If you’re anything like me, you became a coach to change lives.
And you know the more you develop your ability to powerfully coach, the more empowering your sessions will be for your clients.
In this blog, you’ll discover the 5 skillsets high-performing coaches continue to invest in and develop.
What is a coach?
A coach is someone who helps people achieve their personal or professional goals by creating a safe space for clients to craft their visions, identify road-blocks, and make positive changes to improve their lives.
Coaches typically offer a package of sessions and use a variety of skillsets to support their clients during those sessions. Here are the top 5…
- Active Listening (Verbal & Non-Verbal)
- Rephrasing, Reiterating, and Clarifying
- Affirming Progress
- Asking Simple, Yet Powerful Questions
- Explorative Exercises
Let’s break these down…
Skillset #1: Active Listening (Verbal & Non-Verbal)
With live in an attention-deficit economy. No one is paying attention to anyone. Whether it’s rapidly scrolling through instagram or checking for notifications every 15 seconds, our attention is being pulled in more ways than ever in human history.
That is why investing your complete attention into one person for an entire session is a service in and of itself.
During your next session, take a moment to ask yourself…
- What tone are they using?
- What does their body language say about how they feel?
- Is their body open to closed?
- Do you notice tension or fiddling?
- Does what they’re saying sound congruent to what they believe?
By slowing yourself down, you’ll slow your client down enough for them to gain insight.
Imagine the positive impact your attention would have on a fast-paced, high-performance leader who finds themselves dragged from one thing to another every 5 minutes.
Skillset #2: Rephrasing, Reiterating, and Clarifying
We say a lot of words without really hearing ourselves. That’s where Rephrasing, Reiterating, and Clarifying comes in.
- Rephrasing is when you state back to the client what they said but using different words. For example, if a client shares “I’m so frustrated that I haven’t gotten this promotion yet” you can rephrase it by saying “So what I’m hearing is that you’re not feeling seen or recognized at work… is that right?” This will help your client clarify what they’re really feeling and feel like you understand them.
- Reiterating is when you state back to the client exactly what they said, word for word. For example, if a client shares “I’m so mad at my business partner because they never listen to me” you would reiterate it by saying “So it sounds like your business partner never listens to you…” Even though you’re saying exactly what they’re saying, hearing it back from a different voice can provide additional insight into what they’re experiencing.
- Clarifying is when you feel either you or your client would benefit from question in the form of a distinction. For example, if a client shares “They never listen to me” you can ask “Do you feel like they don’t listen to you because they don’t care about you or because they don’t know how to listen in a way that makes you feel heard?”
Skillset #3: Affirming Progress
Affirmations is when you encourage your client and congratulate them on their progress.
Most people never hear “I’m proud of you” or “You’re on the right track” and yet these simple phrases can allow your clients to feel positive about the work they are doing towards achieving their goals.
A special note: Ask your clients to describe their love language to you.
(There are 5 ways people typically receive love: Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, and Acts of Services.)
Once you know their love language, try and find a way to offer encouragement using this information. For example, if your client hits a milestone and their love language is physical touch, gift them a 60 minute massage as a congratulations.
Skillset #4: Asking Simple, Yet Powerful Questions
Questions are the gateway into new possibilities. They allow people to explore new options and ways of thinking they haven’t considered before. Long questions can be confusing and can lose your client, so we recommend short, concise, and simple questions. For example:
- What caused you to say yes?
- What led you to that decision?
- Is that what you want?
- How do you feel right now?
- What do you mean by that?
- What needs to change in order for you to take action?
Remember to keep your questions as open-ended as possible. You want your client to answer your questions with more than a “yes” or “no.” One way to do this is by simply stating “Tell me more” or “What else?” after their answer.
A gentle reminder: Your job is not to judge or provide an answer. As a coach, your job is to help your client find their own answers and experience confidence with their answers. Remaining non-judgmental will foster a safe environment for your client to find the answer that works for them.
Skillset #5: Explorative Exercises
Explorative Exercises are fun ways to create clarity for your clients. Here are three exercises you can try:
- The “What Do You Want?” Game – Ask your clients to take out a piece of paper and write down their answers to the following questions: “What do you want when it comes to your finances?” “… in your marriage?” “…As a parent?” “…when it comes to adventure?” “…With your health?”
- Build Your Superhero – Ask your client to draw themselves as a superhero on a piece of paper. Then ask them “What super powers did you give yourself?” and “What problems would you most likely be solving as a superhero?” and “What would your superhero name be?” Then dig deeper. “Why do you think those were the super powers you gave yourself? Do you find a variation of that showing up in your life? Who would see you as their superhero in your real life?”
- The Urgent/Important Matrix – Ask your clients to write their answers to the following 4 questions:
- “What are you currently doing that’s both urgent and important?”
- “What are you currently doing that’s neither urgent or important?”
- “What are you currently doing that’s urgent but not really important?”
- “What are you currently doing that’s not that urgent but is really important?”