These life coaching tips are derived from my 20+ years coaching.
They are not tips that you will always learn in most schools or certification programs. They will really help you get the best results for your clients and grow your practice.
The tips were originally published in the Coaching Helping Coaches Face Book Forum in my regular Tuesday Tips.. Tips broadly fit into 3 categories with more being added each week.
Do you know how to refuse a request? Of course you do. NO is a simple word. But do you have trouble saying NO to the numerous requests that come your way and take your time away from those things and goals you really want to focus on?
Time to learn how to say NO and still keep relationships intact. It can be challenging at first but with intention and practice it will pay off towards being more in control of what you agree to and how you spend your time.
Here are a couple of tips on how to refuse a request elegantly and you’ll find lots more at https://www.lifecoachingprofessionally.com/how-to-say-no.html
Are you comfortable about coaching online? The current restrictions of the Corona Virus (Covid-19) pandemic has meant that those of you who have only ever done face to face coaching are now looking to master the skills of remote life coaching.
If you have only ever coached when you are physically together with your clients your biggest challenge is maybe going to be changing your paradigm about how you can coach successfully by telephone, Skype or Zoom. And conversely convincing prospective clients of the same thing.
To help you manage the transition, or help your clients manage the transition I've created a page about Becoming An Online Life Coach which will help you appreciate and talk about the benefits of coaching online (I've done it for years). I’ve also included tips on coaching by phone, mastering the technologies of Zoom and Skype and looking and sounding your best online.
How do YOU coach your clients to make a decision when they are flip-flopping from one possibility to another?
This is what I’ve found worked for myself and my clients when there is a dilemma about what to do.
1. On a large sheet of paper, write the choice that has to be made at the top. It might be something like: “Should I Take Office Space For My Coaching?”
2. Now draw vertical columns down the page. One to be headed with each of the possibilities plus an extra one. Then a horizontal line through the middle of the page, dividing the columns in two halves.
3. Name the top of the extra left column “Advantages” and at the halfway line on the page “Disadvantages”.
4. Give each of the columns a sub-heading related to the choices, i.e. “take space in an office hub” or “set up a proper home office”. Even include “Do Nothing for now” as one of your options.
5. Then go through each possibility and fill in what you see the advantages and disadvantages of making that choice. You may even find more possibilities emerge as you do this process.
This really helps get a clearer picture of the possible consequence of each choice and makes it easier to decide on the path forward.
I’ve learned that one of the most important coaching skills to master is to know when to literally shut up. Ask the powerful question and then just stop talking, keep quiet and let the silence create the space for the client to come up with an answer or a realisation.
And, if after a lengthy silence, nothing is forthcoming the question “What’s happening?” will often result in a thoughtful and useful answer.
I’ve also found saying “anything else?”, or "what else" when the client has answered but you sense there is more (or even if you don’t sense there is more) can bring forth a bunch of stuff that the client wants to say or has issues with but was hesitant about sharing.
We all have a favourite coaching tool and the Session Preparation Form is one of mine. It was one of the tools given to me in my coach training. What it does is help the client review what has happened for them since the last session and help the coach see what may need to be addressed. It’s a huge time saver too!.
I’d ask the client to email it to me preferably the day before their session so I would have time to review.
Here are the questions I used. You can adapt them for your coaching.
1. What have I accomplished since our last session. My wins big and little.
2. What I intended to do but didn't
3. What have I learned about myself and others
4. What challenges and problems do I need to address
5. I want to use this coaching session to.....
I'd send a template to the client in Word and get them to save it and fill in and return by email before each session.
I’ve found a great way to help client through a difficult or challenging time is to reframe the experience as an adventure. Adventures unlike challenges can be fun, even though they may involve fear, ups and downs and lots of learning as well as some great wins.
The first time I did this was with a client who wanted to change how she behaved around her family and to be more assertive. Once she saw it as an adventure in her growth, as well as a challenge her whole attitude changed and it became much easier for her to assert herself.
So if you are coaching any clients around the challenges of the Corona Virus, or some other challenge, and even for yourself, try and see it as an adventure rather than a difficulty to be overcome.
Sometimes when life coaching client comes to saying they want to change their whole career things may not be what they seem.
