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Coaching Clients? Personality Counts - by Dave Pill


As coaches, we are driven by the desire to help people achieve their goals, explore new opportunities, ideas or possibilities and in some cases, help build the foundations for a better life – what a great way to make a living, making a positive and lasting difference to others.

When we first work with a client, we endeavour to get to know them, what makes them tick, what potentially motivates them, drives them on, holds them back, delays them or propels them forward.

As the famous song from the Rogers & Hammerstein musical the King & I puts it, “getting to know you, getting to know all about you”.

Many coaches are fortunate enough to work with clients long enough to gain this understanding and get to ‘know’ their clients. The time it takes can vary from one or two sessions, to many, many more! In some cases, you never find out because your client has already decided to leave you before you have had the opportunity to do so.

Having an understanding of DISC can help you understand your clients in minutes instead of months. DISC knowledge can help you recognise what your client needs, in terms of their preferred communication style and pace of session. This can suggest how they might go about their ‘goal setting’ and ‘goal getting’ styles, it can even give you a ‘heads up’ as to what to look out for with a client, whether they have a possible tendency to be over optimistic, over analytical, over cautious, overzealous. These are all things that can be identified through DISC profiling.

At a recent Coaching Academy Diploma training event, I asked each of the 4 DISC styles to split into groups and list what would be a positive for them when seeking the services of a coach and what would be a potential turn off.

When the feedback from each of the four DISC groups was shared, there was an audible sound of incredulity in the room. The requirements for each group varied so dramatically from type to type that it was clear that people are very different… The great news is, with DISC they are predictably different, which allows you as a coach to modify your session to suit the individual.

In my experience, many coaches will often coach ‘in their own image’ and go with a strategy that mirrors how they would like to be coached themselves. They have a variety of tools and techniques at their disposal but often will fail to adapt their coaching style to suit their particular client.

Here are a few tips to help you coach the different styles:

Coaching the D-Style

  1. Pick up on their pace – D’s tend to like to move quickly and move on
  2. Understand that they are demanding of themselves and others – this means they may well set some challenging goals
  3. Make sure your questions are to the point – cut to the chase, get to the point - be bright, be brief and be gone!!

Coaching The I-Style

  1. Keep the session fast, friendly and if possible fun
  2. I-Styles like to talk and tell a story – be a great listener but keep them on track to get them where they want to go
  3. Over optimism can be their downfall! With this in mind, you’ll need to check the reality of what they are seeking to achieve in the timescale they have given themselves.

Coaching the S-Style

  1. Spend time to build rapport and encourage them to share the possibilities of what ‘might’ be if there were concerns about what currently ‘is’. The coaching session can be a great place to ‘try things on for size’
  2. Give them the time to reflect, time to consider their answers. Resist the temptation to interject when there is a silence
  3. Understand who their goal is for… for them or are they trying to achieve something for another person?

Coaching the C-Style

  1. You will need to be pay attention to detail, be accurate in what you say and what you send via e-mail and show that you have the credentials to take them through a course of coaching…… and that’s before you start!
  2. Understand that they will want time to think things through, reflect, do some research and consider multiple options – ask them what further information they might need to move things forward
  3. You can help them to understand that sometimes, things do not have to always be perfect before deciding to take action.

Learn the language of DISC to:

  • Identify your own preferred style – it’s a great self-awareness tool
  • Learn how to modify in order to manage relationships more effectively
  • Develop advanced people-reading skills which help you build rapport quickly and effectively
  • Identify the positive traits of any person to help them achieve their goals.

These are just SOME of the benefits of using DISC profiling with your coaching clients. DISC will make a huge difference to you, your clients and your business.

Take the guesswork out of interaction and take your coaching business to the next level! 

Remember – When Coaching Clients, Personality Counts!

Want to learn more about the power of DISC Profiling? Follow the link below to the DISC Certification Workshop page and the DISC Accreditation Day page.

Click here for more info on DISC Accreditation Day

For more info on DISC Certification Day, please follow this link: https://www.the-coaching-academy.com/discday/

There are limited places on these days so please book now and take advantage of the Early Bird Offer (Save £50)

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