Many coaches wonder why clients don't give them rave reviews, referrals, and follow-on work. One big reason is that the coach fails to deliver measurable value and results.
Following are 8 ways to bake value and results into every coaching engagement:
1. Only take an assignment when you and the client are 100% in agreement about the value the coaching is providing. Value can include organizational metrics as well as how the client will feel once the coaching is over. The client is at Point A. Point B is where the client wants to get. Make sure the gap between Point B and Point A is meaningful.
2. Only take an assignment when the value the coaching provides offers a clear return on investment to the client. Otherwise, the client is unlikely to continue the coaching or serve as a reference. If the value isn't there for the client, and there aren't any longer-term engagements in the wings with that client, it is better to part as friends and wait for a better opportunity. Put another way, make sure that the gap between Point A and Point B justifies your fees (and for internal coaches, the time spent by both parties).
3. Don't settle for an engagement imposed on you by the client for a couple hours of coaching when you know that it will take much more than that to address the client's challenge in an authentic, measurable, sustainable way. You will regret it, because you are offering a band-aid solution to a deeper issue.
4. Build in a proper assessment phase to correctly determine the root cause of the client's challenge. Coaches don't have to step into a consulting role to do this. There are many ways to assess a situation with a client. If you do a sloppy assessment, the coaching will go off track.
5. Agree with the client about how you will measure and track results throughout the coaching process. Follow up by actually
measuring progress as per the plan (some coaches discuss measurement but then don't actually do it).
6. Be open and honest with the client when he or she is not meeting goals, and develop ways to get back on track.
7. Make sure that you have robust solutions that solve the client's problem. Asking the same old open-ended questions and hoping the client will come up with the answer is rarely enough to satisfy an impatient executive, manager, or business owner. (The Center for Executive Coaching offers 27 coaching methodologies for you to use immediately with clients, focused on the full range of problems leaders face).
8. After the assignment ends, build in a "10,000 mile check up" (or kilometers if your country uses the metric system) so that you can visit with the client and take care of any slippage in performance or remaining loose ends.
I hope you find value in this list. If you seek a best-practice coach training program focused on results for leaders, we should talk. My personal cell is 941-539-9623 or email me at email@example.com.
Director, Center for Executive Coaching
Author, Guerrilla Marketing for Coaches
Author, The Way to Coach Executives