The thing I get the most benefit from in coaching is accountability. This is the same observation I get time and time again from my own clients as well as my fellow coaches. There is something about that pressure of accountability that helps push us on through lack of motivation and obstacles. It’s an amazing tool.
It was because of the value of accountability that I created this blog and why I ultimately chose to take this 6-week challenge. (And why today, three weeks in, I will finally share this blog with some of my peers – that’s right, until today this has just been me blogging for/to myself!)
When I signed up for this 6-week challenge I was intentionally impulsive. I knew I needed to break the momentum of being at rest and it was time for a change. I also knew I can overthink anything and everything to a standstill. So, as with the theme of this whole endeavor, I chose to do what I would not normally do, thus “breaking the mold.”
This is why I am a little disappointed in my mid-way meeting with my coach for the challenge. Now if you assumed there would be no offers to keep your challenge deposit with them, then you may want to work on your naivete when it comes to money. KMA is a business, and as a service providing business they want to both meet their business needs (keeping lights on and turning a profit) and also hold true to their mission statement/vision. And of course, the leadership may each have their own view of what success is which will influence their decisions. I was aware of this and expected a pitch at the end.
The challenge for KMA and any service provider is how to keep both business and vision aspects aligned. It’s tough, and when it can be done you become a force to reckon with. As a life coach, I fully understand this and appreciate the struggle. On the one hand, I want clients since they pay the bills. On the other hand, I want to offer a service of value where my clients are transformed in the process of working with me. When a client is not taking the work seriously I have to make a decision. I can keep taking their money and hope for the best or I can have the difficult conversation of asking if they are ready for coaching and willing to step up – if not then perhaps it’s time to close that relationship. That means losing a paying client and possible cash cow because I want to focus my attention on those ready for a transformation. Not an easy call when that money is needed!
I think KMA has a commendable vision for the fitness of their clients and I know they are currently growing into their new facility (and beyond) which requires getting a reliable renewable membership going. I also know that the “free challenge” is one of their marketing promotions. What I would encourage them to consider is how to better leverage the challenge deposit to keep accountability as strong as possible. In my case, since I am (so far) looking like I will make the challenge (tho a dangerous assumption) the offer was to put the funds into membership when the challenge was over. (A good and expected deal). If I fail the challenge I get the same offer if I want to keep pushing to my goal. Also a good and expected deal. I just think mid-way is not the ideal time to offer it. Hold that money over us like a carrot on a string. Tell me if I succeed I get that good deal as a reward, but don’t offer certainty for those who are struggling. Let them think they are losing the money and then on the last week give them that choice: walk away and lose the money or put that deposit into the next several months and set a new goal to meet. That said, kudos for making the offer a soft sell. There were no pressures and no “act now, or it’s over” crap that would rob credibility. KMA seems to be trying to walk the line of business and vision and I know that’s not easy.
Just my 2 cents since I would like to see both KMA and my fellow challenge-takers succeed. Accountability is a powerful tool, and this is an opportunity to tap it while still being aligned with both business and vision.