Reaching Holistic Goals
A great coach distinguishes his or herself by how well they empower clients to begin to take responsibility and take steps towards their holistic goals. Since it helps to identify and untangle some of the barriers that have kept them stuck, we want to look at what our client sees as important.
Your First Meeting and Assessment
Holistic goals that require change for our client are not going to happen overnight but we can usually organize a complete strategy for clients within the first couple of sessions. With this in mind, be sure to inform clients that your first meeting with them is really a conversation – about the fit between yourself and the client. It is also a time for assessing if Holistic Coaching is right for them.
Once preliminary screening is clear to continue, a Holistic Coach would again pick no more than two actions or behaviors to get working on; You can make suggestions when selecting a priority. Since you have established rapport with your client by now, you have then also identified some priorities mutually. There will most likely be a few other areas to explore either concurrently or later as sub-goals. But we take small steps at first with our client.
Continuing the Work
Future meetings with your client – post-assessment – should occur weekly. This may require coordinating client activities with other practitioners. Remember, the idea of holism itself implies that there could be quite a lot of specialist activity or advice needed. This is, in fact, why you do a detailed assessment of each client. How would we know what type of support our client requires to achieve their ultimate holistic goals?
We may need to involve their support network, or other qualified health professionals to help them manage their stress. We could also face clients with underlying emotional uncertainty, stopping them from living their whole life. You may need to refer some clients to higher levels of intensity for intervention. Either way, getting your client the help they want and probably need is impossible without a thorough assessment.
Keeping Track of Progress
How does the coach know that they are on track with helping and leading their client? How does the client know where they stand relative to reaching their goals? You may agree that most clients will forever be pursuing “that one thing” that brings them to a holistic life. But remember, this should never be an “ought” situation (“I ought to live holistically for my family”.) It is assessing that allows us to broach this conversation.
Many times we are asked, “how long do I work with a client?”. This is like asking “How many sessions will I use with my client?” The right answer is that it depends.
A coaching relationship with each client depends on what needs to change. There are a few norms in the coaching industry, however. One example is the 12 week period for coaching and the following assessment of where the client has arrived and what’s been working/not working. It is not very likely that your client will have reached all of their holistic goals to a point of calling them a habit at this point. That can take a very long time, and it will be different for each client. Some of your clients will have significant gaps – doing very well in some areas and quite terribly in others.
We also can revisit the importance scores from the initial evaluation. But now the values being asked are more than just “how valuable is this to your holism?”; it now also asks “how do you score your progress that you feel you’ve made towards achieving your first goal?” The coach also records a percent to reflect their perspective on the client’s success. Do you feel your client moved as expected toward their goal(s)?
If we did this evaluation too early, we’d see very little changes; waiting a full coaching cycle lets us look at more time and data to consider. A coaching cycle can be 12 or more weeks but this is not set in stone; our client may need a much longer engagement. 12 weeks is referenced as it is a norm, it is easy to price out as a package for the specialist and it is a realistic time for behaviors or actions to change. Your client will feel very confident after seeing that they have actually made some progress – even if it’s small.
Orchestrating Positive Effects
This non-physical, conversational assessment of our client becomes a process that allows coaches to get a meta-view of what your client views as important to them, to establish goals, and to strategize coaching plans. It allows us to measure what we might call soft indicators. Such indicators inform the coach in ways that provide parts of each unique client’s holistic puzzle. The sooner we start to identify what our client truly wants and needs, and acknowledge some obstacles or barriers in their way, we can start orchestrating positive effects on our client’s whole life.
How to Become a Holistic Coach
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