Coaching Your First Client by Kaden James
I found this so helpful & it resonated with me on many levels. Not only about coaching, but it can apply to anything new you may be jumping into. Check out more from Kaden James at KadenJames.com
Coaching Your First Client
So picture this, you’ve booked your first session or consultation. You may be fluctuating between excited and feeling nervous. You want to be the best coach you can be but have thoughts like-
What if they find out I’ve never done this?
What if they want their money back?
What if I freeze up?
What if I don’t know what to say?
This is completely natural. I haven’t ever worked with a coach that hasn’t had some jitters before their first session. Many great coaches that have been in the field still have them to this day. I still can get nervous before life television interviews or when speaking in public. The reason we get nervous is because we care.
Acknowledging yourself for caring is the first step. Then turning that energy into excitement is the next. I mean it, get excited in your body because being nervous and excited can show up in our body the same physical way. Sweaty palms, the shakes, the feeling of AHHHHHH, it’s all the same so make it work for you. Jump up and down before your zoom call starts or dance around. Allow yourself to feel good. If you shake in the meeting, own it by saying “you’re so excited!”
I remember being so nervous in my first session. I felt some imposter syndrome even though I had taken many courses and knew I had valuable information to share. I remember a moment in that first session that shifted everything. I was sitting with the client, nervously and I just thought “This isn’t about me, this isn’t about my nerves, it’s about my client.” In that moment I shifted all my focus and attention to my client and there was no room to be nervous. I simply wanted to be fully present with him.
We are more effecting as coached when we completely get out of our head and are just there for our clients. We can do this by offering the giving the gift of silence and deep questions that help the client uncover truths within themselves.
Ask the questions that arise from your heart and if in that first session you are a little stumped I have these 7 excellent questions to help you in your first session-
What would you like to gain from coaching?
Why do you believe you’re ready to be coached?
What actions have you taken to move toward your goals?
What’s holding you back from the life you really want?
What would be the first step to move toward that vision you hold for yourself?
What would you need to be supremely confident and believe you can have that dream?
How can I best support you?
When our intention is to serve others and we do it to the best of our abilities people can feel that. Even when the person doesn’t decide to work with us further, we gain experience and can receive valuable feedback that will help us in the future. Just keep pushing forward and doing what feels right in your spirit.
I want to share with you one last story.
There was a time when I was starting out and I felt I needed more clients to pay my bills. I was doing coaching full time and a few of my clients had just or were about to graduate, meaning we had worked together for the contract length and they had successfully reached the goals they set for coaching.
One of them had told me he was going to renew his contract to work with me more. That was gonna keep me afloat with rent, bills, etc. We had gone through the consultation and he was going to send the money, the day before I was supposed to get paid he backed out. I went through a spiral of emotions that I kept completely concealed from him, I acted professionally but I was worried behind the scenes. I was afraid of how I would get by.
I questioned myself as a coach, negative thoughts popped into my mind and I realized I needed to fall back on the lessons and techniques I use with my clients. I needed to ground myself and feel this loss for a while. Then after that, I needed to create a new strategy for myself. I realized in that moment that I never want to rely on one client to come through again. I would create a thriving savings, other methods to generate money, live below my means, and have more clients than enough clients.
I started promoting myself more on social media, I created custom materials to sell on my website, I wrote blogs and started another book. I became more productive and within just a few weeks had scored my biggest client ever and was being asked to train a huge Fortune 500 company! I share this because there are always gifts to be found, even when it feels like we are going through a tough time and there’s no clear solution. It’s in these times that we have to get resourceful and brainstorm ideas until some good ones come out. This can be a great time to work with a coach ourselves to uncover more insights and ideas. Had I worked with that client that backed out, I may not have put in all that energy into the other work that got me even bigger clients and took me to the next level.
Always know that if you keep pressing forward and listening to the tugging of your heart, you will be led to greater things. So if something comes up that is challenging look for the opportunity within to rise up. There’s always something to be gained from every situation, so keep going and take comfort in knowing every coach I know has been there before.