If you’ve been keeping up even just a little bit with what’s been going on in the last two years, you know that life is prepared to throw anyone all kinds of curveballs. With a huge shift in the normal that we’ve gotten so used to, it’s no surprise that people have been changing, too. Many have embarked on new careers, life goals, and entirely different chapters from the original plan, and calling any of that overwhelming is an understatement.
With so much happening around us, there does come a point where people start asking themselves the dreaded question that seems like it never has a concrete answer: what’s next?
When this question arises, coaches are oftentimes sought out for help. Many seek coaches’ advice for guidance on where life is going to take them next and how to handle major life transitions. This can be anything from career changes, to retirement, personal life matters, and more.
As a coach, how can you make sure you’re putting your clients on a path that will ultimately make them the happiest they could possibly be?
Help them set realistic goals without outside influence
For any regular person, it’s scary to exist in a fast-paced world with no real idea of what they want to do and who they want to be. Everyone has a dream, goals to pursue, and success to reach.
For example, in a world where everyone presents their highlight reel on social media and tosses out the behind-the-scenes snippets of failures, feelings of inadequacy can emerge in just about anyone who is exposed to illusion. According to Huffington Post, “It seems that social media is creating a paradox effect: giving off the illusion of many choices, while making it harder to find viable options.” Disguising one’s real identity and creating another to fit (unrealistic) societal standards can surely have an impact on those who are watching the illusion unfold.
When your client sees their peers celebrating their latest job promotion on their social media platforms, becoming a homeowner, or traveling the world, it’s almost natural to compare themselves, and even feel like they’ve let themselves down. As a coach, you already know that this illusion has no place in realistic goal setting.
When helping your clients set goals, it’s important to be patient and be as detailed as possible. A well-known and effective approach is laying out their goals using the S.M.A.R.T approach.
The goals should be:
Make sure your client understands that no two people are alike, and the goals that they set for themselves should not emerge from any outsider influences. At the end of the day, only they are truly in control of their lives, and comparing their accomplishments to that of others will only continue to make them feel unfulfilled.
Simplify their life purpose
A tricky one but essential, unpacking life’s purpose is a delicate mission. The truth is, it’s a little overrated, and not as scary as one might think.
Many people often equate their life purpose to their profession. People dream of being doctors, flying planes, and educating the next generation. But when we retire or take a break, does that mean we are no longer serving our purpose?
As a coach, a valuable part of your work is to break the link between money-making and life purpose. That begins with helping your client with achieving a mentality shift: Instead of trying to achieve a sole life purpose to serve others, why not aim to live a purposeful life for yourself?
Amanda Fleising, host of the coaching podcast People Potential with Amanda, sat down with Susan Latremoille, founder of SuccessDNA, a proven program that uncovers “the driving force behind what motivates you to take action while providing clarity, direction, self-knowledge and understanding”, to talk about life after retirement, and how life’s purpose isn’t over after careers have run their course, even if it may feel like it.
“Some are afraid to retire,” explains Susan. “Other people have a notion that retirement is just going to be this life of leisure and that they’ll be satisfied with their bucket list. Others might feel lost and irrelevant, bored, [and can] feel purposeless.”
The idea that a person is no longer achieving their full potential once they’ve set down the briefcase is inaccurate in many ways, and this is for one simple reason: our interests don’t disappear once we stop working or getting paid for them. Transitioning from business to retirement can be a point of turmoil for just about anyone, which is why it’s so important for coaches to continue encouraging self-awareness. The more an individual can understand themselves, the more they can focalize on their strengths, and the easier it becomes to get out of bed in the morning on a weekday and create a routine that keeps them occupied and personally fulfilled, even long after they aren’t in the office anymore (or logged in remotely).
You can listen to the full episode with Susan below.
Create a sense of accountability
As you coach your client along in their journey to achieve their goals and dreams, an important aspect of doing so is to be encouraging. However, being an effective coach means communicating with your client when they aren’t going all-in on what they said they would do.
When you hold your clients accountable, you create a sense of importance around their responsibilities. Because while you are in fact their point of guidance, they are the ones with the reigns in hand.
In order to keep your coach-client relationship effective, a large part of your responsibility is to ensure that they are doing their homework. That means not being afraid to let them know when they are reverting to old habits or making mistakes that could have been easily avoided or have already been spoken about. This is one of the only ways to truly improve their life and find their ‘why’.
The truth is, while it isn’t always the most fun part of the job, clients who learn to hold themselves accountable are already halfway towards what they truly want in life. By acknowledging where they are now vs. where they want to be, your client will thank you for pushing them further (nicely!) and helping them recognize their mistakes, your coach-client relationship will only grow stronger, and you will retain your clients’ thanks to the quality and truth you provide them.
As a coach, you know your job is not an easy one, but it’s probably one of the most satisfying professions out there. Every client has a different past, a different present, and dreams of a future that will keep them happy. As a coach, it’s imperative to understand your clients’ strengths and areas of development from the get-go, allowing you to not only point them in the right direction, but to constantly encourage them to leverage what they are good at. With a coach’s support, a person can really tap into their confidence and seize every day, making the most out of it.
For a coach to be able to provide this kind of support to their clients, a behavioral assessment like SuccessFinder is the way to go. After your client takes no more than 45 minutes to complete the assessment, you’ll have a full breakdown of their natural preferences and an in-depth analysis of many competencies. Whether your client is looking to change careers, find their passions, or just enjoy their life at every step of the way, SuccessFinder can help you help your clients by showing you who exactly they are, and in what areas they can succeed.
Get started today and sign up to enhance your coaching!