Say What You Mean


March 6, 2013

One of the biggest challenges a coach faces is to get their client to say what they actually mean, or actually want.

Say what you meanArticulating in a coaching relationship often makes the difference between the client reaching their goals, or not reaching them.  At the starting point of a coaching relationship or coaching conversation, how do you have your client say where they actually are? Or summarize the key issues of what makes this situation something they want to change? 

Bold questions that investigate behavior, attitudes, and motivation are the best strategy for helping a client understande their starting point. But don't just stop with asking the question. Ask your client to summarize their starting point – articulating clearly in their own words – the place where they actually are.

Then when you're taking some time to think about where the client wants to end up, do the same thing. Ask bold questions that focus on behavior, attitude and motivation and then ask the client to articulate where they actually want to end up.

The differences between these two points – where you're starting and where you want to end up – is often the difference with between highly effective coaching conversations, and ones that fall a little bit flat. The more clarity you can help your client again the more effective you'll be.

For more from Jonathan Reitz, please click here.

Jonathan ReitzJonathan Reitz has a number of impressive titles at CoachNet Global (Chairman/CEO/Guy with Coffee).  Jonathan has been coaching since 1996 and has worked with over 500 clients in the church, the non-profit sector and the business world. 

  “Coaching plays a part in the kind of leadership the world needs,” says Jonathan Reitz.  “I want to be a part of that.”

Contact Jonathan Reitz at or by phone at 440.550.4374.  Follow him on Twitter @jonathanreitz

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