Your Clients Model of the World
When you think about your most disengaged and disconnected clients, how do you feel?
Do you feel at a loss as to how to support them and motivate them? Can you see their potential, but feel frustrated because they can’t see it for themselves? I hear these things regularly from employment consultants and case managers. But if you can’t put into context your clients’ behaviours and decisions, you’ll struggle to engage them effectively.
Every person you interact with, from your work to your friends and family, will experience the world differently. We give these experiences meaning, based on our conditioning or our past, and then create a model of this in our mind. This model is then what we use as a reference for the choices we make, and the way we behave – we call this the MODEL OF THE WORLD.
Understanding your clients Model of the World is a powerful technique that gives you a deep level of understanding and appreciation for why your clients say things, do things and feel things, the way they do.
Over the years, I’ve seen the best job coaches successfully engage with, and build trust and rapport with their clients, by entering their Model of the World. By understanding how the model works, you can dramatically change the way you work with, and support your clients.
So, where do we start to find out about our clients’ world and what’s important to them?
A person’s worldview is made up of 3 key components, their values, their beliefs and their past experiences. To build a deeper connection with them, we must unpack what each of these components looks like for each person.
When you think about the people you get along easily with, you will notice that you may share similar values, beliefs and past experiences. Your role as a job coach is to find out what has shaped the person in front of you, and really get to know them, so you can better appreciate and support them.
Your client’s model of the world looks like this:
VALUES – What’s important here?
Great job coaches are skilled at asking great questions. Asking questions and finding common ground around what your client values, is a great first step to forming a deeper connection with your client.
Questions like these can reveal some of the key values you may need to consider, to help find a placement for your client:
- What’s important to you in a job?
- What do you value most in life?
- What values would be met if you are working?
- Are there any values that are not being met now?
When you match your clients’ values to an appropriate job, you are more likely to achieve a long-term employment outcome. You can access your clients’ values assessment data inside Bounce Online, and use this information to help them find employment opportunities that will meet these values.
BELIEFS – What’s holding you back?
During your client appointment, try to gauge whether a client’s beliefs are resourceful or unresourceful.
Really listen to what they say, and when you hear a resourceful belief, encourage it and nurture it! If you hear an unresourceful belief – the common ones we hear are “There’s no jobs!” or “I can’t find work, I’m too old!” these thoughts can limit a persons’ ability to see things differently. Let’s call these blocks, because it’s thinking that stops an individual from moving forward, but it also means they can move them.
In our Bounce Job Coach Certification, you learn how to walk a client through reframing these blocks, so they have more positive and resourceful thoughts about finding employment. Often these unresourceful beliefs come from past experiences, or things they have been told by family, friends or other people they respect. We always recommend being patient and curious when discovering what has led them to hold these unresourceful beliefs.
PAST EXPERIENCES – The Past Doesn’t Dictate the Future
You might find that you may uncover some past experiences that either back up your clients’ beliefs, or shaped their values, when you get curious about a client’s values and beliefs. These past experiences are powerful, and when you uncover them, you learn so much more about your clients. It is important to show empathy and compassion towards past experiences, and hold back on your judgement.
I once heard from a site manager explain, what it meant to work in employment services. “We have the privilege to work with people who often are at their most vulnerable. We get the opportunity to walk beside them and offer support, but we first must know them to understand where support is most needed.” As a job coach, you may find it hard to ask questions and get curious about a client’s story; however, it may also allow you to share any similar experiences you, or others may have, to help them see a way through.
It is important to understand that, what someone believes, values and experiences should not be dismissed or overlooked. Values, beliefs and past experiences should always be treated with dignity and respect. The key is to listen without judgement, and have humility and compassion when getting to know your clients. You may find you have more in common with them than you could ever imagine, which will be rewarding in itself.
Understanding your clients Model of the World is a powerful technique that gives you a deep level of understanding and appreciation for why your clients say things, do things and feel things the way they do.