The CoachAccountable Blog

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On Asking Clients to Use CoachAccountable

I got a great question in my inbox yesterday:

I’ll share my reticence to fully jump in/buy/etc and maybe you (or a member of your team) can help me work through my concern.  I respect your opinion and insight and appreciate any feedback.
I’m concerned about the need for my clients to go to a website to hear from me, check notes, look at status, etc.

It’s a new habit I’m asking them to form and in the economy of personal change it’s not where I want to spend my “money” with them.

Does that make sense?  I don’t feel good asking them to do too many new things at once and, because my clients are so busy, I’m concerned this is extra work for them.

Have you thought about this particular objection and have some feedback?

— Matthew

I might’ve just answered right back, but this is a worthy concern that’s really at the heart of what it is to fully embrace any new system and make it a part one’s process.  So I’ll answer it here, for the benefit of Matthew and everyone else.

We are all of us routinely inundated with new systems, apps, and other online entities begging for our attention, each trying to get you to opt in to their newsletter, sign up for an account, or to allow them to send alerts to your phone or desktop.

As such we need to be choosy about who and what we give access to our precious attention.  That’s simple self preservation.

We know this, so we’ve crafted CoachAccountable to very respectful of user attention: worth using with not a lot of hassle or extra work to get real value out.  To Matthew’s question of not demanding too much of his coachees, let’s look at how this plays out in real usage.

It turns out, CoachAccountable makes it possible to by and large avoid any need, on the part of clients, to go to a website to hear from you, check notes, look at status.  So many of the common interactions can be run over email, a channel you were probably going to use to some degree no matter which system (or none) you ultimately go with:

  • Session notes, once written up, can be emailed to your client with one click.
  • Action items can be marked complete by replying “done” to a reminder email about them.
  • Metric numbers can be reported by replying to a reminder email about them.
  • A shared file can be accessed with a single click from the “your coach has shared a file with you…” email
  • A worksheet can be brought right up to work on with a single click from a notification email
  • Messaging and commenting on anything can also be done via email, like usual email but with benefit of it all being logged into the client record.
  • A lot of these interactions can be done via text message as well, and these can all be tailored to the preference of the individual.

What all of these things share in common is this: we’ve polished the system to reduce and remove as much of the friction to participation as possible.  We know clients are busy and any hassles to participating in the coaching process will blunt their drive and ability to do the real work of applying your coaching, so we’ve innovated in every way we can think of to make it easy for them (and, while we were at it, for you as coach).

You’re able to set things up for your clients so that (1) they don’t find it a burden and (2) they get real value out of it.  Like other aspects of the rich skill that is coaching, there’s an art to this:

  • You’ll want to set the stage for them so that when they first get going with you in CoachAccountable, they can immediately appreciate the why behind it (there’s a guide for that).
  • You’ll want to be certain you’re not overwhelming them (there’s a guide for that).
  • You’ll want to be sure you’re employing CA to help your client realize real wins out of working with you.  This may be tracking the right things, setting up action plans worth doing, sharing insights that they can look back on later, and so many other things.  (The guides for these lie largely in your coaching training, but CoachAccountable can help you really bring them to bear in practice!)

There’s a lot of flexibility here.  We’re happy to help you sort out which parts of CoachAccountable are worth using with your clients, and how to set them up so that they jibe best with their busy schedules.  Just ask and we’ll hop on a screen share to do so!

There was one other part to Matthew’s question:

Also, separately — the true client of mine is the boss of my coachee.  Is there a way they can view the progress of their employee.  I care about communicating with the employee (notes, metrics, etc) but am almost more concerned with keeping their boss up to date.

Again, great question.  There’s a nice consequence of using CA with your clients, whether full-on or to a very limited degree: it creates a record that is ripe for sharing with interested parties, like the boss of your coachee.  Here’s a guide on how to share that progress, and Happenings Reports in particular might be just the thing for you.

Ultimately CoachAccountable is something you can present to your clients as:

  1. something to apologize for and thank them for bearing with, OR
  2. as a real value-add to their coaching experience, something that’s going to genuinely help them get the most out of it.

With a little bit of practice wielding CoachAccountable with all (or even half of!) what it can do, you’ll find yourself comfortably presenting it as the latter.  Considering CoachAccountable really comes down to the opportunity to bolster your offering and up your coaching game.

At the end of the day, we’re in the business of making coaching as powerful and effective as it can be.  So whether it be with CA, some other system, or nothing at all, I hope you find something that really serves your needs.  Thanks for the questions!


  1. Twila

    Right on John!
    I work with clients who often are overwhelmed and one more thing can put them over the edge. CA is NOT one of those things… it works for them. They don’t ever have to go to the login page unless they choose to do so. Everything is fed to them in a way that makes sense for each client. Even metrics for daily habits are now easier with the course worksheets – this prevents them getting several texts a day. Instead they have one worksheet at the end of the day to report on their daily habits. CA rocks and is invaluable to the coaching process for both parties!
    Thanks for all the good work!

    January 27, 2019 @ 12:23 pm

  2. Hi John,

    I just LOVE how clear you can communicate the true value of CA. Of course you have builded it from the ground up and it shows how much of a competent and wise coach you are! You ROCK!

    With everything you create and update it becomes better and better and that is why I am investing a lot of time to MASTER this tool for myself and my clients!

    You and Morgan are a super combo that leads to many great experiences!

    I am sure Matthew will make a super informed decision after reading this and 1 call with you or Morgan will put him on the CA train to coaching breakthroughs.

    Keep BEing you


    January 29, 2019 @ 3:43 am