Follow These Fundamentals to be a More Effective Coach

A lot of speakers diversify their speaking business with other services like coaching, workshops, consultations, or all of the above. It’s a great way to open up another source of revenue, grow your business, and you might even discover you really love it. 

Now is a great time to get into this growing industry. In 2021, business coaching in the United States alone was estimated to be worth $11 billion. Worldwide, it’s estimated to be twice that. 

More individuals and business leaders are seeking a better future through professional and personal development, and they’re willing to invest in someone else to help them find new solutions. The coaching industry is booming, but there is also a lot of competition. 

If you want to be an effective and highly valued coach (and grow your speaking business in the meantime), it will require more than just expertise in your field. Earlier in March, Mike Staver hosted one of our virtual Build a Better Business events. Mike, CSP, is a best-selling author, award-winning speaker, and renowned leadership coach who has developed a successful coaching methodology based on 30 years of experience. In his webinar, Mike went into detail about how to build and structure a world-class coaching business.

We can’t share the entire two-hour-long, value-packed presentation for you here (unless you’re an NSA member, then head on over to your NSA OnDemand!), but we are going to share a few juicy insights that will help you become an effective and highly sought-after coach. 


How to be a More Effective Coach #1: Establish Your Why

As a coach, there are a few fundamental purposes that drive why you’re doing what  you do. It's important to clearly establish what you want to focus on from the get-go. This will help you define your client base, and you’ll be more likely to enjoy (and be gifted in) what you’re helping your clients achieve.  

A lot of coaches' primary purpose is to help their client’s close performance gaps. Another big driver is to influence a person or group of people, and one of the most common is to drive behavior change of some kind.

If you are not interested or involved in a service modality that’s  one of the above — helping people to change their behavior in a meaningful way or improve themselves or close performance gaps — then you’re probably not interested in coaching!


How to be a More Effective Coach #2: Establish Your Client’s Why

It is important that you establish your client’s “why” as soon as possible. This should happen the first time you have a conversation, before you sign a contract, and before you have a first session. Before you agree to work with someone, it’s important you establish some context about why you are together. This will let you know if you’re going to be able to help them.

Keep in mind, individuals seek out coaching because they want to go from Point A to Point B. It’s good to ask them to define what those points are in order to create context for both of you. Ask directly or start with a short assessment to see the degree to which this person has both the motivation and commitment to get to Point B.  Those with high commitment will be the easiest to work with as they’ll be more inclined to make the changes that will help them change. 

Mike Pro Tip: If you’re just getting started with a coaching practice, don’t begin with the most difficult, obstinate cases first. Start with the one’s “swimming toward you.” 


How to be a More Effective Coach #3: Know Thy Coaching Behaviors

Once you know the client’s clearly defined “why” and their degree of motivation and commitment, you’ll be better equipped to know which coaching behaviors will be most effective in your work. 

You should have approaches, or tools, in your coaching toolbox that you can pull out and use interchangeably, depending on the needs of each client. The four below are the most commonly used approaches in coaching. 

  • Telling/Guiding
  • Explaining/Persuading
  • Encouraging/ Supporting
  • Observing/Monitoring 

Ask yourself: which of these four comes naturally to you? As a coach, you’re probably going to lean into one of these styles over the other. According to Mike, the best coaches in the world — the ones who have the most sustainable practices — are the ones who adjust their coaching behaviors to the needs of the client. 

They observe before they treat. 

In coaching, nothing is ever a one-size-fits-all solution. To be truly effective, you must always check your “diagnosis,” before you apply “treatment.” You do that by asking the right questions, by finding their why, and by asking yourself: “What does my client need right now based on what I’m observing?” 


In Closing…

If you’re already working as a coach and a speaker, we hope these insights help you become more effective! Or, if you haven’t started coaching yet, we hope what you’ve learned has inspired you to think about expanding your speaking business with coaching. 

Remember, if you’re a NSA Member, you can go to your NSA OnDemand to watch the entire presentation, which includes details on revenue structuring and so much more! Just look for “Coaching: What to Do, and What to Avoid” in your Build a Better Business library!

For non-members, if you join the National Speakers Association today, you can also get access to this presentation as well as hundreds of others that will help you build a better business and become a better speaker!