How Do I Coach a Time Management Know-it-All?

Business TeamI sometimes get this question from time management advisers – “How do I help someone who knows everything in every time management book ever written?

It’s an intriguing question that can be addressed in complex ways – as long as you are living in the old world of time management advising.

You know the old world – conduct a search for the best system out there and struggle to apply to your life. That’s the approach our potential clients expect, and the one we have grown up with. It’s the reason why we have a challenge as advisers because the authors of the best books in the field don’t want us to use their stuff to make money for ourselves. many expressly forbid it, in fact.

That leaves us stuck, either using their stuff without permission, or being forced to create our own stuff… and who has the time or inclination to do that? (OK, I do…! But it’s taken 7 years…)

The new model offers us some relief. Our expertise doesn’t need to lie in knowing all the best systems out there, or even in having one of our own to get them to follow. ¬†Instead, it can lie in our ability to help clients see their current way of operating so that the areas of weakness (and improvement) pop into view with such clarity that our clients are blown away.

By illuminating these areas of weakness, we can also help them see the impact on their lives of leaving these weak skills in a relatively under-developed state. When they take immediate action to close these gaps, they can then produce faster-than-ever gains.

The art and science of showing a client the holes, gaps and weak spots in their current systems is an ability that most coaches, consultants, professional organizers and trainers have used at some point, and can develop further. They don’t depend on this year’s hottest productivity book. Instead, they are more about our ability to listen in carefully to our client’s world in a way that no-one else can, before making suggestions that move them steadily forward.

No need to be intimidated – we already know how to do this!