Ok, so your clients do not like work (getting micro with the macro)

I am in a fortunate position that I took a choice decision 9 years ago to follow a dream. This dream was to learn (which I did through my MBA at Aston University and continue to do so) and launch a business (that I have done several times now). Putting it simply, I love what I do.

However, not all my clients have the same release and the same satisfaction.

A method that I recently adopted with a client was to help them with the macro “I really do not like work statement”. It was easy to understand, but I wanted to push them to understand themselves deeper at a micro level. It really was an example of a tough conversation but one that led to outcome.

Most people keep a diary or a daily to do list that controls the way that they work. This diary or to do list carries with it motivation and demotivation.

  • Ask your client to systematically go through this ‘list’ and scoring the items between 1 and 10 as to how much they enjoyed that activity.
  • Ask them to describe in a couple of words what it was about that item that made them score the way they did.
  • As you start feeling repetition and similarity of words / expressions of feelings / body language shifts, take a few notes so that you can help your client at a later stage by helping them to observe the patterns that emerge.
  • As the client finishes a couple of days (or more – that’s your judgement call and why you are a coach…), invite them to explore patterns and explore ask them to explore options about how the lower scoring items could be made more tenable. It could be for example, that the client highlights delegation, or perhaps taking less control that may come forward. This then gives an opening to explore how these areas can be increased within what they do.
  • It might become apparent that several items are unavoidable – this might be inherent in their existing role. Replay this to the client and help them to understand that the item needs a coping strategy to develop and then invite the coachee to discuss this further.

Health warning – this may also highlight that there is a misfit between coachee and client so only use this method if you feel comfortable with any outcome.

A simple but effective method.