It is easy to be buried in an avalanche of coaching tips. But one of the best tips on coaching that you will ever get is to keep tracked of the balance in the “emotional bank account” you have with your client.
OK, but what Is an Emotional Bank Account?
Glad you asked. Steven Covey invented the term in his landmark book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. Basically the idea is that whenever you do something “nice” to someone you make a deposit into this emotional bank account. When you do something that is “not so nice”, you make a withdrawal. So long as you have a positive balance you are given a little slack, and the “not so nice” things you might say are not taken so badly. On the other hand if you start over drawing your account, you pay the price.
Fine, but Why Is this One of the Best Coaching Tips?
The idea is that as a coach, sometimes you have to be nice, and sometimes you have to be tough with your clients. And if you are keeping tracked of your emotional bank account, you know how far you can constructively go being tough, without breaking the relationship. That is how far you can go without overdrawing your account. And any idea that keeps you from bouncing those emotional checks has got to be one of the greatest coaching tips!
But How Exactly Do You Know Your Balance
Your ability, to bring your client to the very brink of total dismissal before you pull them back to heart- felt bonding, is really the power that makes this one of the greatest coaching tips. Therefore, your ability to judge the emotional account balance you have with your client is critical. I recommend making consistent deposits whenever you are not consciously stressing the relationship. Then when you are stressing the relationship be sensitive to your client’s emotional state. This requires you to remain cool in spite of any exterior persona that you are adopting. Then observe your client, looking for any signs of closing down or turning off. Pushing back is OK. But make a point of managing that interaction carefully, as well. If you do, you will have achieved a new level of effectiveness with your clients, and you will maintain a positive emotional balance, as well.
JTS Advisors Strategy and Accountability Coach