March 10, 2010

The client only wants it to go slower

In our courses for solution-focused coaches we often use live clients who volunteer to be coached by participants in our courses. Through a structured process the live clients, who are usually people who have trained by us in the solution-focused approach in the past, are coached in a solution-focused manner. The process of often exciting and educational for all involved. Participants learn a lot by trying out things and getting specific feedback.

Live clients of tell us the process was useful for them in two ways. First, they benefits because they are helped with respect to the problem or goal they brought in for the coaching session. Second, they often say that it was very useful for them to experience the coaching process from the perspective of client. For us as trainers this process of having a live client coached by participants is also very useful and interesting. At several points during the process and at the end of the process we interview live clients and focus on two questions: 1) what worked well according to you?, 2) what tips do you have for the coach?

Yesterday, we had a live client who told us how important it is to go slowly. She said she at some points had felt some pressure by the coach to go faster and she explained how this did not work well for her. Sometimes she felt the coach went to fast by asking for the preferred future while she would have liked to have said a bit more about her situation and problem. Her suggestions for the coaches was:
"If the client wants to say more, please let her talk as long as she wants. Clients really need that time to explore their own situation. Don't be afraid to go too slow. The client only wants it to go slower."

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