What Coaches Should Do When Faced With Difficult Clients

When I finished conducting the 2 day course on “Coaching Skills for Leaders” on Monday and Tuesday last week, I took a few moments to recap and reflect on what I had taught. In addition, it was also a reminder to how coaching is so much needed at the workplace. We often find ourselves in tight spots with the changing pace of workplace challenges. Yet we don’t always get the necessary help or advice when needed.

In your role as a coach at work, you want to understand that this is a reflection of the client’s lifestyle. His perspectives of life are hence displayed thru his actions and thoughts. If uncontrolled, emotional outburst will be experienced.

Here are some pointers you should follow if your client takes a sudden turn to become difficult:

1. Repeat your agreement and ground rules.

2. Reaffirm your intention with taking on this coaching assignment

3. Reassure that you are working for his benefit.

4. Review your coaching style and sequence.

5. Relate what works for him.

6. Rebuild your rapport.

7. Reestablish your goals and end results of coaching.

8. Remind your client that no one cares more for his own life than himself, hence he is ultimately accountable for his own success, not you.

(Source: wekie.com)

Explore posts in the same categories: Coaching and Counseling, Communication Competence, Emotional Intelligence, Handling Difficult People, Interpersonal and Relational, Management, Mentoring to Excel, Perspectives, Reflection and Thoughts, Relationship Dynamics, Working Wellness

2 Comments on “What Coaches Should Do When Faced With Difficult Clients”

  1. …remind your client that they are accountabole for their success – not you.


    Martin Haworth

  2. Wekie Says:

    Hi Martin,

    Yes, this ia also somewhat relevant.

    Technically, the coach do have a share of responsibility and accountability because he is the one influencing the mind of the client. Coaches tend to be from the point of greater authority and expertise compared to the client. Therefore, their words to their own clients are most trusted and acted upon. This is what I often mention in my public speaking and seminars. “Responsible Speaking.”

    However, it’s still the clients who have to take the major share of the responsibility and accountability. Ultimately, it’s about the clients and they have to know that the choice to exercise whatever must still be from them. Coaches should reemphasize this point prior to the initiation of the coaching relationship.

    I shall modify your suggestion and add that in.

    No one cares more for their own life than theirs.

    Thanks for your sharing and dropping by.

    May you Excel Beyond Excellence always in all things!

    Warmest wishes,

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