As coaches, it’s our job to facilitate and encourage growth and evolutionary development for our clients and contrary to some beliefs, coaches are not here to fix things or offer advice – that falls within the remit of mentoring, consultancy and teaching.
One of the key principles of coaching (we at ACT call them the Coaching Mindsets) is that it’s always the client’s agenda that should be the focus for coaching sessions, not where the coach thinks they should be looking.
Our clients are always responsible for bringing a topic that is both meaningful and resonant to each and every session and there are lots of benefits to this approach, so let’s jump into some reasons why.
1. Your Client Really Does Know Best
Coaching is a client-centered approach, which means that they are the experts in their own lives. The coach’s role (and expertise) is to help the client explore their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours to gain new insights, ah-ha’s and perspectives. The client truly knows what they want to achieve, but it’s the coach’s job to help them navigate things and get there.
2. Trust Builds Trust
By ensuring that the client sets the agenda and knows that they are expected to for every session, demonstrates that we trust that they know what they truly need and what they want to work on. This instils a sense of trust and autonomy in the relationship. Setting things up this way also creates rapport between the coach and the client, which is of course is essential for a successful coaching engagement.
3. It Increases Motivation
When the client gets to set the agenda, they are more invested in the process and thus much more likely to find the ongoing motivation to work through their topics (even when they are tricky ones) because it’s something that they have identified as important. This equates to fuel for the long haul – after all who are we to dare to know what’s best for somebody else’s life?
4. It’s Much, Much More Effective
When the client sets the agenda, they are more likely to take ownership of the coaching process. This means that they are more likely to be proactive in setting new goals and expanding their horizons, taking action, and following through on commitments. This always leads to greater progress and better outcomes.
To Wrap Up:
As a coach, it’s essential to remember that coaching is ALL about the client, not about the coach and by enabling the client to set the course, destination and agenda, you are demonstrating that you respect the partnership and their ability to choose what they need to work on in order to find a lasting sense of fulfilment, success and reward, both internally and externally!
If you curious about training to become a fully certified leadership coach with one of the most respected coach training schools in the world, read more about our ACT Leadership LPCC course here.