Do you find yourself doing most of the talking in your conversations with others? Whether it’s with clients or friends, usually there is one person who is the “talker” and the other who is the listener. Neither role is necessarily good or bad, but knowing which one you tend to be can make you more aware of the other and improve your communication skills.
If you work with clients or hope to someday, you might find that you do most of the talking. After all, you’re supposed to be the expert, right? Shouldn’t you be dishing out the advice and leading your sessions so your client can reach his/her goal as quickly as possible?
Believe it or not, the less talking you do, the better coach you will become.
Most coaches and practitioners want to share their knowledge with their clients, and when session time is limited, you may feel there’s a lot to say in order to help your client.
But one of the biggest mistakes coaches make is that they talk too much and don’t listen enough. This can happen if you feel nervous about lulls in conversation or are apprehensive that your client may ask you something you don’t know the answer to. Or it can just be because you don’t realize it.
The problem is this: if you do most of the talking, likely you’re leading your client to answers that may or may not be the right fit for them. This can lead to results that might only work for them for a while. Have you ever noticed how people have a hard time sustaining the changes they try to make? One reason is that they did not arrive at the solution themselves.
Empower your clients to become an empowered coach
You can change this. You can help your clients to not only get better results but to maintain them for the long term. As you empower your clients, you will become a more empowered coach.
At the IAWP, we teach our Wellness Coach Students-in-training exactly how to handle their coaching sessions to help their clients create lasting transformation. Our students learn our proprietary coaching method, The Core Coaching Method (CCM), including specific steps to lead their client from challenge to breakthrough.
Today I’m going to give you a glimpse into just a few of the concepts within CCM, so you can get on the path to being a better coach for your clients.
Three steps to becoming a more empowered coach
1. Let go of being the expert – Try releasing the idea of being the expert. Don’t assume you have to know everything and share it all at once. Instead allow yourself to be a guide for your clients, friends or family members. As a guide, you stop telling people what they should be doing and instead hold the space for your clients as you guide them to the solutions that will work best for them.
2. Ask powerful questions – Asking questions is one of the most powerful techniques in coaching because it allows the client to discover for him/herself the answer. Asking the right questions will help you to talk less and listen more. But what are powerful questions? Here are just a few you can try out:
* What are you willing to try?
* What will it look like to take this action?
* What can support you in this process?
These types of questions help your client begin to take big action and reach their goals. It also allows them to become empowered about their choices.
3. Reframe Challenges – When your client is experiencing a challenge, help them to get out the “muck” of the challenge and take a step back. Reframing the challenge is a powerful technique that allows your client to look at their situation from a new perspective. When we’re “outside” of our problem, it’s easier to look at solutions. The client moves from feeling stuck to knowing they have choices, and the “impossible” becomes “possible”.
As you work to become a better coach for your clients, remember there’s a learning curve and it takes time to build your skills. Get support on your own journey and keep growing as a coach so you can continue to help more people with your passion!