Expert Series: Coaching Legacy: When, Why & How. Part 1
When we hear the word ‘Legacy’, the general public often thinks of endowments made by great philanthropists that outlive their lifespan by decades, or even centuries. While this is an accurate interpretation of what a legacy can be it often is so grand that the notion of it feels out of reach for the average person. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. A well-crafted and meaningful legacy can often be created through coaching!
For a short, while I worked for Forest Lawn Mortuaries, one of the most famous cemetery companies in California, where many a celebrity has a final resting place. I, rather awkwardly, sold cemetery property. During my training, I learned some very interesting statistics Forest Lawn had drawn from their own internal sales metrics, and I have to say that I find those stats hold true in the coaching work I do with regards to legacy.
They determined that there were a couple of demographically opportune times to discuss funeral arrangements with people, and those have largely translated into similar windows of time to discuss legacy with the average client. People are most open to thinking about things that out-live them between the ages of 40 and 50, and not again until the age of 80. Now, we all know that some people are blessed with a clear legacy vision in their teens, but they are the anomaly and that is often why we hear about them, they are rare. For the rest of us, thinking about beyond our life can feel far away before 40, and a little scary between 50 and 80, where it often then becomes a topic with some urgency to resolve.
Why is this important to know? Because many of us are currently coaching with clients between the ages of 40 and 50 years old. That means you are likely to enjoy the pleasure of a client who is ready, willing and able to entertain a deep conversation about their legacy.
Other openings for legacy conversation appear when your client is graduating college, marrying, starting a family, dealing with the loss of parents or loved ones, facing challenging diagnoses, or similar transitional moments. These are situationally based catalysts that often turn your client’s head toward, “What do I stand for?”, or “What will I leave when I leave?” thinking.
One of my all-time favorite responses to asking a young mother what she wanted to include in her legacy was, “I want to leave behind highly-literate children, that would mean everything to me.” Legacy doesn’t have to be expensive to be absolutely beautiful!
Consider your clients, their ages, their life experiences of late, and see if anything stands out that fits what I’ve shared here today. If it does, you might be sitting on a coaching topic that will have uplifting and powerful changes for both your client and your coaching conversations!
I have found such reward and joy in coaching legacy that I include a few questions about it in my onboarding process and keep specific ‘legacy’ notes for each of my clients.
How do you determine if it’s right to bring the topic of legacy to your clients?
Stay tuned for the rest of this series in which we’ll explore the under-rated ‘why’ coach legacy, and some of the best ‘how’ to coach legacy tips I’ve amassed over the years. See you next time!
About the Author:
Terri Hase, PCC, MMC, is a 16+ year veteran in the coaching industry. She is Managing Director at Impact Coaching Academy where she teaches a variety of beginning and advanced coach training programs. Her private practice includes Mentoring and Business Development Coaching.
Terri’s direct, casual, and humorous approach has earned her top status among instructors in the coaching field.
The Expert Series is brought to you by choice Magazine as part of our ongoing efforts to bring opportunities for learning and growth to the coaching community. Delivered in four parts every two weeks, each series covers useful topics for business development and coaching insights, serving the needs of leaders in all areas and walks of life. Archived copies of the previous series can be found here.