How to Become a Business Coach

Understand the Personality Profile of Your Clients

By on March 14, 2013

Business coaching, perhaps more so than other professions, depends on the strength of the client-coach relationship. If you don’t have a solid understanding of the way your client thinks, feels, acts, and is motivated you will not be a very effective coach for that individual. Likewise, if your client doesn’t understand your thinking, goals, and tactics they will be wary of your advice.

Think about it this way: imagine that you are a limo driver in Brazil. It is your job to ferry important people from one obligation to the next. These people might be movie stars, they might be diplomats, or they might be worldwide business leaders. You’ve got a great limo with a good engine and comfortable interior and you are well-prepared with all the alternate routes and tricks to get your clients where they need to go as quickly as possible. The only problem? You only speak Portuguese and all of your clients speak different languages.

How effective are you going to be as their driver if you can’t understand where they are coming from and where they are trying to get?

Your client-coach relationship is the same way. You might be both speaking English, but if you don’t understand each other’s emotional styles, modes of thinking, and motivations you might as well be speaking different languages.

You can solve that problem, though, by gathering information about your client’s personality. Try one (or several) of these methods to increase understanding:

1)      Personality Profile Questionnaire. Early on in the process have your coaching clients take personality questionnaires. Now, we don’t mean like the fill-in-the-bubble magazine quizzes. Ask them specific, yet open-ended questions about how they problem solve and what their strengths and weaknesses are to get a better idea of how they work.

2)      Online personality tests.  There are ton of online personality tests you can have your client take. A popular one is the Myers-Briggs test, which rates people on four different personality traits like extroversion versus introversion and intuitive versus judgment oriented. There are lots of free online options for this but you might want to consider purchasing rights to a test yourself and having clients take it in conjunction with your coaching process. 

3)      Observe, observe, observe. Observe how your client reacts to suggestions and interactions. Look at their body language. Listen to the type of rhetoric they use. Look for patterns and then gently and respectfully point out how those patterns are or are not working for them. 

Personality, like variety, is the spice of life—but it can also be the biggest hurdle you have to leap as a business coach.  Understand your clients to optimize your success.

Learn how Eric Dombach went from $0-$1 Million as a business coach in just 4 short years.  Download his FREE ebook, Secrets of a Business Coaching Rock Star

Eric Dombach

About Eric Dombach

Eric Dombach is the Founder of Coaches’ Coach. In 2001, he founded a business coaching firm that, by 2005, was generating more than $1 million USD in revenue, 23% operating profit, and average annual growth rate of 140% per year. In 2005, he sold the firm to 4 of his employees for $1 million U.S. dollars, generating a return on capital of more than 800%. Since then he has trained more than 1,300 independent and franchise business coaches in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Australasian markets.

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