We’ve all had one. And if you haven’t yet, then you’re going to get one. In fact, you may have even been one. I’m talking about the one thing that will hit us all at some stage through our coaching career.

It’s the frustrating client!! 

And just like I want to wring my rabbit’s neck when she chews my $1,200 Dolce and Gabbana shoes, the frustrating client can instill the same inclination for murder.

Yet just like my rabbit Sarabi when she sits on my knee for a pat, the frustrating client can give us moments when we realise that it’s all worth it.

When you get a breakthrough with the frustrating client, it can seem a far greater triumph than those with your other clients.

And oh boy! What the frustrating client has to teach us is remarkable. For each frustrating client you receive that stretches your skills, your growth will be your victory.

So how do you handle the frustrating client before they get you and that tombstone above is yours? 

My one piece of advice is this:

You’ve got to stop being concerned about upsetting the client and call it as you see it! 

Here’s a few insights you might be called to use –

– If your client goes into story a lot, then make them aware of their behaviour. Let them know you’re going to interrupt and bring their focus back to where it needs to be each time they go off into he said/she said.

– Does the client really want to change? They say they do. Do they really? If you sense a secondary gain for the client’s behaviour, then look for it and make them aware of it.

– Is the client relying on your advice too much? Take it away from them and force them to make their own decisions. A neutral “hmmmmmm…..I don’t know. What do you know?”

– Is the client leaving each session pumped, and then continuously entering the next one back where they started? Did they do their tasks? If not, for what purpose did they not? Call them on this. Never let it go by that they haven’t acted in a way that will move them forward and improve their life. Follow up and discover the reasons behind the client not doing what they asked for your help with. Tell them the pattern you’re witnessing (ask permission first). This is not the time to tell them “it’s OK that you didn’t do it. These things can take time.” It’s the time to say, “well you’re paying money for change yet you’re not welcoming it. For what purpose is that?”

The Frustrating Client may never become your best friend. They will most certainly though be your greatest teacher.

So instead of sighing that “Oh No here we go again” when you see the frustrating client name in your schedule for the day, ask yourself instead, “What strength do I have to show my client so that he may follow and find his own?”

Take action this Week

Look forward to the date with the frustrating client and think of creative ways to change your client’s outlook. In what ways do you need to step up to serve this type of client well?