“If you’re in a bad situation, don’t worry it’ll change. If you’re in a good situation, don’t worry it’ll change” (John A. Simone, Sr.)

A client started working with you a couple of years ago. She was dissatisfied with her current life; in particular with time management and procrastination-related issues in her professional career. After 24-months working diligently, she is experiencing great success in her career, and as a result she is extremely satisfied personally.

She has now decided to review her initial goals and ambitions, and in the last session she posed a common question: “what do I need to do to continue the success I have had in my life up to this point?”

Zahava Starak, LCI Master Coach, answers…

A very astute question. This client clearly realises that once you have succeeded in reaching your goals you are faced with a new set of challenges – that of maintaining your success. Before you begin tackling this concern, congratulate your client for a job well done and reinforce that their success is indicative of their abilities and drive and that whatever their next step is – they have the resources with which to address it.

Questions and Exercises

It now may be time for a life review to verify that the success attained and the life that comes with it is actually what your client wants. It is time for a reality check! This is accomplished by asking your client some powerful questions such as “Now that you are a success, are you living the life you want to?” “Is the kind of person that you are now, the person that you want to be?” and “Are you getting everything out of life that you want?”

The discussion generated by these questions will help your client to evaluate how they are generally experiencing their life – what is the overall “feel” of this success that they have achieved.

Next you can conduct an inventory that addresses all aspects of your client’s life to determine the levels of satisfaction in each. Simple questions such as “How do your family feel about your success?” and “What do you do for fun?’ can start a dialogue on the overall effects of your client’s success.
 
It is important to explore all facets of their life – including family (as already mentioned), other relationships, recreation, health and wellness and the spiritual. What you are determining is whether there has been a price to pay for this success and, if so, is this acceptable.

By the end of this process your client has a clear direction – either it is time to drastically change what they are doing – as the success they have is not what they want – or they have given their success a clean bill of health and want to maintain it and carry it further.

Success Strategies

Irregardless of  ‘what’ your client’s success looks like it – whether it relates to a new business venture, achievements in the field of academia or accomplishments in the sporting arena the steps you take next are relevant to any client wanting to continue along their successful path.

There are a number of procedures you can initiate to help your client maintain and build on their success. An obvious start may be to review the strategies that the client has used so far to help them achieve. It may be that some of these strategies were not that effective and can be eliminated all together, others may need some finetuning to upgrade performance, while others may be doing just fine.

For example if your client’s success is based on running a business they may find that the innovations they introduced to their product are perfect and need no adjustment. However it may be apparent that a marketing strategy they used was totally ineffective and so will no longer be used, while another promotional activity was so effective it will be upgraded to appeal to more diverse sectors in the population.

This reappraisal will not only affirm that all strategies are working at peak efficiency, they will assure your client that they are doing all the right things and thereby they will be further motivated to keep themselves travelling along this successful path.

It should probably be mentioned that when exploring strategies if it comes to light that certain people have played a key role in helping your client attain their success; your client can be encouraged to recognise their contribution, if they as yet have not done so. Positive reinforcement and attention can go a long way in reassuring repeat and heightened performances.

At this stage it is probably a good idea to also look at your client’s goals. It may be that your client may simply want to keep things going just as they are with a possible tweaking here and there. However it is also possible that success has inspired your client to focus on a new and greater vision.
 
In this case, a reality check will be required to ensure that your client is not blinded by their success before any action plans are implemented. Your client will be familiar with this next stage and if you have helped them in the past to attain their present success you will be able to accompany them as they undertake any new challenges.

While you are involved with your client in exploring both strategies and goals you can also be addressing another important aspect that reinforces their present success: professional development. A professional development plan will blend in with your client’s career path and can integrate the knowledge and skills your client has developed.

It will enable your client to look strategically at where they are now in relation to where they want to be and will help identify specific areas for ongoing professional development in order to maximise your client’s potential and ensure that they continue enjoying their present success.

In addition it will allow for more effective monitoring and reviewing of progress and this then leads into another activity your client can undertake to safeguard their present success: that of introducing significant milestone dates. This will permit them to regularly review their success indicators to assure that they are still on the right track.

By the time your client has reached this stage it is hoped they will be able to relax and enjoy their success with the assurance they have initiated all the appropriate strategies necessary to insure its continuation.

This case scenario is available from Coaching Club’s ‘Article Library’. To access other case studies, and hundreds of coaching resources, start your 30-day free trial at www.coachingclub.com.au.