A Tale of Two Coaches: Why One Got High Engagement, While The Other Got Dead Air
Tuesday September 6, 2022
A few years ago, I was working with several different coaches. Two of them in particular stuck in my mind, because of the striking difference in the level of engagement they had in their group coaching calls.
One of them – I’ll call him Coach J – spent the entire call talking with his students, answering their questions, learning about their situations, and helping them move closer to their goals.
The other – I’ll call him Coach B – asked questions, and was often met with silence.
Both of these coaches had good advice to share. So why were they getting such wildly different results?
After observing a few calls, I realized it was because of a simple action Coach J took at the start of the call, and the way he built on that action throughout the call.
How the coach who got good engagement started the call:
As each new person joined, he would ask for their name, and write it down. Then, once everyone was in the room, he called on each person in turn and asked if they had any questions.
By addressing each person by name, Coach J created a greater incentive for them to respond.
Meanwhile, the coach who got dead air…
…asked if anyone had any questions, but did not specifically encourage engagement from any one individual. This made it easier for the shyer or less engaged attendees to simply stay in the background and not get the help they needed.
As a result, there was often silence on Coach B’s calls, and I suspect some of his clients wound up having questions and needs that didn’t get addressed, because he didn’t do what was necessary to draw information out of them. Which brings me to the second part of the successful coach’s strategy…
Helping people who can’t think of a question to ask.
Sometimes, the participant who’d been encouraged to share their questions couldn’t think of any questions to ask. But instead of just skimming over them, Coach J encouraged them to give him an update about their week.
What activities had they performed in pursuit of their goals? What results had those activities gotten? How smoothly had their tasks and homework gone, and had they run into any challenges?
In the process of talking about these things, the client often discovered that they DID have questions or opportunities to improve – they just hadn’t come to mind in the moment when Coach J asked about them.
By calling on each participant by name, and by going the extra mile to draw information out of them, Coach J consistently had full, highly engaged calls where the participants got the guidance they needed, while Coach B had a lot of dead air and missed opportunities.
Obviously, each coach and group will be different. Some coaches can simply ask if anyone has any questions, and get enough material to fill the call.
But if your participants aren’t engaging on the level you want them to, or if you’re concerned that they may have questions, challenges, or areas for improvement they haven’t thought to communicate to you, this strategy can be an invaluable way to get your clients to open up and give you the knowledge you need to help them get great results.
Want to know more about how to create a group coaching program that transforms your clients’ lives?
I’d be happy to walk you through every step of the process, so you have everything you need to turn your expertise into a program that frees up your time and gets your clients life-changing results. You can contact me today to schedule a 20-minute Clarity Call, or you can get a step-by-step walkthrough right now by grabbing my 1 Month Program Builder book or audio/video course.
Get the book Get the audio/video course