As the premiere coaching company serving financial professionals, ClientWise has several key objectives to accomplish simultaneously. The first and, in many respects, foremost of these, is to disseminate knowledge about what coaching is and what coaching is not. This distinction helps financial advisors gain a clearer understanding of how coaching, different from consulting, advising or mentoring, can help them in the process of improving their practice and their relationships.
This became incredibly evident to me earlier this week, as I began the first two days of a 6 month-long course: The Certified Financial Services Coach Training Program™.
Over the past two days I was able to witness first-hand the ways coaching is of value in the financial services industry and for financial professionals of all kinds: branch managers, relationships managers, practice management specialists, business development professionals, and even writers like myself.
Coaching is a partnership: This is key. The work done in coaching is between two equals working together to solve a problem or advance the success of a business. While there are moments that the coach guides the conversation through questioning, the goals are determined by the coachee.
Coaching is question-based: Coaching is a discovery and exploration based process. The questions asked are open-ended and intended to get the coachee to open up and, through this, find a discovery process for themselves through the guidance, partnership, and accountability of the coach.
Coaching is a listening-exercise: Everything the coach draws from the experience to guide the coachee comes from LISTENING and understanding the coachees’ situation based on what he or she is sharing with the coach, rather than what the coach might presume to be true of the situation. Unlike advising or mentoring, it doesn’t draw upon the experience or expertise of the person listening.
Coaching is always about the coachee and his or her goals: The objective of the coach is to uncover as much about the coachee as possible as it relates to the ultimate goal of the coachee. It’s designed to understand the greatness in a coachee, his or her goals, and where he or she might be experiencing gaps in reaching those goals.
Coaching is forward-thinking: Unlike certain types of self improvement and development, coaching rarely asks you to look to their past for solutions. Instead, it asks you to identify your current situation and move forward from there, by thinking of future-based potential.
In upcoming blogs I will break down for financial professionals both how they can benefit from these coaching skills in running their practices, and how they can use these coaching skills in their relationships with their clients.