Do you remember the movie “Inception?”
The movie's premise is that you can powerfully influence someone's behavior if you can make them think “it” was their idea.
“It,” in the case of the movie, was a specific business transaction.
What does this have to do with coaching and helping your clients?
Your clients come to you for change; let's say Amanda comes to you because she wants to lose weight and has back pain.
Weight loss and back pain that’s what she cares about.
What do you care about?
True success doesn’t leave her dependent upon you or anyone else to keep the weight off and pain away.
How can you ensure that kind of transformation?
It doesn’t happen by spoonfeeding her the solutions to all her problems; that’s not how you change the deeply engrained daily behaviors that led her to back pain and being overweight.
You ensure transformation via education and effective questions.
Here’s what that doesn’t look like.
Sharing information and then asking whether or not she gets it.
That’s no different than a dismissive physician who hands an overweight 45-year-old a pamphlet and says, “If you don’t clean up your diet, you’ll end up with diabetes. If you have questions, we can talk about it when we see each other in 3 months.”
It looks more like this.
“Amanda, I’ve noticed that when you come to your sessions on days you’re stressed out, your back pain symptoms seem much worse. Is that accurate?”
“Yes, it is.”
“Today, we were going to work on muscular endurance, but stress management strategies would be more valuable. Let’s go for a walk about the block, and we can talk about anything you’d like, and then we’re going to sit down and give you the tools you need to manage your stress throughout the day when we’re not together.”
After the walk, you teach her the appropriate strategies and ask questions along the way.
Which types of situations are the hardest to deal with?
Can you explain back to me what this means?
We just reviewed X strategy. Can you explain to me when you would use it?
Can you summarize the connection between stress and your symptoms?
Then she needs to demonstrate on at least three separate occasions her ability to execute those strategies without any input from you.
None of this happens when you drop all the answers in her lap.
She could’ve gotten that from google and youtube.
She needs questions to make her think.
Your clients need questions to make them think.
They need skin in the game beyond a financial investment and some time.
They need to be engaged if they’re going to succeed.