Everywhere you turn these days you seem to find more and more people who are touting themselves as a coach. You name it and somebody will claim they are a coach on that subject. And that is not a bad thing. Many of us need a mentor, a guide to keep us moving along the path to wherever it is we want to go.
If you consider yourself a coach there are a few critical decisions you will need to make. These include:
- Will you do individual or group coaching?
- Will the coaching be done via phone, Skype, email, in person, Google Hangout or another way?
- How frequently will you get together with your students?
- How much direct access will people have to you?
- How accountable will you hold your students?
All are important questions and all will have some impact on how well your students consume the coaching you provide them.
But first, let’s get real about coaching. There are some people who will join your coaching program simply because they want to belong to the group. These people will rarely actually take action on anything they are being taught.
It’s a Quandary
That’s where question number five above comes into play. You will have to decide how accountable people will need to be to remain as part of your coaching program. If you set out tasks to be completed or benchmarks that must be met along the path and they fail to complete the task or meet the benchmark, are they kicked out of your coaching program?
It can be quite a quandary and only you can decide how you want to handle it.
It can be hard to turn down the revenue certainly but you may decide the frustration of seeing some students not take action is a bigger headache and you need to jettison them from your program.
If you have a limited number of people you can coach and you have a waiting list of people wanting to join your coaching program then, by all means, get rid of the non-doers and replace them with action takers so you can receive the satisfaction of people actually putting what you teach into action.
Clearly, the drive to change one’s situation, whether it be through consumption of a book, home study course, training workshop or through being involved with a coaching program has to come from within.
As a coach you might be able to inspire short term changes but over the long haul the desire has to come from within the person wanting the change.
There are things you can do
That being said, there are things you can do, as a coach, to make your coaching more consumable for your students. First, make sure you have good students. Pre-qualify them to determine, as best as possible, if they will be a good fit for your intended coaching style.
Clear communication of your expectations in advance will go a long way toward helping people have success with your program.
Second, if your coaching program is going to include trainings you want them to go through, don’t overwhelm them with too much at one time. If they log into a membership site of yours, that is part of the coaching program, tell them exactly what to do to get started.
The frequency of direct contact with your students is another factor that is very important. If you are going to have “assignments” between your get togethers be sure you allow enough time for people to complete that assignment.
We’ve been involved with coaching programs where groups were to get together via phone once per week. We found that people stopped attending those calls because they didn’t want to admit, in front of the rest of the group, that they hadn’t completed the assignment or made any forward progress over the previous week.
If your coaching program largely consists of on-going trainings provided by you or someone on your behalf our belief is you need to deliver “fresh” content to the participants in your coaching program at least once per week.
Don’t overwhelm them
Any more than that you have the overwhelm factor to deal with. Any less than that and you are not consistently reinforcing the value of the content you are delivering to people.
If your coaching program is more about being deeply involved in the business of your student then that’s a different scenario.
If you’re providing detailed step-by-step instructions, on what to do, that are tailored specifically for them then our earlier comments about the need to pre-qualify your students definitely comes into play.
You want motivated students without a doubt. That motivation must come from within themselves but you don’t want to throw up roadblocks during the process of your coaching that create unnecessary frustration on the part of your students. That’s why the clear expectations and the framework of your coaching program must be laid out and agreed to in advance.