If you’re new to the world of coaching, it can be challenging to know how best to support your clients. And if you’re an experienced coach, there’s always room for improvement. Here are 5 coaching mistakes you should never make, and I’ve seen coaches make these mistakes over and over again. They don’t even realize what they’re doing until they read this article…
Not Setting Clear Expectations
Top of our list of 5 coaching mistakes you should never make is not setting clear expectations. You want to be sure that your client knows what you’re going to do, and when you think their progress should be occurring.
How do you make sure that you aren’t making this mistake?
First, make sure that your expectations are crystal clear for both your client and yourself. If they don’t understand what change they need to make or why it matters, then how can they possibly succeed? Second, if there are specific behaviors or results that need improvement—like performance on a project at work or completing homework assignments—set those expectations as well (and check in regularly).
Not Getting Clear On The Clients Objective
2nd on the list of 5 coaching mistakes you should never make is clarity on objectives. It’s crucial to get clear on the client’s objective. How you do this is different for every client, but there are some general rules:
- Ask questions to clarify what the objective is. “You want a promotion at work?”, “You want more money?”, “Do you want to feel better about yourself?”
- Make sure that what they say they want is actually realistic. If someone says they want to become President of the United States, it may be possible that they do in fact achieve that goal, but it would probably take a lot longer than they think and be harder than they expect.
- Make sure that what you think their goal matches up with their actual goal (and not something else). For example, if someone says he wants more money and thinks he means he wants more sales at his business but really feels like he needs some time off from work then this could cause problems later when things don’t go as planned because no one was clear about what exactly needed to be done from the start!
Not Being Able To Establish Rapport And Build Trust
When you’re coaching someone, trust is the foundation on which your relationship will be built. If you can’t establish true rapport and build trust with your client, then it’s going to be difficult for them to open up about their struggles. Being able to get past this barrier will allow you to coach more effectively as a result of getting more in-depth information about them and their goals.
Trust is built by being open and honest, consistent, reliable and respectful towards others. It’s also built by showing that you care about others by being empathetic towards them too! So that’s our top 3 of 5 coaching mistakes you should never make.
Forgetting what you did in your last coaching session
You are not an android. You can’t expect to remember everything, and if you think you can, your coaching sessions will suffer.
Make notes after each session with the client—be it a few bullet points or a full-on report. If your brain is like mine, it will wander off into something else (probably about how I need to do laundry) for long stretches of time during the conversation. Making notes helps keep me focused on what’s happening in front of me instead of thinking about how many weeks away my next paycheck is and what I’m going to make for dinner that night. Use a coaching tool like Coaching Agreements or Coachville!—which both help ensure that everyone remembers what was discussed in the last session and also work as excellent tools to help you plan the next one! That’s completed our 4th on the list of 5 coaching mistakes you should never make.
Having Unrealistic Expectations About The Results Of Coaching
And the last on our list of 5 coaching mistakes you should never make as a coach is having unrealistic expectations, your job is to help your clients achieve their goals. This means that you need to be aware of what they want and adapt accordingly. If you’re not careful, you can end up with some unrealistic expectations about the results of coaching—and this will do more harm than good for both you and your client.
If you’re too focused on yourself and what it means for YOU if this person achieves their goals (or fails), then there’s no way coaching will work out well for either one of you. A good coach has empathy for their client’s situation; if it doesn’t feel genuine, no one will buy into it! A great way to avoid having any misaligned expectations is by helping them set realistic ones from the beginning as well.
Also, we can have unrealistic results in our own business, setting the aim too low, or too high. This is always done from our emotions, but a quick and smart business plan will help us set good goals, and your business will propel move forward. For more information about our business coaching prices, please click here.
Coaching is a process and takes time, commitment and patience. So, be patient with yourself and your clients, the rewards are well worth it!
Our list of 5 coaching mistakes you should never make, can be seen as life lessons, I like to see it that way.
This is not to beat anyone around the head, it’s all about how we can move forward together.