You’re looking to step up your game in financial coaching, right? Well, you’re in for a treat. I’m about to walk you through some key insights from a podcast that really dives deep into what makes a financial coach outstanding. Grab a seat, and let’s unpack these six crucial rules that can transform your approach to coaching.

The Foundation of Great Coaching

Remember, this isn’t just coming out of thin air. We’re building on the solid frameworks discussed in episode 17 and episode 18. Missed those episodes? I highly recommend giving them a listen; they’re a goldmine of knowledge.

Rule 1: Own What You Don’t Know

Let’s tackle this head-on: admitting when you don’t know something. It’s a game-changer. Say a client asks you something you’re clueless about. Instead of faking it, how about saying, “Oooh, I’m not sure, but I’d love to learn about this alongside you. What do you think?” This mindset turns a potentially embarrassing moment into an opportunity for growth and collaboration. It’s about showing clients that it’s okay not to have all the answers and that financial learning is a lifelong journey.

Rule 2: Focus on What’s Important to the Client

Our main gig as coaches? It’s to focus on what matters most to the client. You might have heard me talk about this before: it’s not about us deciding the best action for a client – they do. Our role is to guide them through their thoughts and feelings about their financial situation. Here’s an example: I had a client with $30k in savings, earning minimal interest. I suggested moving it to a high-interest account, but after we discussed this, she decided against it. Why? Because accessibility and peace of mind were more important to her than the extra interest. This story highlights how crucial it is to understand and prioritize what’s most important to the client.

Rule 3: The “And-And” Scenario

Financial coaching isn’t about absolutes. There’s rarely a single “right” way to do things. It’s our job to help clients see the shades of gray and explore various options. For instance, the idea that “debt is bad” or “credit cards are evil” is too simplistic. We should encourage clients to think about their unique circumstances and what works best for them. This rule is about steering clear of one-size-fits-all solutions and helping clients find their own path.

Rule 4: Focus on the Whole Person, Not Just Their Money

Great financial coaching is about more than just numbers. It’s about focusing on the whole person. What really determines a client’s success is their buy-in, their belief in the plan. This means crafting strategies that align with their values and life goals. For example, I’ve seen clients choose a financial strategy that might not be the most efficient but feels right for them. These are the strategies that they stick with and that ultimately lead to success.

Rule 5: Coaching Isn’t Making Decisions for the Client

Our job isn’t to make decisions for our clients. Rather, we need to lay out all the options, discuss the pros and cons, and then empower our clients to make their own choices. This approach ensures that clients own their financial journeys. We’re there to provide clarity and support, but the final decision is always theirs.

Rule 6: Shame Isn’t a Motivator

Using shame as a motivator is a big no-no. It might prompt short-term action, but it’s harmful in the long run. Our approach should be about encouraging and supporting clients and helping them make decisions from a place of self-acceptance and motivation. This means fostering a positive environment where clients are motivated by their goals, not bogged down by shame.

Why These Rules Matter

Adopting these rules isn’t just about being a better coach; it’s about making a real difference in people’s lives. It’s about moving beyond the spreadsheet and connecting with clients on a human level. When we do this, we’re not just helping them manage their money better; we’re empowering them to live better, more confident lives.

Wrapping It Up

So, how do we bring these rules into our daily coaching? It’s about being mindful and reflective. Are you genuinely curious and open to learning? Are you prioritizing what’s most important to your client? Are you avoiding absolutes and exploring a range of options? Are you empowering your clients to make decisions that resonate with them? Are you creating a supportive, shame-free environment?

Being a fantastic financial coach is about empathy, understanding, and commitment to your clients’ well-being. By embracing these six rules, we can offer coaching that’s not just effective but truly transformative. So here’s to coaching that changes lives, one financial plan at a time!