How to Know Your Client

Everybody has the same core components as their personalities. Being armed with this knowledge—and how you as a coach are made up of those same components—will make you more effective in your work. 

What is Standing in the Client’s Way?

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You can plan for all the success you’d like, but until obstacles are out of your path, you will be trapped in the same rut. Deal with problems before they hold you back.

What does the Client Need?

Each person on this earth has a set of needs that, unless met, distract us from reaching our potential. These needs can be primary or extremely elaborate, and they must be satisfied to truly be ourselves. Until the client can figure out what these are, both the client and coach must make an equal effort to determine their existence.

What are the Client’s Hidden Talents?

It might be plate spinning, or motivating others to unite toward a common goal. Everyone has the skill to offer. This gift might take a backseat, however, if a client has not managed to position his life around it. A good coach can remove obstacles toward that talent and allow the client to take advantage of it. 

What is Most Important to a Client?

Is it creating, learning, improving, being positive, being humble? A client should be able to articulate what is most important as a human being. This is the very fiber of a person and spells out exactly what motivates them. 

What are their Dreams?

Ask any person, “What do you really want?” Nine times out of 10, this will be a stumper. Everyone knows what is socially acceptable to want—a higher-paying job, a big house, a dog, and 2.5 children. Because of this, people don’t take the time to really sit down and ask, “What do I want?” Not what you need. Not what you crave. What you want. This may not coincide at all with current life plans, but that is fine because a want is not mandatory. They enrich experiences and add flavor to life.

How is the Client Doing in the Biggest Areas?

The classic life categories are relationships, health, money, career, personal development, and recreation. If a client does very well in two but fails in six, or consistently does badly in one certain area, something needs to be addressed. Success emerges from a balance of these categories. 

What Does the Client Want for Everyone Else?

Once we take care of ourselves, we are inclined to want to extend that goodwill toward others. Some individuals (think Gandhi or Mother Theresa) had a dream that guided them in their work. Most people take more time to meet their own needs before they think of other people. Either way, it illustrates significant personal development when a client thinks of others before himself and can actually afford to make that sacrifice.

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