#231: Use This Coaching Skill To Better Help Clients (& Your Business)

It’s that time of year when New Year’s goals have worn off and clients may be feeling discouraged. (Or maybe YOU haven’t quite made the business progress you intended in January?) Here’s an important coaching skill to redefine and reframe goals so they don’t end in frustration. And join Michelle’s free coaching skills mini-course at HealthCoachPower.com/skills

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Use This Coaching Skill To Better Help Clients (& Your Business)

February can be rough, am I right? All that new year, big goals, super-charged energy has fizzled out. Your clients are frustrated. Maybe you are too.

Today, I’m going to share a coaching skill to help you redefine and reframe how you set goals– for your clients, but also for yourself.

The difference between outcome goals and process goals

I want to lose 20 pounds. I want to earn $75,000 this year. These are outcome goals. They’re not wrong – they can be motivating! But here’s the problem: you’re not always in control of the outcome.

What about something like: I want to eat at least 10 grams of protein with breakfast every morning. It’s something you have full control over. It’s something you do. You can make it happen. That’s a process goal.

See the difference?

The magic of process goals

Sometimes we don’t reach those big, sexy outcome goals in the timeframe we originally wanted. But we’re still doing the things we need to be doing, and we’re still getting positive results.

If your client (or you) is hung up on an outcome goal, they can feel like a failure – even though they’re actually making real progress.

Process goals let you celebrate your success week to week, month to month. You can see the progress. You can take those wins.

Recognize success

If your client is moving more, drinking more water, eating protein at every meal, they’ll feel better, whether or not the scale says they “met their goal”.

As a coach, you can help them see that meeting those process goals is success.

And success leads to more success. When you know you’re nailing it, you want to keep going. And the outcomes? They’ll come along for the ride.

How to create a process goal

Let’s say your goal is to get three new clients this month. That would be great – but it’s not entirely in your control. It’s an outcome goal.

To turn it into a process goal, ask yourself: what would I have to do to achieve this?

Think it through: booking a client means making an offer, which means holding a consultation, which means getting in front of some new people. One way to do that would be to hold a workshop.

So maybe your process goal is to hold a free workshop this month. THAT is something you can control. Take the steps you need to take to make it happen. You might sign three clients, you might sign ten, you might sign zero.

But it will help you in lots of ways, regardless:

You’ll practice speaking. You’ll develop a workshop you can use again. You’ll get names on your mailing list. You’ll make contacts in your community. All big wins.

Take the next step

Using process goals is one of the skills I teach inside my new NBHWC-approved course Confident Coaching for Health Coaches.

Skills like this help you better help your clients– and you can use them on yourself, too.

Get a taste of what you’ll learn inside our FREE coaching skill mini-course. You’ll see how powerful and effective your coaching can become.


Full transcript:

All right. Hello there Health coaches. Nice to see you. It is that time of year when everyone's New Year's resolutions and goals have kind of fallen by the wayside. I figure you might be noticing this with your clients, right? They're getting a little discouraged, or maybe everyone's just having the February Blas. That's a thing, right? Are you having the February Blas? Maybe you didn't quite make the progress that you wanted to make in your business in January, and now you're like, I am already falling behind. We're a whole month into the year and I'm already behind that. This is a very defeating feeling. So today I want to share a coaching skill that will help you redefine and reframe how you set goals for your clients, but also for yourself. This is a very important skill.

Now, listen, if you are somebody that wants to be making more progress with your business growth, I just want to mention that the wait list for Fast Track will be open soon. Fast Track is my most robust business and marketing program. I run it live just one time a year. So we will have a wait list open for that soon. Keep your eyes and ears open because wait list members always get special extras and the best possible bonus package. But for today, I just had to remind you that that's coming. But before I go off on a tangent, let's reel it in. Let's talk about these goals that might be getting you down or your clients down. These goals that man, sometimes we don't even want to set goals. I've heard so many people say, I don't even setting goals because then what if I don't reach them? Then I feel like a big failure. Ever feel that way?

