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Custom Coaching Strategies: The Key to Client Success

January 02, 2024

  • Kolbe A™ Index
  • Kolbe Certification
  • Podcast
  • Teams

Let’s be real: in the consulting and coaching business, one size does not fit all.

Customized coaching strategies are your golden ticket. By tailoring your approach to each client’s unique blueprint, you’re not just advising—you’re transforming clients.

Getting to the core of what makes your clients tick unlocks the door to their success. This isn’t about throwing darts in the dark; it’s about crafting a game plan so spot-on, that it feels like it was meant to be.

So, buckle up. We’re about to embark on a journey through the nuts and bolts of leveraging individual strengths, assembling powerhouse teams, and turning challenges into triumphs. With the right tools and a dash of savvy, personalized coaching is about to become your forte.

Spotting Your Client’s Superpowers

Every client walks through the door (or Zoom window)  with a unique blend of innate talents. Recognizing and playing to these strengths? That’s where the game changes.

It’s about peeling back the layers to uncover:

  • what drives your clients
  • how they naturally take action and solve problems
  • and the unique skills they bring to opportunities

The combination of these three things is your clients’  superpowers. Tools like the Kolbe A™ Index can help you understand these superpowers better and really hone in on how they work or what their Method of Operation (MO) is. But, you still need to get an insight into your client as a whole.

Now, picture aligning these superpowers with your client’s goals. After all, it’s about being who they are and not what they think they should be. Once you figure this out, you can craft a customized strategy and make recommendations that help your clients achieve their goals in a way that plays to their strengths. It’s a custom-fit, not off-the-rack, approach that turns potential into performance.

Our guest, Kari Gillenwater, a Kolbe Certified™ Consultant shares the story of the CEO of a truck company who felt like he wasn’t cut out to be a CEO.

When this CEO took the Kolbe A™ Index, Kari realized he was an “Initiating Implementor” – somebody who is naturally hands-on, and who thrives in face-to-face interactions. He has an instinctive need to demonstrate or work with tangible objects. It turns out, he missed working on the tarmac!  He was trying to function like other CEOs instead of leaning in to his natural MO. Kari recommended a few changes — like spending three hours every week on the tarmac and meeting clients in person —that transformed how her client worked. He was not only happier but also more effective.  

Building Effective Teams

Now, let’s turn our attention to the powerhouse behind any thriving business: the team. 

Creating an effective team is about curating a mix where each member’s instinctive strengths complement one another. When team roles align with each member’s strengths, they’re not just working together; they’re creating magic together.

Working with Teams

Working with teams is different from working with an individual. Teams are in flux with their composition constantly changing. Therefore, you have to keep adjusting your plans to meet new needs. One of the best ways to do this is through Kolbe’s role alignment process.

Kari discusses the case of two high-level employees — the director of compliance and the director of safety — at a company.

They were miserable and when Kari used Kolbe’s process to compare their Kolbe A™ Index results with the strengths needed in their specific roles, their strengths and their jobs were completely misaligned.  Kari suggested the two people switch jobs, and it was a success! Six months later, both employees were happier and more effective. As Kari puts it, “They were in the wrong seats and it was that simple.”

Communication Is Key

Another aspect of coaching teams is to work on their communication. Mastering communication in a business setting begins with recognizing the individual communication styles within the team. It’s akin to tuning into different radio frequencies. Some may need short, concise messages, while others thrive on specific and detailed discussions. 

Once you know how teams communicate with each other and their leaders and where they are ineffective, you can create a coaching strategy to fix the bottlenecks. When teams understand each other and learn about each other, they make better decisions and can support each other better.

Kari discusses the results of an on-site with 25 people. 

Since the leaders and the team members had different MOs, there were a lot of disconnects. As Kari worked with them, she helped them discover how they could communicate with each other effectively and clearly.

Customizing Strategies for Different Clients

Customized strategies are the silver bullet in your arsenal and what will set you apart from other consultants who follow a cookie-cutter approach.

The right strategy is about crafting an approach that not only addresses the challenge at hand but does so in a way that’s in perfect harmony with your client’s instinctual strengths. This means pivoting with agility for the quick-thinkers or drawing on meticulous analysis for the detail-oriented.

Kari shares an example of her approach when she works with two clients who have different MOs. 

For Client A, she had to keep things simple and varied. She couldn’t give him 15 things to do because that wouldn’t work. 

Client B, on the other hand, needed research and data, a detailed process,  and an agenda before every call. The way she worked with both clients was different, and it helped her build trust with each of them.

The beauty of customization lies in its flexibility. As the client evolves, so too should your strategies, morphing to fit new contexts and conquer emerging hurdles. 

Build a Stronger Coaching or Consulting Practice

Customized coaching strategies are key to unlocking the potential of your client. By embracing the uniqueness of each individual and team, and aligning strategies with innate strengths, you can truly bring out the best in your clients.  

As we’ve seen through vivid case studies, the impact of personalized coaching extends far beyond immediate goals. It cultivates environments where leaders and teams thrive and resonate with their roles, ensuring sustainable success and satisfaction.

Embrace the power of personalized strategies today, and pave the way for a future defined by client success and satisfaction. Find out how Kolbe can help you.


Guest Bio

Kari Gillenwater is a strategic consultant specializing in empowering small to medium-sized business owners. With a focus on finance and an array of referrals, Kari’s expertise extends to diverse industries. She leverages Kolbe assessments as a cornerstone for coaching, guiding clients toward understanding their unique strengths and optimizing team dynamics. 

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  • Kolbe A™ Index
  • Kolbe Certification
  • Podcast
  • Teams


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