How to coach the client that thinks they know it all

To be a life coach is not that easy. Some people think that since giving advice is easy; many of us are into life coaching. How unfair!!! Of course they do not even bother to understand that many of us have undergone life coach training. And unfortunately for many of us, these very people come to us as clients. They are the nightmare clients; clients who think they know it all.
A life coach is given life coach training to deal with clients. Life coaching is all about people. The training is really tested when you meet a nightmare client. These people are often arrogant, bossy and downright rude. So, how to coach a client that thinks they know it all? It is not easy. But, there are ways to deal with them too.

Firstly, if at the initial meeting itself you can feel that the client is going to create problems; do not agree to life coach him/her. Again, unfortunately it is not an option for all of us. The competition in life coaching is becoming fiercer day by day. Also, if you are just starting out it may be difficult to get clients, so not agreeing to take a client is a luxury that you cannot afford. So, the question remains how do you coach such people?

Make it clear to the client that you are the life coach. If, the client was already aware of everything then he/she wouldn’t have come to you. They have come to you because there is something that you have, from which they can learn. Now, when you are explaining this to them make sure that you be very polite. Don’t be rude at all. But, be firm. If you don’t do this at the initial stage itself the problem will only magnify later and the repercussions may not be something that you look forward to. The client may become angry and even start shouting. If this happens keep quiet and let them vent their anger. Sometimes, when a person has let off steam they cool down. They might be angry at something else but might show the anger at you. Talk to them once they have cooled down. Explain it to the client that if this sort of behavior continues it is going to be very difficult to work with them. Make it clear that you are no doormat. He/She needs life coach training and that is why they are there. So, if they want it then it has to be on your terms. When a client sees that you are firm about your stance and that you are not going to be bullied by them then he/she will start respecting you. They will feel validated that they have chosen you as their life coach.

Of course, even with all the life coach training resources at your command there might be times when a conflict can take place. In such situations the best way to deal with the situation would be to not lose your control. Make a small concession to restore faith. Then restate the views of the client without becoming angry or shouting. Then explain each point from his point of view. This will make the client believe that you are getting his point. Once you have made his/her view clear you can go about presenting your views. And explain why you are giving that view. Establish common grounds wherever and whenever you can. Use humor to diffuse potentially threatening situations. With larger issues split them into smaller ones. And then you can deal with each small issue one at a time. Never ever make the mistake of making it personal. Always make it a point to remember that the client wouldn’t have come to you if they didn’t feel you had something. So, don’t let the client intimidate you.

When you are making an agreement make sure that you have a clause in that which lets you get out of the whole deal. This will ensure that in case of any problem you can get out of the agreement without any legal wrangles. A good life coach can go about the business of life coaching successfully without having know-it-alls as clients.