Being a great coach
To be successful as a great coach, you need to quickly give confidence that you can guide the coaching process and create a safe environment where your client is free to share both private and personal information. Talk to them about the importance of honesty and give them the space to be heard and seen. Some clients may need you to give them permission before they are willing to really open up and share how they feel.
We also know some people seek help or support because they do not feel visible or heard within their life, so it’s really important you are able to create a space where they feel safe to talk about how they feel. This is much easier when you are meeting face to face, but is also possible over the phone or when you are using a webcam or Skype to run the session.
Tip: Be fearless as a great coach and consider taking your client deeper and ask questions nobody else has ever asked. But only ask the questions you would be comfortable answering yourself.
Learn to talk less and listen more
When you look at how to be a great coach, it’s good to remember you are offering a service that helps others. Sometimes you may feel the best way to help is to simply share some great advice or just give them the answers. But we know this will make it more about you and not about them.
So use active listening and be fully present so you hear everything they say. Then use your detective skills to ask for clarification if you are unsure about anything they are saying. For example, if they say they want to be happier, ask them to explain what being happier would feel like or mean to them.
The more you listen, the more you are with the other person, so try to think less about what coaching tool to use and focus more on asking questions that will deliver the biggest return. This could be a couple of simple questions like – “Tell me more” or “What do you think”.
Tip: During your coaching sessions, you are trying to help your client build the skills needed to graduate and have lightbulb moments themselves. If they do, the message or lesson will land so much better.
Be your own best client
Some of you told us how you can sometimes feel like an imposter. You have questioned how you can possibly help others if you do not have everything worked out for yourselves. However, walking the walk as a great coach does not mean you already have it all figured out.
You will be able to go much deeper with your clients if you have taken the time to work on yourself. This work will never stop if you have a desire to always grow, train, learn and study. This will make you even more attractive to potential clients, because you can demonstrate even deeper insight.
Tip: Be a client of what you are selling and seek the help of another professional coach. It will enable you to see the coaching process from a different viewpoint and experience the principles and practices you are selling to other people.
A deeper level of coaching
If you remain open to new experiences, your life will be full of lessons that help you evolve and grow. As a coach, your life can become one big lesson where you can no longer simply walk past something and not notice the thing you should learn for use in a future coaching session.
In a recent social media blog, we talked about active content creation. This is where you have a client or potential client in mind when you spot something that could be of interest to them. Take a minute to quickly share it with them and remember to add a short personal message explaining why this made you think of them.
Tip: Link what you share with something you discussed during a recent coaching session or how you think it could help them prepare for a future coaching session. And remember, anybody can hit forward, so always add value and make the message personal and meaningful.
To be a great coach, you need to be able to ask the right questions and gain trust quickly so you can focus on any key information relevant to the issue at hand. Then use the fresh insight your questions unlock to unleash the creativity your clients need to search for the right answers. This will help them capitalize on the resources they already have available and build a positive and creative mindset so they can remove any barriers to their success in life that may slow them down or hold them back.
You can learn how to ask the right questions with our essential Coaching Manual:
- Ebook: The Coaching Manual – With 185 questions, fables, worksheets and tools, this comprehensive coaching manual will help you run successful coaching sessions. We have also included an introduction to Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Transactional Analysis.
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