Faced With A Challenging Client? Simple Tips On Handling Tough Situations

By , Text Only Admin

Solo-E Certified Solo Entrepreneur Expert

TextOnly'Admin - Text Only Admin

As women entrepreneurs, when faced with a challenging client it’s easy to take the blame personally, or to find fault with yourself.

My advice?

Don’t. And here’s why: Challenging clients give you the perfect opportunity to both grow as a coach, and, to help you create fresh boundaries that serve the growth of your business.

One of the coaching principles I teach is that every situation is an opportunity for a breakthrough.

And while you can’t control the emotional challenges some clients will bring into your relationship, you are at choice in how you respond and in the questions you ask.

Having coached thousands of entrepreneurs, I honestly say that what the most challenging clients taught me is priceless in terms of strengthening my abilities as a coach…and in helping me step up as a leader.

Which is why I’m happy to share with you how you can gracefully and confidently handle challenging clients with these 3 important tips:

Tip #1 – Be Up Front and Specific About Your Standards

Let’s say clients are pushing your boundaries. The easiest way to handle this is to clearly go over how, when and how often you are available. For example, what are your coaching hours? Do you have a limit on emails and calls outside of scheduled times? What’s your policy on late payments? Missed sessions?

It’s tons easier to course correct a client who may be straying over these guidelines if you’ve been up front about them in the beginning. That said, what do you do if you haven’t had any boundaries (up until now that is). It’s never too late to say something like this:

    “We’ve been coaching for 6 months now, and I realized I never clearly went through what my availability includes, so I would like to go over that with you now.” (Then explain your policies).

Above all, remember that no matter how much someone is investing in coaching, you don’t “owe” a client more.

Tip #2 – Know the Difference Between Giving and Giving In

Occasionally clients do need a little something extra from you – a few more minutes of coaching time or some additional resources. When you have a respectful relationship with clients, these situations become opportunities for giving from your heart.

But allowing clients to repeatedly make excuses, miss calls, or go over time creates an expectation that quickly gets out of control, leading to trouble when you finally draw the line.

You’re better off addressing these situations quickly. For example, you can begin a conversation like this:

    “I’m noticing that you often call in for coaching 5 minutes after our start time. I’m curious, what is that about for you?”

Tip #3 – Don’t Take Poor Client Behavior Personally

Client complaints are often based in unhappiness with themselves, but the energy gets directed back at you, the coach. By not taking it personally, you give yourself permission to stay in your power as a coach…and you open up the possibility of helping your client make an important breakthrough.

My advice? Stay curious, ask questions, and let go of needing to be right or being defensive.

While no one enjoys having to handle tough situations, if you follow these tips you’ll quickly find yourself feeling fully authentic and in integrity, which is the hallmark of being a top professional.

Yes, it can take courage to not get hooked into ‘taking the blame’, but building your courage muscle is food for your soul. And isn’t that what the true power of coaching is all about?

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