Have you experienced a client session that seemed to be a game of tug of war with the client? If you, haven’t chances are that you will at some point.
Who’s In Control of the Session?
Let’s first identify the characteristics of this client situation. Then we can look at a couple strategies to get the session back on track.
If the session is not gaining traction, or you are feeling frustrated with the client, it’s time to ask: Who’s in control?
This can be a self-assessment question to make sure you are not taking control of the client’s process for them. This might look like you setting the pace, deciding the depth of the conversation or even deciding for them that they need to make a certain decision. The natural tendency for the client in this situation is going to be to pull back. This is how the client will attempt to regain the control. They might not even realize that is what is happening!
Who’s Doing the Work?
The other aspect, to gauge during a difficult session, is that you could be working too hard in the conversation. You are the coach and not the client. The client needs to be doing the work, not you!
Taking a quick control assessment during the session will allow you to give back the control of the process to the client. It will also give you a moment to make sure that you are not doing the work for the client but creating the stable environment for the client to do this for himself.
Hopefully these quick tips allow you to recalibrate your sessions and in turn create a better client experience.
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