When I reflect on my Insight Posts, they are pre-dominantly stories about how coaching successfully changes the way business owners look at and deal with the challenges facing them and their businesses. In this post I am taking a different approach, by demonstrating a conversation which can only be described as a failure on my part!
In the past week, I met with a prospect who was very clear they were feeling stressed and overwhelmed from running the business. As a result, they were looking to engage a business coach to help them implement structures to relieve the pressure on them.
About an hour into the conversation, the business owner stood-up, thanked me for meeting with them and left with the following comment:
“I am leaving as you are not listening to what I am saying and not addressing my challenges around the business”
This statement cut to my very core as I believe one of my strengths is to actively listen to & hear what the speaker is saying and respond with empathy & understanding to their perspective.
When I reflected on that conversation, I realized the prospect was right on the money. I was more concerned about showing them how knowledgeable I was and to get them to sign on as a client.
I failed the prospect through not truly listening to the challenges they were facing and responding to their needs with empathy & understanding.
The poor outcome of this conversation, strengthened one of my core beliefs as to what makes a successful coaching conversation being:
“Ask not what value the client brings to me; ask what value I bring to the client”