The best executive coaches are the ones who are excited about helping and motivating professionals to become their best.
The number one way to do this… Accountability.
Honestly, most people need and want accountability deep down inside, but we’re all individuals.
Some will need and want more accountability than others.
Part of your job as the coach will be to eventually determine who needs what to get the best possible results for them.
It’s highly unlikely that people will get optimum results without some form of accountability.
That’s why it’s such an important element of a coaching program.
You’re coaching because you want to change people’s lives, and that probably won’t happen efficiently and effectively if you don’t hold them accountable.
Because, at the end of the day, results are the only thing that matters.
Here are 5 tips to help you hold your coaching clients accountable, so they get max results.
1. Create a positive and respectful group atmosphere for your coaching clients.
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
You’ve probably heard that President Theodore Roosevelt quote a thousand times, and it still holds true.
Your coaching clients must unquestionably know that you have their best interests at heart.
They have to trust you and your guidance before they will ever take meaningful steps.
Accountability only works in the context of relationships.
Work hard to create an environment that fosters positive relationships with your clients, and they’ll grow infinitely faster.
2. Clarify expectations.
It’s important for people to have clear expectations in any relationship.
Set the stage at the beginning.
Let your clients know what you expect from them in terms of coaching call attendance, progression through the materials, and homework assignments.
Also, let clients know what they can expect from you.
You can’t hold someone accountable if they don’t completely know and understand what’s expected of them.
3. Help your clients set SMART goals.
You’ve undoubtedly achieved many big goals throughout your career, and you’ve likely had to help others reach goals, too.
That will be a key skill for you in your coaching business.
Anyone can set a goal, but few people actually achieve them.
One major reason so many people fail to reach their goals is that they set poor goals in the first place.
A SMART goal is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and tangible.
Attach a deadline to that kind of goal and you’ve set the stage for holding someone accountable for its achievement.
4. Use an effort and achievement scale.
I learned this technique from a great basketball coach.
At the end of practice, he would ask players to grade their effort level that day.
You can use it with your coaching clients, too.
Clients grade their commitment to studying the materials and doing the homework on a 1-4 scale each week during the coaching call.
At the end of the month, they tally their scores on a graph and explain what the graph says about their approach to the program.
5. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
It’s kind of like parenting.
Sometimes you have to stick your guns if it’s for the good of the client.
For example, let’s say you offer your clients unlimited email access, but you have a policy that you won’t reply to an email until they’ve acted on your last message.
Almost all your clients will respect the policy, but you may have an outlier who doesn’t.
He asks you a question and you reply.
Then 20 minutes later he asks another question and you know it isn’t possible that he’s done what you said in your last message.
You have to decide if you’re going to answer this new question, or be true to your policy and hold your client accountable for completing the work you assigned in your previous message.
By holding clients accountable for their work and responsible for maintaining a personal level of excellence, coaches can provide their clients with the necessary tools they need to better themselves.
Accountability breeds responsibility, and clients who develop the tools to target and improve their professional shortcomings will, in turn, develop the skills they need to go far in their career.
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