Principals will open their doors to a host of students and teachers over the course of the year, addressing issues and concerns, offering experience and encouragement, and aiding in the enforcement of the principles and standards that exist within their institution.
As a coach, you may also find yourself educating others on the best plans and strategies for achieving their goals and higher levels of success. Here are some key things to remember…
Your Principal Role
Your clients come to you because they have a need or a goal that they wish to achieve. They are looking to you for:
- Sound Advice
- Solid Strategies
As the coach, your focus must always be on listening well while offering, suggesting, and providing what you can to help your client realize the most success.
Balance and Clarity
Perhaps the most common challenge for coaches is that of helping people to discover what they actually want.
Many clients aren’t even sure that a coaching session can provide what they think they want – until after the process begins. This is where using a Balance Wheel in the first session can be important to your success in working together. The Balance Wheel can open doors to new possibilities, helping clients envision what they really want and how to get it. It really can be that simple to give a client the gift of clarity.
Advice and Answers
Contrary to a common school of thought, the client does NOT always have the answer. The reality is that people seek advice, attend workshops and seminars, read books on leadership and pursue personal growth because they don’t have the answer (or at least not all of the answers) that they need.
Like most people with questions, facing something they’re unsure about, your clients welcome an opportunity to ‘talk things over’. They may have an inkling about a project or an idea about a direction they should take, and it’s important to them to know that they can bounce those ideas off an impartial, objective listener – like YOU.
Sure, solutions can come from just about anywhere. But, most often, the much-needed answers and advice will come from a trusted coach. When coaches share from personal experience – or offer a personal story about a similar struggle – clients gain invaluable insight and a better understanding of how to handle their own situation.
In the end, what matters to the client is that there is an answer!
Your Ability to Define Success
The most important thing to know about success is this: Success has nothing to do with deservingness, privilege, or background. Your ability to define success is instrumental in the development of your coaching skills, enabling you to help others achieve their desired level of success.
As a coach, you may find yourself asking, “How will I know my client is successful?” I’ve found that the best answer is, “When the client declares it.” And while that is true, success is really the result of the work that both the coach and the client do before their session together even begins!
You can help your client to define the level of their success, by encouraging them to prepare and submit a Client Prep Sheet. The Prep sheet acts as a journal of success for the client. Taking the time to review the document, noting any small and large goals achieved, provides a detailed background for you as the coach.
Clients who prepare have more successful outcomes from the coaching sessions. Coaches who prepare are better able to define what success looks like for the client.
My principal advice to you as a coach is simple. Be a person of principle and always show that you care! It’s one that all those involved in educating do well to practice.
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