By Jeb Bates
For several years, I’ve worked virtually with nearly all my clients. I use some or all of the Results System™ panels and/or Results Roadmap™ with every one of them.
With most clients, I do a complete Results Accelerator™ delivered over four 90-minute virtual sessions, typically at the start of the engagement. On occasion, I may use only the Top Ten/Core Needs with a client based on their needs. Or, maybe just the Origins.
I’d like to give you a picture of how I typically use the Results System™ with my clients virtually. Here’s a case example…
My client “Todd” is a VP for a creative agency in the southern U.S. He’s come to coaching as they are grooming him over the next few years to replace the retiring CEO. He’s a very capable senior leader with an extensive advertising background in the U.S. and Europe. He’s competent and confident. However, he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.
My executive coaching engagement is to conduct a Leadership Circle® 360 (which BTW works great with Results System™), Results Accelerator™, Results Roadmap™ and then 6 months of coaching (3 hours a month).
After our preliminary discussion about his coaching goals, we conducted the Leadership Circle® and did a 90-minute debrief. I like to do any assessments prior to the Results Accelerator™ since we usually see information there that is pertinent to the feedback they receive (or validating feedback they are reluctant to accept). It’s the same with behavioral and EQ assessments.
THE RESULTS ACCELERATOR™
Then, I schedule four 90-minute Zoom sessions. I try to contain them all within a two-week period so we don’t lose momentum. The first two are the data gathering and the final two are the Feedback Discussion. After each session, I save the pages we work on in PDF format and email them to the client. Thus, they can reflect on or review before our next meeting.
I use the Results System™ Complete Digital Flats in Landscape format which fits well on the computer screen and looks good when the screen is shared in Zoom. Just like in person, I ask the questions and capture the client’s responses on the Goals, Origins, Top Ten, and Patterns panels.
With the usual graphics such as the Results System™ model and Progress Path of Change integrated in the PowerPoint (an option now with digital materials), it’s easy for me to switch to them within the same document when it’s time to talk about them. I display the Life Domains prior to capturing the Goals panel and often use the Life Quarters following the Metaphorical Translation of the Top Ten. I then open the Core Needs panel in a second window on my screen placed side by side with the Top Ten and complete the Core Needs with the client.
The sessions typically breakdown like this: the first session is the intro, the Results System™ model and the capture of the Goals and Origins panels. Typing the client’s answers right into panels on the PowerPoint file is easy and requires no pretty penmanship.
In the second session, we capture the Top Ten and Patterns. Now, with the new Prep Guide document where the Work History matches the look and feel of the Patterns panels, I may just use that instead rather than re-type it into the Patterns pages in PowerPoint. If the data capture concludes quickly in the second session, I may even start on the Feedback Discussion with the Parents section of the Origins.
In the third session, we begin the Feedback Discussion (or continue it from session two) with Origins and Top Ten, time permitting. The final session, completes with the discussion of the Patterns and Goals. It concludes with a look across the panels. Every client is different so what we cover in each session may vary, but this is typically how it goes.
Throughout the Result Accelerator™, when the client has an “Aha!” moment or sees a profound connection, I flip to the Insights and Actions panel in the PowerPoint file and capture the client’s articulation of the insight. Any determined actions the client identifies is also captured there. At the conclusion of the Feedback Discussion, the client and I capture any remaining things they want to remember on the Insights and Actions panel.
After the final RA session, I PDF the PowerPoint file and email it right away to the client. Since they don’t have a hardcopy Tube or Flat to take with them, this gives them instant gratification.
Within about two weeks, I produce and send the client a souvenir picture book of their panels. I use the new landscape version of the picture book to match the landscape panels. With my color printer, I print the PDF at between 50% and 53% scaling and then trim the pages to 4×6” size for the picture book. The clients always love their picture book. Some report they look at it frequently.
FINALIZING COACHING GOALS
I have found that sometimes it takes a bit of time and process for the client to settle firmly on their overall coaching goals. The “presenting” goals for coaching may look different after the 360 and Results Accelerator™.
To help the client get clear, I often use the Shifts and Distinctions panel to make a comprehensive summary of the changes of thinking and behavior the client wants to make.