I want to say hello. Rebecca is here, and Jennifer's here, and Katie's here and hello to everybody who's joined me live. Tell me in the comments if you've ever felt that way, like, Ugh, goals stink. I absolutely know I have felt this way. I don't even want to set any goals because it's just going to make me feel bad. I think I went years afraid to set any goals in my business because maybe my goal could have been early on, I want to make $40,000 this year, or I wanted maybe a little bit later, I wanted to make $75,000. I wanted to finally break six figures, whatever it is, but I was afraid to name it because then I'd have to live up to it and what if I didn't, right? So I want you to notice the difference between an outcome driven goal and something like, I want to lose 20 pounds. That's an outcome driven goal. Something like, I want to earn $75,000 this year in my health coaching business. Yes, that is also an outcome driven goal, and that's not bad.

And of course we're going to have goals like this and clients are going to have ideas like this too. But notice the difference between an outcome-driven goal and a process-driven goal. That would sound like, I want to eat at least 10 grams of protein with breakfast every morning. I mean, that's a goal that you can hit. You can make sure you hit that You are in full control of the outcome of that because you, you're like, yep, I'm going to have to eat this many eggs, or I'm going to add some cheese to my breakfast, or I'm going to have that sausage, or whatever it is. You can make that happen. You can't necessarily make sure that you lose 20 pounds in the way that you can change the process with which you have breakfast, and from here on out, you're going to be adding that protein in. Get it?

Same thing goes for your business. You can try shoot for an income goal. You can make a plan for it. You can get excited about it and feel motivated by an income goal for your business. But practically speaking, what do you have to change about your process to get there? So a process-driven goal might sound like I'm going to run a quarterly free workshop because just like eating protein with breakfast, that could lead to weight loss. Running free workshops are going to help you find clients and make money in your business. Okay? Why is this important? Again, it's okay to have outcome-driven goals. Of course, it's what gets us to move. It's what gets us to change. We have that end goal in mind, but I find it's much more helpful to have process driven goals to measure your success by week to week, month to month.

Rebecca's saying, I don't have my own coaching business just yet, but I look forward to it in the future. Right now, I work for a corporate company and we set bi-weekly smart goals. Clients are iffy as to whether they track them. You bring up a good point about tracking. When we're talking about your process, what you're doing every day and your habits, it is very helpful to have some sort of tracking method, and it can be something that you're writing down, could be something that you're keeping track of on your phone or you're taking a picture or whatever it is, but there's that layer of accountability that really helps someone stick with the new process, do the new process, and make the win at the end of the week or the end of two weeks or whatever the time period is. Did I do the thing? Not, did I lose the pounds, not have all my symptoms gone away, right? Because those aren't with outside our control, but we can control our process and it can be so motivating. I've had so many clients in my career as a health coach that get so down when the scale doesn't change or they're still experiencing X, Y, Z symptoms.

Even though I know you've had this experience too, they're feeling more energy even though they had this other amazing breakthrough, they're sleeping better stuff that they didn't even expect. One time I had a client tell me that her ears were no longer itchy, and I thought that was really funny because she had never even mentioned itchy ears, but suddenly she realized that they weren't anymore. I mean, that's pretty awesome, right? Go through your whole life with itchy ears and finally, they're not, but yet to get hung up on that one outcome driven goal that they still haven't hit, right? Anyway, so I like to focus on the things that we can control because your client may not. Let's just face it. They may not fill in the blank, lose 20 pounds, lower their cholesterol number, reverse their pre-diabetes diagnosis. It may not happen. It may not happen in the timeframe of your program.

Just because your program's three months doesn't necessarily mean that their body wants to change that much or that fast. Have you had an experience like this? The client is generally doing great, but can feel like a failure in a particular timeframe. So your client could absolutely be nailing eating protein with every breakfast. They could be protein with every meal. Look at them go. They could be drinking more water. They could be moving their body. Like I said, they could be feeling a lot better in so many different areas, and in that case, as a coach, you want to help them see that they have met and even exceeded all of their process driven goals, and by focusing here, the client fuels wildly successful. They're like, I can do this. I got this. Maybe again, maybe they only lost 10 pounds or five pounds or whatever it was, but it feels like a win it.

