The coaching industry continues to grow exponentially. Thousands of organizations and industries and millions of ordinary people start to recognize the incredible impact a coach can have on their daily lives. Professional bodies implement standards, codes, and best practices to ensure the best service to clients. Hundreds of coaching programs offering varying levels of certification and accreditation exist online and offline to cater to the burgeoning interest in coaching as a career.
These are just some of the exciting trends that we have noticed in the past year at the Jay Shetty Certification School. Of course, with so many credentials and coaches to choose from, clients are drawn to those who stand out from the run-of-the-mill. This is why we designed our student journey to focus on the aspects of coaching that are important to serve their clients better.
#1 – Question, question, question
The first skill we cannot emphasize enough in our training and practice is questioning. The ability to ask powerful questions is the mainstay of the coaching process. What sets coaches apart from other helping professionals such as counselors and mentors and extraordinary coaches from their average colleagues is brief, open-ended, and non-leading questions.
A well-designed question serves more than one purpose. Beyond the obvious reason for obtaining information, it shows that you are genuinely interested in the client’s story. Curiosity is validating and empowers the person’s choices and experiences. The listener portrays a non-judgmental attitude by exploring broader and deeper with the intent to clarify and understand rather than finding holes or untruths. Remember to keep your questions simple, objective, and to the point.
#2 – Listen with all your senses
When you interact with a client (or anyone else), use ALL your senses to get the most information, read between the lines, awaken your intuition, and notice what is left unsaid. In the Jay Shetty coaching program, we highlight the importance of not only listening to the speaker’s spoken words, but observing their body language, tone and cadence of voice, and expressions. Are the words and stories they are telling you consistent with their emotional leakage? Leakage is a profiling term for non-verbal cues that a speaker unconsciously displays to give away their state of mind or other unintended information.
Inconsistencies or omissions in their answers are evidence of things that they don’t want to tell you yet, blind spots that they may not be aware of, or pain points that they are trying to avoid. Being aware of this additional information allows you to use your intuition and judgment of when and how to probe into these areas.
Another tip, especially when using an online connection like Zoom is to notice how the client is dressed and other ways they gave attention to their appearance. Do their surroundings and background tell you anything additional? Does anything appear to be casual or staged? Clients often put thought into what they show you, so don’t let the significance escape you.
#3 – Be completely present and curious
Giving complete attention to someone you are talking to is a sign of interest and respect. When you invest your valuable time and energy into the connection, the other person feels that they are important to you and that you accept and respect them in the relationship. Your attention encourages them to trust you and share sensitive information with you.
At the Jay Shetty Certification School, we know the critical importance of trust in creating and holding a safe space where clients can open up and become vulnerable. Allowing oneself to be vulnerable is necessary for growth, which we are always aiming for in a coaching relationship.
#4 – Show compassion and humility
You don’t have to agree with a client, approve of what they are doing or the choices that they have made, or become their best friend. However, as their coach, you must wholeheartedly accept their experiences and believe that they aim to do the best with what they have available in every situation.
By putting yourself in their shoes, you acknowledge what they are feeling and the beliefs that they have formed over the years. Awareness and acceptance are the foundations of change. By showing compassion, you help build their strength to believe in themselves and that they can develop the potential that is inside them. Your humility validates their position in the bilateral relationship and creates the confidence they need to be vulnerable in front of you.
#5 – See your client as creative, resourceful, and whole
Another important presupposition coaches hold when they interact with a client, is that the person is creative, resourceful, and whole. In other words, they may have problems or struggle to find and implement solutions, but they possess the potential to find what they need to move forward. The answers already lie inside them. All that they need is your guidance to unlock and organize it. By exploring possible answers with you, they also become more motivated and accountable to act by themselves.
These are five approaches we instill in our coaching program at the Jay Shetty Certification School. If you practice these, you are already well on your way to become an effective coach in the service of your clients.
Are you looking to become a certified life coach yourself? We’re inviting you to our free to join our FREE info session to learn the foundations of coaching from our school leader and to assess if you’re ready to become one.
See you online,
The Jay Shetty Certification School Team