When working with clients, a fundamental aspect of a cash flow coach’s role is to recognise and understand how clients are assimilating the concepts, information and behavioural changes they are being presented with. The ability to ‘pick up on’ client’s reactions and thought patterns can be one of a cash flow coach’s greatest skills.
The difficulty in learning and developing this skill is that every client filters sensations, information and events differently. You will have noted how two clients treat the same sensory inputs differently.
The reason for this lies in human neurology and the processes that occur when people are subjected to external stimuli and events. When inputs are received from the outside world, a client’s brain runs their unique, personal algorithm to create an internal representation of what has happened, what has been presented, or what has been explained. Every client’s internal representation is different. And, the internal representation process is also influenced by the client’s physiology. A client’s biological and mental rhythms mix with the internal representation to create an emotional state. This is represented in the client’s behaviour and reactions – whether they are motivated, accepting, doubtful, concerned, stressed etc.
When clients are internally processing the information presented, or forming answers to the questions being posed by their cash flow coach, they have access to the full range of their senses. They are forming pictures, hearing sounds and forming a dialogue, sensing emotions and feelings and even recognising tastes and smells.
The sensory input channels clients are using are: -
Visual – what they see, including the body language, you as the cash flow coach exhibit.
Auditory – what they hear and the way you, as the cash flow coach, express yourself
Kinaesthetic – what they are feeling, including the touch or texture of the things around them
Olfactory – the sense of smell
Gustatory – the sense of taste
In using their full range of senses, clients are starting to manage external inputs and create their own internal representations.
Cash flow coaches can begin to recognise a client’s sensory input preferences through the mannerisms, language and phrases they use. Certain clients will relate better to seeing a diagram and be able to picture the relationship between concepts and actions. Others will be able to listen intently to an explanation, whilst others will rely on their feelings and intuition to grasp a concept. “I see what you mean”; “I hear what you say”; “My gut is telling me”.
The next stage of a client’s internal representation process is filtering. Filtering is necessary and healthy as it prevents ‘information’ overload. Without filters, humans would not be able to function as they would be overwhelmed by the amount of data and stimuli that they are exposed to on a continual basis.
Researchers maintain our conscious brain can only deal with five to nine pieces of information or inputs at any given time. It can become overloaded and needs mechanisms to cope when there are more inputs than it can reasonably handle (which in the modern digital age is becoming more and more prevalent). The brain uses filters to simplify, make decisions and form opinions. Unfortunately, this means that sometimes these are based on insufficient information.
The three basic filters, clients use are generalisation, deletion and distortion.
An increasingly common basic brain filter (in the modern world) is Generalisation, where clients will form opinions or come to conclusions based on limited experiences. It can be helpful as a development and learning tool – taking samples of information and making a deduction and then repeating the process. However, without the repetition, clients can potentially get caught in illogical or irrational thought silos.
An example of a client generalisation that cash flow coaches hear is – “I tried that once, it doesn’t work.”
When clients distort, they will focus on a particular part of an experience or event and discount the other aspects. Distortion can be both positive and negative, but either way, it can create an unrealistic view of the world. When asked, cash flow clients may relate their achievements and areas of improvement, overlooking or glossing over the areas that didn’t go to plan. Conversely, some cash flow clients may hone in on the negative, getting down on themselves and not recognising the improvements they have made.
Examples are - “I did really well last month” (even though the figures tell a different story) or “I’m just not getting anywhere (even though the figures tell a different story).
Deletion can be the next level from distortion, where a client will ignore or completely omit certain elements or aspects of their experiences. Totally blocking things out can be difficult for a cash flow coach to deal with. However, deletion is more commonly a language and communication issue in cash flow coaching, where the client inadvertently (or maybe intentionally) does not include important information in their discussions. If a client says “It’s just too difficult”, they are leaving out the critical definitional details.
The basic filters are the reason that two clients, provided with the same information or concept, will react and respond differently.
Working with Clients
To assist them in working with cash flow clients, coaches look to recognise the client’s internal representation process and the reasons they use the particular filters that they do. The individual drivers that result in using these filters are controlled by a client’s Meta Program, which is based on their values, belief systems, decisions, and memories.
A client’s meta-program is their thinking style or mindset patterns. They are considered ‘higher-level’, mental processes that direct, guide and manage other mental processes. They are not good or bad; they are just the way a client thinks and handles data and information.
Examples of different meta-programs include:-
Proactive versus Reactive Proactive - a preference for acting quickly and taking the initiative. Reactive - a preference for waiting, considering, and reflecting.
Towards versus Away from Towards - a focus on achieving goals Away From - a focus on avoiding problems.
Maintenance versus Development versus Change Maintenance - a preference for things staying the same. Development - a preference for gradual change. Change - a preference for fast and radical change.
Past versus Present versus Future Past - a focus on past events. Present - a focus on the “here and now”. Future - a focus on future events.
Cash flow coaches who can recognise a client’s meta-program can more clearly and closely predict their state of mind and help them to enact actions and refine behaviours.
Values are a client’s evaluation filter. The way they determine whether an action is right or wrong - good or bad, for them. Values are a driver in the ‘towards versus away from’ meta-program – a result of a client’s attractions and dislikes in life and how they feel about the actions they are positioned to undertake.
Values are hierarchical, with some more important than others. And they can be contextual. Clients’ can have certain values about what they want in certain areas of their life which differ to other areas of their life. A common example in cash flow clients maybe their approach to household expenditure as opposed to work/business expenses.
In internal communications (with themselves) and external communications (with their cash flow coach) if there is a difference in values, there is going to be conflict. Cash flow coaches will need to address these conflicts as they arise.
A client’s beliefs are the assumptions about the environment and the world in general that influence how they can move forward, or not. In essence, they tell someone they can do something or they can’t. In working with clients, a cash flow coach seeks to discover what beliefs the client has that makes them do the things they do and what limiting beliefs they have that prevent them for doing what they would like to do.
Decisions that clients have made in the past are also a factor in their meta-program. They can affect their judgement and perceptions when it comes to new concepts and ideas and may even become part of their belief systems. And past decisions, especially those made sub-consciously or a long time ago, have a residual effect. Whilst the reason for the decision is forgotten the outcome remains and can influence new decisions.
These are a client’s past individual and collective experiences that influence their current perceptions. Past memories significantly influence a client’s present behaviours. In fact, psychologists say that the present has very little to do with behaviour. They believe that as we get older, our reactions in the present are more and more just reactions to past memories
Every cash flow client will internally filter the information and concepts they are being presented with, by you, as their cash flow coach. This process will create their individual state and physiology and dictate their behaviours. Understanding this helps you to communicate and assist them with their cash flow coaching journey.
elevateB provides the training program as well as support and ongoing development for certified cash flow coaches. Individuals who choose to work with a certified cash flow coach are better placed to achieve financial independence and security. If you would like to make a difference and help everyday Australians be more financially prudent and savvy, consider becoming a cash flow coach today. Click here.