I just had this weird image in my head. I'm going to share it with you. I was a cheerleader for a hot minute in high school, and there was a cheer about keep that super spirit up. I'm not going to do the whole cheer. I think that would be really embarrassing, but sometimes as coaches, we got to keep that super spirit up. So here's my question. Can you think of a client or a friend who would benefit, or by the way, who would benefit by creating process driven goals instead of fixating on an outcome driven goal? Tell me in the chat, who is someone who could benefit from this reframing of goal setting? I was thinking about this, and I'm like, this definitely calls for a little story about my boyfriend. He's been doing a weight loss challenge with his buddies. They are these guys, man, they are so funny.

They're so cute. They decide to all get together and they take a picture of themselves standing on the scale every Monday. It, it's wild, and it's working in a sense. A lot of them have lost bunch of weight, but they are so fixated on the outcome goal of losing weight. They're doing all sorts of unsustainable things to get there, and when the challenge is over, well, you and I know exactly what's going to happen, right? They did not ask for my advice, by the way, which would've been what if instead of a weight loss challenge, what if it was a challenge to do 30 minutes of exercise every day or five days a week? That would be a process driven goal, and that would undoubtedly lead to weight loss and to muscle gain and to stamina and to energy and all the things that they want, and in the end, create a sustainable habit. I'm sure you can think of other examples, right? Clients, friends. So what about you? What about the goals that you have for your business? Let's say that you want to sign three new clients this month, right? We're in February now. Okay, I need three clients. I think a lot of coaches are thinking at that level, this is the outcome that I need to achieve. Great. So then what would I have to actually do practically speaking to get those three clients?

Are they just going to show up on my doorstep? No, unfortunately. So let's think. Get through. First. You're going to need to offer your program to people for them to decide if they're going to buy it or not. So that means you're going to have to have consultations booked. How do you get consultations booked? Well, like I said a little while ago, maybe you're going to hold some free workshops, and so maybe this month you're going to plan to hold a free workshop. That is something you can do. That is something you can control. You can go to the yoga studio, you can go to the gym. You can go to the library. You can go wherever and find a venue that will host you. It might take some work, but hey, if you ask three places and they all say no, ask a fourth, eventually you're going to find a match.

You hold your workshop. You might sign three clients or no clients or 20 clients coming out of that workshop. You can't control the result necessarily. But if you went ahead and you did it, just imagine, because I'm sure a bunch of you have never held a live in-person workshop. First of all, lots of coaches just have never done this because it is scary. But second of all, if you got your certification as a health coach in the past couple of years, and maybe we were still in Covid times, not that we are completely out of Covid times now, but you would've never done any in-person workshops at all because we're all stuck behind a computer screen.

So, I feel like this is the year for everybody to get back out in person. Anyway. Let's say you actually went ahead and did it. It was scary. You did it anyway, good for you. You added a bunch of new names to your mailing list. You built confidence. You built a relationship with that yoga studio, with that gym, Hey, and you also put together a workshop. Amazing. And you can repeat that workshop again and again. Oh, man, that's amazing. That would be a huge success to meet your process driven goal of holding a workshop regardless of how many clients came out of it, right? You could still feel like that was a big win for you in your business. So creating and celebrating process driven goals versus outcome driven goals, this is one of the skills that we teach inside my new NBHWC approved course. Confident Coaching for Health Coaches. And the great thing about coaching skills, not just what we were talking about today, but literally all of them, is they help you better help your clients, and you can use them on yourself too. So to get a taste of what we're teaching, I want you to go to healthcoachpower.com/skills, and if you haven't already, register for the free mini course and you're going to see how much more powerful and effective your coaching can be. Again, my free coaching skills mini course is at healthcoachpower.com/skills. I will see you there, and I will see you back here next week. Take care, everybody.