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3 ways to get clients more engaged with your coaching

As illustrated earlier, client engagement with your coaching is vital to their getting results, and is a major deciding factor in whether or not they stick around.

Here are some practices for causing greater and more regular engagement with your coaching that you can enact with the benefit of CoachAccountable.  And if you’re worried about how much work this is going to be to get your clients up to speed with these practices, included with each one is an estimate of how much time it takes per client to set in motion.

Engagement through Actions1. Get them in the habit of creating their own actions.  Do it for them perhaps the first time, a basic setup.  Include one action to “Mark this action complete”, and one action to “Create your own action”.  These two may seem trite, but are actually quite useful.  The pair gives them the excuse to play around with Actions, see how they work and get the satisfaction of building up a collection of completed actions.  Bear in mind: the typical client when just getting started will often feel like a guest in someone else’s house, and accordingly will want to tread lightly and not mess anything up.  So it makes a big difference to give them permission to feel right at home and experience this as a resource for them to fully use as well.

Encourage them to set reminders and make comments when they create their own actions.  Let them know that actions can be easily marked complete by replying to reminder emails and texts.  Reminder replies can include comments too, making the dialog super easy to keep going.  Explain how comments keep the communication channels open for more support, and serve as tangible records of both progress made and obstacles overcome.

Time to set in motion with a client: 3 minutes the first week to setup relevant actions + a 2-minute conversation to illustrate the how and why of doing it themselves.

Engagement through Appointments2. Schedule appointments that have pre-session worksheet assignments tied to them.  Appointments are easily setup with reminders for both you and your clients, and can be configured to always have a worksheet assigned beforehand.  Reminders for your clients remind them of the fact that they’re being coached on things that are important to them, and thus gets them thinking about those things.  Filling out a pre-session worksheet gives them an opportunity to take stock of what they would like more support on, and sets you both up for a focused and less meandering coaching session.

CoachAccountable manages the assignment of the worksheet at the right time prior to appointment, and puts your clients one click away from being able to fill it out.

Time to set in motion with a client: 1 minute per appointment, or 2 minutes to setup a regular sequence of up to 12 appointments.  Zero time is required if you allow your clients to schedule themselves with you.

Engagement through Metrics3. Get them in the habit of reporting on Metrics.  You may not have concrete numbers that you are working on, but even subjective elements like how they feel about their progress (on, for example, a 1-to-10 scale) are a useful thing to track.  Regularly reporting Metrics builds a story of progress and what’s working over time, which helps them focus more on causing results in the desired direction AND gives you hints on what to focus on in your sessions.

Remind your clients that Metrics are quick and easy to track, just by replying to regular email or text reminders.  If you’re not sure what to track, see the Four Types of Metrics for ideas.  For a full primer on Metrics and how they work, check out Why Metrics are Awesome.

Time to set in motion with a client: 2 minutes to create the first relevant metric + a 3-minute conversation to explain the concepts and importance of regular reporting.

It’s typically hard to cause high engagement without being high touch, and being high touch is often impractical for the time it requires (and even then it may be off-putting to clients!).  With these practices however you can cause your clients to more regularly engage with your coaching, both with a very small outlay of time for you and in a way that is satisfyingly interactive for them.


  1. David McQuarrie

    I like the idea of using the metrics function to gage how a client is feeling throughout the week. Great idea John!

    June 17, 2014 @ 6:34 pm

  2. It IS a great idea to report on subjective wellbeing!

    I found it useful as well to let clients report on their progress concerning their goal(s). 10 would be “goal reached” and the number the client feels appropriate for the moment is the starting point for the metric (but 0 would be the bottom so the client could actually drop below as well which would give us a topic talk about as well).

    Therefore I have to make sure to HAVE a clear goal for the client at the end of the first session (which not always is the case since I sometimes recognize that I could’ve been more “demanding” with the concreteness of the client’s goal).

    Thanks for the useful hints, John!

    February 20, 2015 @ 5:05 am