Here’s a typical coaching conversation:
Coach: What outcome would you like to take away from this session?
Client: I’m doubting myself a lot these days. I’m not sure what I want, and I’m just not feeling it.
Coach: OK, how would you like it to be instead?
Client: I feel I’m not as confident as I used to be. As a result, I feel demotivated and this is affecting my work.
I don’t feel the same passion I used to… And I’m having serious concerns if I’m on the right path… Just the other day…
Most clients come to coaches pretty clear on what they don’t want, and what makes them unhappy.
They will tend to get caught in a cycle of what they don’t want versus what they do want.
They will tend to talk a lot about the “story”.
They will keep coming back to what’s not working with a lot of background details.
In short, they will unconsciously and uintentionally avoid answering the coaching question.
It’s far less common to meet someone who knows what they want, what they want to experience and who they want to be with...
If you're looking to become a coach, get this...
Ultimately, the quality of your coaching session is going to depend upon the quality of the relationship you’re able to initiate and maintain with your client.
And... it really depends on the quality of the relationship you have with yourself.
It’s not easy for the client to be on board with the coach to explore their journey, until the coach makes it easy for them.
It involves bringing up areas of vulnerabilities to the coaching conversation. Once the client trusts you and feels “safe” in the coaching environment, they have a chance to explore new worlds when they don’t have to guard the old one.
The coaching space needs to be one of safety, non-judgement, delight and curiosity, so the coach can hold the space for the client; for them to have the behavioural flexibility to be who the client needs them to be in the moment as well as to create rapport and trust for the client.
There are several coaching exercises and models designed to help coaches with just that. “The Ideal Average Day” model is one of the most fundamental, effective and “safest” exercises coaches learn to explore when they start their coaching journey here at The Coaching Institute.
Most people think life gets better if they ‘have’ something, or ‘get’ something – more happiness, more time, more freedom, more money, a better car, a bigger house...
The truth is, ‘getting more stuff’ is not the answer to a fulfilling life.
A life well-lived consists of moments upon moments, where you experience what it is you value experiencing.
Time with family
Being with friends
A sports activity...
Here’s an exercise to start with so your clients can language their ideal outcome instead of getting bogged down into the story of what’s not working. Use this template for when you work with your clients:
Whatever it is for you, the question to ask yourself is this – what is my Ideal Average Day? The day which, if I was to live it every day, I’d never get bored and I’d never get sick and it wouldn’t hurt anyone or me.
You see, most people live two versions of themselves –
The ‘surface’ version that we take out to the world and think is as we ‘should’ be, and...
Our ‘core’ self – the true selves we are meant to and desire to be.
This exercise is designed for coaches to get the client back to their core. It takes as little as half an hour or up to four hours, it depends on you and how much you both want to put into it.
Before you do this exercise in a coaching session (or even use it for yourself), remember that every person's Ideal Average Day is a Work In Progress. The following exercise will instantly tell you whether you're living your “song”, whether you're on the right track and if not, how to course-correct.
Use the following templated list of questions to help your client to identify and envision their ideal life, one day at a time:
Imagine that today is your ideal average day...
1. Where would you live?
2. What would your house look like?
3. What would you have for breakfast?
4. What’s the view?
5. What’s the conversation?
6. What does the mundane stuff look like?
7. What would you spend the first half of your day doing?
8. What’s for lunch? Who’s it with? What do you discuss?
9. Who are your friends? What do you all talk about?
10. What do you do all day?
11. What are your clients/work like?
12. What do you talk about?
13. What do you have for dinner?
The Bigger Stuff
14. What would you do for personal fulfilment?
15. What lifepurpose would you strive towards?
16. What legacy would you leave?
Next... you set goals with your client about how they can make this ideal their reality. It can take 12 months, or it can take 5 years. That’s not the point.
By the client starting to take steps today towards building their ideal day, the client is committing and being the best version they can be.
As you use this coaching template with your clients, your clients will:
- Base ALL their decisions on bringing the best they can be
- Say “YES” to everything that fits in with the attainment of their Ideal Average Day
- Start to get rid of the stuff they have been tolerating, anything that gets in their way and anything that is procrastination disguised as “being busy”
- Stay focused and surrounded by like-minded people
- Constantly re-commit to their big goal
Life is a work in progress. It’s a canvas and as long as you hold your clients accountable to DO SOMETHING TODAY to achieve their ideal average, you’re good. :)