intentions to interject on their behalf. Especially powerful in group settings like a women’s circle or a group coaching program – PREFRAME rather than REFRAME – so much easier to say, “Everyone is going to get one minute to share; when you hear the bell, please wrap up your thought so that we have time for everyone to share” rather than awkwardly trying to get someone to end their thought process while the group is glazing over and you are watching the time on the clock tick down. You can also say, “I might interrupt you or ask you to “bottom line” something – this is not to be rude or not because I don’t want to hear everything you have to say – it is in service to you having the breakthrough you came here for.
- When in a “Closing the Deal” or client call. People naturally talk about what is not going well – this is an excellent opportunity to step into your leadership and gently guide your people from their story of the past and into the vision they want to create. A couple of ways of saying this: “Mary, I want to pause you for a second. This is all so good. And I am noticing that you are sharing a lot about what you DON’T want – this is so normal and natural; as humans, we are programmed to focus on what is NOT going well instead of what is. But I want to stretch you here to focus solely on what you DO desire. Imagine we didn’t have to worry about the “how” or even the past; we could wave the magic wand, and in 3-6 months, it’s already happened, and you have all that you desire. What would that look like for you?”
- When in a client session. You can use the above. Check your own filter and see if your client is getting value or if you are just feeling the urge to “do” something. Allow them to share, hold space, and really LISTEN before moving to the next step. You can use the “pause” or “bottom line” technique – mostly, I find it most helpful to reflect on what you are hearing and then gently guide them to the next step. This will stretch your client out of the old thinking that has them getting their current results and into the new way of thinking that will get them new results. Simply asking the question “What do you want?” works MIRACLES. Ex. “I’m hearing that work is overwhelming, and it’s been hard to exercise with everything on your plate. I’m curious – what is the outcome you want? What would that look like if it could all go perfectly for you?” “How would you know that you had what you wanted? What would you be seeing or experiencing?” Next, ask, “What is stopping you or getting in your way?” And finally, “What is one small step you could take this week to move toward that vision?” This “breakthrough” question series will help your client move out of the repetitive cycle of thoughts that are keeping them stuck and into aligned ACTION – which is where all the magic happens 🙂
I’d love to hear from you! Was this helpful? Which part can you implement this week to start to bring your clients into deeper awareness and deliver even more incredible results?