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How my most successful clients get the most from their coaching

This is for my coaching clients, though it might helpful to anyone out there who has hired a mentor or coach and wants to get their money’s worth.

Most coaching has the potential to be beneficial, but not everyone gets the same value from their experiences. At any given workshop or group event, a small percentage of attendees will report much greater gains from their attendance than others, yet they all witnessed the same event.

I’ve carefully reviewed the commonalities from my clients who have clearly made the quickest progress, built the most confidence, become incredibly socially skilled and successful, and generally report getting the most value from my coaching, and compiled a list of practices and traits they have in common.

So make sure you get your money’s worth from the coaching by mimicking these…

Review their recordings

I record and save our sessions for a reason. You’ll find you get so much more from a session when you hear it back a second or even third time.

Plus, you’ll overcome some of your shame just listening to yourself, and you’ll notice and more accurately measure your progress, giving you more confidence that you’re on track.

This way you can also avoid taking notes during the coaching sessions (if this is distracting for you).

Frequent daily practices

Keep the actions small but significant. Clients tend to make more progress when they are making conscious efforts every day, compared with big infrequent moves.

Give yourself homework activities that take less than a few minutes per day but also challenge you to develop. Make it happen as often as possible rather than trying something big and terrifying.

Utilise between-session support

There’s nothing gained if you hit a block and don’t tell me about it until 9 days later at your next session!

I have time carved out to support my people in-between the sessions. This is to trouble-shoot and keep the momentum going between our bigger shifts.

Don’t worry about overdoing it – I’ll let you know if anything needs to be reduced. If you’re stuck, reach out immediately.

Balance information with action – the 3X Model

While there is certainly time and place to consume more content while we’re doing the coaching, it should only be done in a way that helps your progress. Bingeing on videos and podcasts can sometimes slow you down.

A simple rule to follow: only look at information after you’ve taken an action, and make sure that information is specific to the issues you dealt with during the action.

For example, if you confronted your boss and he tried to gaslight you, then you can watch a video on gaslighting to better reflect on what happened and learn from it. But you don’t binge on 3 hours of podcasts about manipulation before confronting your boss.

Bring the biggest shame obstacle to the sessions

The obstacle is the way. The bigger the shame, the more likely we are to make progress.

There’s nothing you can tell me that will shock me or make me judge you. I used to work with high risk criminal offenders – there’s nothing you can say that’s even 10% as fucked up as the shit they’ve told me. I’m numb to your weirdest darkness!

Your shame is the ultimate barrier to your confidence. The bigger shames we deal with, the more confident you become. My clients who progress the quickest get to the real dirt right away.

And don’t hesitate to admit you “failed” in some way that you’re worried I’ll be disappointed by. There are no failures from my view, only limitations that we need to adjust for.

Reflect before each session

Book time out before your session to review your week, read your journal, and make some notes. Come to the session prepared to give me the highlights, lowlights and insights since we last spoke.

There’s a good chance that your reflection contains the next topic we need to discuss, and reflecting will ensure I’m up to date on what’s happening for you. I have quite a few clients, so I don’t always remember everything we spoke about last time. It helps if you remind me of where we left off and what’s happened since.

Focus on wins and efforts, not failures and struggles

Confidence is built in part by accurate self-measurement. Most of my clients come to me with a bias toward self-deprecation and pessimism in their measurement of themselves.

To balance this, you should focus almost exclusively on what went well.

Each day, reflect on what efforts you were proud of, what results you deserved, and what behaviours aligned with your values.

You don’t need to put much effort into measuring failings and weaknesses, because you do that automatically too much already.

Exploit strengths

Try to figure out what you do well and can excel in, and double down on that.

Fixing weaknesses as an approach is circular – for each one you deal with two more arise. You will never feel “fixed”.

My top clients drop the modesty and false humility and take time to be honest with themselves about what they’re good at, what they do well, and where they excel. Then they focus on making the most of this, and being shameless about their strengths.

Relentlessly attack the biggest issue

Each of us have what I call the “X Factor” – the biggest thing that holds us back. This will be the main thing you can change to make progress.

We may need to discuss it multiple times. It might feel too big to move. But every bite we take out of it is disproportionally more helpful than focusing on anything else.

If you’re not sure what yours is, ask me! We’ll figure it out and attack it like a pair of pitbulls.

Involve friends and partners

You can do this secretly on your own, ashamed for even hiring a coach. Progress will still happen… but nowhere near as efficiently as if you are supported.

Choose close people that you trust – your partner, your friends, maybe some family members – and let them know what you’re working on. You can even scour the Brojo community or connect with my other clients to find someone to share this journey with.

And if there’s someone close to you that discourages and holds back our progress, let’s talk about setting boundaries with them.

Treat beliefs with suspicion

The simplest way to describe progress in coaching is to change limiting beliefs. That’s all we’re really doing when it comes down to it.

My clients who progress the fastest are also those least resistant to changing beliefs. I don’t meant they agree with everything I say, but they will listen carefully and with an open mind when I challenge a belief that doesn’t seem to help or make sense.

Coaching is about letting go of who you were to become who you really are. That means letting go of beliefs you’ve had you’re whole life.

When you feel the resistance, just ask yourself a question: Does this belief serve me or hold me back?

Take risks and prioritise courage

Practically speaking, most of the significant changes will the the result of what feels like risk taking behaviour.

A way to really simplify the progress you can make is to look at it as a course in bravery – learning to master your fear by facing it as often as possible.

I think it’s fair to say that the rate of progress my clients make is directly proportional to how uncomfortable they’re willing to get.

Dedicate this period of time to your transition

Don’t even sign up to coaching unless you’re ready to make this The Year of Change.

Building your confidence, recovering from people pleasing, and becoming socially connected, should be your top priority when working with me. You should be thinking about it every day, deliberately planning actions into your calendar to implement what we’re discussing, and trying your best to bring the hardest topics to our discussions.

Make building integrity and confidence your obsession (for now), and you will move forward much faster than someone who’s treating it like a side-gig.

Maintenance

My final point might sound self-serving but it’s just the truth: the clients who stick with me, doing monthly sessions after they’ve made their biggest improvements, stay on track, keeping making accelerated progress, and are unlikely to relapse into poor behaviours.

While we might get you to where you want to be in just a few months, the rest of the world will be trying to undo our work for the remainder of your life. People will manipulate you. Stressful unexpected setbacks will occur. Old habits will creep back in.

Keep me in your corner for light-touch coaching now and then, and we’ll weed that garden so it never gets overgrown again.

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