I follow it with the Key Performance panel to finalize the coaching goals (usually no more than 4) and then we brainstorm the key performance indicators that will let them know they achieved the goal. For less tangible goals, sometimes this requires some creativity. We revisit this panel several times over the coaching engagement to check our progress and stay on track.
THE RESULTS ROADMAP™
I frequently do a Results Roadmap™ with the client somewhere around the second or third month. I like to spend time creating a robust Awareness panel (the top half of the roadmap) and a thorough Action Calendar (the bottom half). Each part takes me 60-90 minutes with the client, usually scheduled over two coaching sessions. I may give the client homework in between to begin to brainstorm their actions. With a very diligent client, the second part can be about 60 minutes instead of 90.
I use the Digital Results Roadmap™ and the client and I complete it on the screen together with me doing the typing into the digital “Post-It” notes. I then move the notes around as the client prioritizes them so that their critical path is easy to see on the screen.
I bring up the Reframing wheel graphic on the screen and the client and I work together to reframe their negative thoughts into positive ones that will be effective mantras for them. Finally, I bring up the Action Calendar on-screen to build out their action plan together.
At the end, I save the document as a PDF and send it to the client. If I think the client would like to use the cute little gold stars on the Action Calendar to mark their progress on executing their action plan, I will send them their actual Results Roadmap ™ PowerPoint document as well.
DURING THE ON-GOING COACHING
I always have the PowerPoints of the client’s Results System panels and their Results Roadmap™ up on my screen for every coaching session. As we discuss their present-day issues, I constantly scan the panels and roadmap for clues that may help the client unpack the “invisible” side of their Results System™ that is pertinent.
When I see a connection, I might ask, “What did you learn from observing your mother about X?” and “How do you think what you learned in the past may be affecting how you are dealing with this colleague today?” Many times, the client gets clarity and a new perspective.
I also frequently will share the client’s Core Needs panel on-screen and remind the client to keep these in mind as they make the present-day decisions. We explore together which needs might be affected and how the client will accommodate them.
When I observe that the client may benefit from acting or deciding in a way that is authentic to themselves, I bring up their Third Person traits (and sometimes share their Origins panel on-screen).
We typically check in on their progress on their Results Roadmap™ Action Calendar in later coaching sessions.
FUTURE CHECK IN
For clients that are receptive to accountability and review, I may build in a Results Check™ into the initial coaching proposal. I usually conduct this about a year after the Results Accelerator™ and use the Results Check™ panels as an update and addendum to their original ones. The update of the panels takes about two hours. I consider this a great way to stay connected with my past clients.
If I didn’t do a Results Roadmap™ earlier in the coaching engagement, I often do one as part of the Results Check™. The update panels are where they’ve come to and the Results Roadmap™ is where they are going to. Some clients liked the Results Roadmap™ so much, they want to do another one with a different focus. A Results Roadmap™ adds another two hours or so to the Results Check™.
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
This is my typical client engagement. The Results System™ tools are integral to the way I do every engagement. I just order a Results System™ Complete Digital Flat for each client and use them as described above. I may use it all at once, or over time. I always have it there ready to use.
For some clients, I need to take a slightly different approach.
Some clients are reluctant to do the intensive heavy lifting of the full Results Accelerator™ up front, so I may piece out the panels over time during the engagement. These are typically the clients who seem a little skittish at first about the greater coaching time at the beginning (or, more likely, the deep dive “under the hood”).
I think every client needs to do their Origins panel and realize their Third Person. So, an Origins Only Digital Flat would be in order if not the Complete set.
With a few clients, I don’t order a Complete Digital Flat but just use a Top Ten/Core Needs only Digital Flat to do the Core Needs with them.
With all clients, the intimacy and connection that these tools create helps transcend the distance and technology of the virtual work.
We’ve moved well beyond the original PaperRoom™ experience. You have a powerful set of tools and skills you can use broadly and flexibly with your clients. Why not make the most of them?
My advice is to incorporate the cost of the Results System™ Digital Flat and/or Results Roadmap™ into your coaching engagements, order the materials at the start and keep them handy to add value throughout the coaching engagement.
Might you adopt a new approach with your virtual clients?