First test sessions - what a challenge!

by Marja
(Nelspruit, South Africa)

Dear All,

So I've done my first 3 practice session 1's and the time issue was quite challenging for me too. 3 hours minimum. So I need to work on that big time.
I'm very grateful for all the postings regarding this on the forum because it gave me a bit of a confidence boost again. Thanks! :-D

Working with people very close to you, is also very challenging. Very fun though, but in my opinion not very effective from a getting-things-done-in-time perspective. On the other hand, to practice on people close to you before practicing on people you don't know at all, helps to get some good feedback and more confidence.

My neighbour advised that I should interrupt more often and move on to the next point. She feels that I listen too well. It's an interesting comment but quite challenging to find a good balance between when to interrupt and when to just listen. My intuition is usually more inclined to tell me to just listen until I get to what seems like the core of the issue. Then ask some questions to verify that you understood it well. But it takes very long sometimes. I'm currently doing a intuition training course which I believe will help me to "tune in" quicker. Any other suggestions?

I've done management, team and performance coaching for many years, and it is a completely different dynamic than life coaching. Very interesting too, but very different in the sense that with life coaching, you often get clients who have no idea what they want in life or where they're going. Whereas in management, team and performance, the client usually already has a vision of where he wants to go and you just have to help him align his goals and actions with that vision and be a soundboard.

I also think that Sharon's advice regarding setting only one goal is very wise. And I'm definitely going to try that. At least for the remaining practice sessions. Which brings me to my next question:

Any suggestions on how to get people to practice on?

How did you all do it? I just recently returned to SA and have no network here yet. I was thinking of going to the local university and college satellite campuses and offer free fist sessions to students to get my practice sessions done. But I don't know if students are the best people to practice on. Any comments or suggestions?

Many thanks

Warm greetings

Comments for First test sessions - what a challenge!

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May 11, 2009
by: Marja

Hi Bill,

Thanks for the comments and suggestions. I didn't see the post regarding Finding test clients. It must have been added very recently.

My husband and I will be moving to Cape Town within the next two months. We have a much bigger network there. So I will be opening my practice there and look for practice clients when we're there.

Thanks again.

Warm regards

May 08, 2009
Practice clients
by: Bill Burridge

Hi Marja
Thanks for your post. I want to respond to the issue about practice clients.

Firstly, there is another topic thread that you should follow titled 'Getting Practice clients - any advice for newcomers like me?'

Apart from the advice offered there, I have a couple of suggestions.

15 practice clients may seem like a big deal. So do the coaching thing and break it down into small chunks. Set yourself a goal to get just three clients but be sure to ask each of the three you get to recommend five other people - or two or three other people - and you'll soon find that fifteen is easily achievable.

You mention that some potential clients seem interested in coaching but not in practice coaching. OK, then don't tell them you're practising - you can even charge them a fee if you feel confident to do so. If you're confident in what you're doing my guess is the client will still feel they are getting value for money.

Another idea is to approach local businesses that might be prepared to allow you to coach a number of their staff. Tell them that it will benefit the company as motivated employees are more productive - and that you are prepared to offer them a great deal and charge them just a nominal fee to cover your expenses while you are chasing certification.

Finally, why not scour the network list for other NIA trainees who are less well advanced than you - and email them to offer your coaching services. They might be delighted to work with you to mutual benefit. We don't recommend that you use more than three or four fellow trainees for practice Session Ones as it's vital for you to practice on members of the general public too - but at least it's a start!

Good luck - Bill.

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