In this episode of the Better Business Coach podcast, I explain your next free worksheet, available for download here.
The “Get to Know Yourself” template should follow directly after episode 21’s ForceField Analysis, and should be completed as part of your first paid client sessions.
As a business coach, you need to understand your clients on a deeper level. To add to that, as discussed in session four, running a business can be chaos and your client may not have had time to truly understand themselves. The “Get to Know Yourself” template is designed to get everything out on the table, so you can start helping your clients where they need it most.
I want to preface by saying: use your discretion before using this worksheet with corporate clients. While it is amazingly useful when working with them, many consider it life coaching and it can lose you rapport. When working with corporate, if I decide to use the worksheet, I like to add on the phrase, “when you’re working,” to the start of each question. I find it makes them feel more at ease with the questioning. Small businesses, however, absolutely love it, so never feel you shouldn’t pull it out and get started.
This worksheet can sometimes take up to an hour to complete because it forces the client to consider things that in many cases, they have never considered before. You will be surprised just how often something pops up that highlights something neither you nor the client originally expected, changing your entire coaching approach or the desired direction the client wishes to pursue. Often, what the client says they are wanting at the start of the session is the last thing they would want by the end. This is the true power of this worksheet. Without it, you could end up coaching a client toward something they never actually wanted.
This worksheet works fantastically when combined with the homework, “Forget About Goals – Why Is The Key To Success”, covered in session 17, as it ensures you are always on point with all your critical direction and advice.
What do you enjoy doing?
This question may seem simple enough, but who truly spends time thinking about these things? Asking it in this session, like many of the other questions, will force the client to consider things they have, perhaps, never considered before, or at least not on a truly real level. Understand that these questions, as you progress, may take time to answer and for the best effect this is a good thing. Embrace the skills covered in session 9, “Listen & Succeed,” and give them time to consider their answers on a deeper level. Very soon you will step past understanding the client and shift to assisting them to move forward. It’s vital that before you do this you understand exactly what they want and why.
That said, if you’re not careful, the client will go off on a tangent and time will fly. This may sound great since after all, they are paying you to listen, but consider what they will think after the session. The last thing you want them to do is go off on a tangent for too long and then feel they just spoke about themselves and you offered very little value. As a coach, you must balance between allowing enough time for expansive, well thought-out answers, and time wasting chit-chat, bragging or complaining.
What makes you happy?
Here you are trying to determine if the client is motivated by extrinsic rewards (money and praise) or intrinsically motivated by seeing their business grow and succeed. There are negatives to each and as a coach you must be ready to support them how they need you most. An intrinsically motivated client will often be happy just delivering a quality product and writing great procedures, which is not the best mindset for marketing their business. An extrinsically motivated client will want praise and payment for everything they do, which is not great for a venture that may require months of work before the first profit is made. For extrinsically motivated people it is also important, as a coach, to know you must be their biggest supporter; after all, at the start you may be their only one.
Is there anything that you wanted to do, but have not yet accomplished?
Here you are looking for any surprises that might, if not addressed, come back to bite you. For example, what if you solidified local business routes for a client’s business and they had a goal to one day relocate to a different city or country. Then you spent time doing something that wasn’t aligned to what the client wanted, instead of perhaps building out products and services that stretch past geographic boarders.
Where would you like to spend more of your time, and doing what?
Here it is key not to project your own wants and desires onto a client. You may want to work hours and hours to earn big dollars, but a client may only be willing to commit 10am-3pm. After that, it might be all about family. Therefore, your job is a coach is to systemize and train staff to ensure the owner can run out the door to pick up the kids like they want. Your job as a coach isn’t to change what they think is important, but to help them spend more time doing it.
What would you do if you could do anything that you wanted without limits?
Here you may find a client responds, “Exactly what I am doing now, just less worried about money.” For those clients, your job as a coach will be to help them make money doing what they love. Others will say, “Get the hell away from here,” or, “Start another business I can’t afford to start right now.” For those clients, your job as a coach may be to help them build up their business to sell and get out. These are two completely different tasks, and only two of a possible thousand,. This question is vital in knowing exactly what task or tasks you are undertaking.
How do you want to spend your life on a daily basis?
This is valuable information for you as a coach. Do they like writing, going to the gym, or meeting staff at particular times of the day? When do they want to be working and when do they want to clock off? You don’t want to suggest that a client does certain activities that are not aligned to what they want to be doing, unless of course it is for a short time to achieve a specific outcome. Even then I would consider extensive unfreezing, a major element of effective change management covered in session 12, first.
What is the most important to you at this time in your life?
People have different priorities, and as a coach, you need to understand what they are. I like to hand them the list below and ask them to number them one to seven in order of importance.
- Your business
- A new career
- Better health
- Physical fitness
- More money
- More time for yourself
What would I like to be doing 10, 20 or 30 years from now?
If the client is over fifty, ask only what they want to be doing in ten years. Some people may have not mentioned it till now, but when a lifetime is presented to them, all of a sudden they may share dreams of new businesses, retirement, or even going back to a job. This question is really just asking what you have asked above in a different way to see if you get a different response.
REMEMBER: With no clear picture of how your client wants their life to be, how can you ensure they live it? This worksheet will create a clear vision for your client, giving all that they do purpose and energy – they will become self-empowered.
Keep me in the loop:
I would love to hear how this worksheet worked for you and your clients. Please take a second to post a comment in the comment section below:
Download the “Get to Know Yourself” worksheet!
- BBC 004 : The 7 Things A Few Months of Business Coaching Will Teach You About Business Owners & Their Staff
- BBC 009 : Listen & Succeed, It’s That Simple! Learn The 5 Keys To Active Listening
- BBC 012 : 3 Steps To Effective Change Management
- BBC 021 : Fourth FREE Worksheet – ForceField Analysis – Understanding the terrain before a change or improvement
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I look forward to spending the next sessions with you helping you to make the best business coaching business that you could possibly have.
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