What coaching clients might not be telling you …


A few years back, one of our co-founders Gabby Button was involved in a reasearch project. She spoke with hundreds of coaches, past clients, current clients and potential clients to find out what great coaches were doing to create thriving businesses and raving fan clients.

This research uncovered a fascinating array of valuable information but when it started showing that there was an interesting divide between what many coaches and their clients’ though was great coaching. That really peaked her interest!

Many coaches relied on feedback from their clients to validate how good their coaching was … but … they often failed to get ‘real honest’ feedback. Why? Well let’s face it. giving critical feedback is not the easiest thing for people to do and they don’t want to get their coach off-side.

You see, the clients Gabby was interviewing weren’t hers. So the clients had no worries sharing their stories with her, and when she checked in with their previous coach, she often found that the client had told the coach a totally different story about their coaching journey.

So what were some of the things Gabby heard over and over again from clients? What were the things that negatively impacted a clients coaching experience and/or stopped them even engaging the coach in the first place?

A brief summary is provided below. Knowing these thiongs should help you to review and improve your coaching products and delivery.

  1. They did not understand how the coach was going to support them to achieve their goals. They often heard “we will work on what comes up” which gave them no comfort at all.
  2. They felt that the coach was making them accountable, but the coach did not seem to have accountabilities apart from turning up for the coaching session. They generally understood that ‘it was up to them’ but felt that their coach just wanted an ‘easy ride’ and a highly ‘coachable’ client.
  3. They often felt left out ‘in the cold’ between coaching sessions. They expressed concern around knowing what an acceptable level of communication was between coaching sessions and feeling unsure how they would be supported between coaching sessions.
  4. Whilst in general they engaged a coach that they felt connected with, they then felt challenged as to what the coaching relationship looked like. How do I build a relationship with my coach especially between coaching sessions?
  5. They often wondered if they were making any progress and were concerned that coaching was just about conversations. This often lead to abandoning the coaching before the client had acheived their goal.
  6. They felt that their coaches should be giving them better guidance and helping them build their capabilities rather than ‘just asking me lots of questions’. (This was especially true for clients who engaged life coaches.)
  7. They wanted to feel excited and motivated and they wanted their coach to help them uncover and release these positive emotions on what was often a challenging journey.

There were many more great insights from the research but the above were of most interest because Gabby also uncovered that the truly “thriving coaches” … those that had a financially sound business, got consistent results for their clients and created genuinely raving fan clients … had worked out how to overcome all of these challenges.

So before you go … Here is a great coaching tip … 

Your clients wants to feel and see progress toward a meaninful goal or vision. So if you aren’t doing it already, you can elevate your coaching by introducing meaningful and motivational measures towards an outcome/s that really matters for your client.

Be creative. Have fun with it. All the great coaches interviewed did this in amazing and uplifting ways. … and if you want any ideas please reach out.

If you are interested in knowing exactly how to overcome all of the above client challenges we teach you that and a whole lot more in our SkyRocket Program.


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