With coaching it can turn out that they actually love their skill set and what they are good at but it’s something about working environment that is not aligned with their needs and values that is causing them grief.
A way to check this out and help them get clear on what it is they actually need to change is this simple process:
Have the client identify, preferably writing it down, what they like about their current job/career – what works for them and what doesn’t. Get them to think about everything from the actual tasks, to location, office set up, pay, the people they work with, prospects, etc. etc.
It may turn out that they love what they actually do, or something similar, but something else is making them unhappy in their current position and that is what really needs to be addressed before they make a complete change.
And if it does turn out they need to change careers, they will have a much clearer idea of their best direction. You can see an actual case study on how this happened for a client of mine in the second example in these actual career coaching case studies
What do you think is the most important step when setting team or company goals.
For me it’s about more than company values, the mission, the outcome and the time frame, rah rah, etc. It’s about really enrolling the employees in the company goal so they can own it for themselves
I’ve found that the way to do this is to make sure that each person involved has a personal benefit or goal that they will achieve if the team or company goal is reached.
So when working with such a group the coaching should include helping each person in the group identify a “what’s in it for me?” reason.
Because if a person cannot see the benefit in achieving a goal, whether it is their own or that of their employer, they won’t wholeheartedly own it and be seriously motivated towards achievement. And, as we all know, just one person who is not enrolled in a goal can sabotage the whole show. Check out some more of my tips on goal planning and achievement.
It’s a constant question on life coaching forums. How do I get clients?
So for those coaches (and there are many) who have a challenge successfully marketing themselves, one solution is to take advantage of someone else's marketing expertise.
This can be done by getting on the books of a company that provides coaching services to businesses and organisations who choose to outsource their coaching needs rather than use internal coaches.
And, on a smaller scale, some entrepreneurial individual coaches leverage their coaching by creating a website that promotes other coaches under their brand - either for free or a fee or commission.
So how do you go about getting listed with them? Read this page which explains how the system works and tips on making sure you get a good deal. https://www.lifecoachingprofessionally.com/coaching-providers.html
I've always found one of the best ways to attract committed clients is to get over any fear of public speaking and deliver a lively informational and motivational presentation around your coaching specialty.
Given that live presentations may not be possible for the time being because of CV19, I’ve added a section about presenting using an online platform in How To Become a Motivational Speaker.
This article has all the low down to support you to feel confident about presenting whether you have a face to face or online audience and even overcoming any fears about public speaking. Check it out and let me know what you think.
Yes, guest blogging can be a great way to raise your profile but you need to be selective as to when you say yes. Unfortunately, however flattering it is to be asked to contribute, sometime it will just be a waste of your time and energy.
Here are three things to check before you say yes, so your contribution works in your favour.
Is it somewhere you would like to see your name as a professional coach? Is the design and focus likely to bring you visitors to your site? Are the existing posts constructive?
For your guest blog to be seen and have any benefit for you, there need to be at least a few hundred followers. Unless you are really keen to be on a new blog because of its quality and relevance, contributing could be a waste of effort and time.
Make your contribution original. If it is an article you have already used, rewrite it and give it a new title, so it is not an absolute copy. Material that is substantially the same as something you have already published will not do well with the search engines
You’ll find lots more on guest blogging and commenting and also some great tips on the checks you should make before allowing someone to guest blog for YOU here:
This tip, I’m ashamed to say, comes for my own discovery that on one of the pages on this site four of the links weren’t working at all or going to the wrong place. Not a good look!
I don't know about you, but If I go to a site where a link is not working I might, if I’m feeling charitable, let the owner of the site know. But often can’t be bothered and just leave the site and move on. So even if I was interested in what the site offered, I’m lost as a customer/client.
So I do thoroughly recommend to all your website and blog owners out there, please check your links regularly to make sure they are working and linking to where you want them to. Then you don’t run the risk of annoying and possibly losing prospective clients who visit you online.
It’s easy to do, just bookmark Broken Link Check (https://www.brokenlinkcheck.com) enter your website address and it will come up with a complete list of any links on your site that are broken.
Here are some more vital tips to make sure your life coaching website "works" for you.
Do you have a book inside you about your coaching niche just waiting to burst out. A book can be a fabulous way to be recognised as an expert.
And In these days of social isolation, (at time of writing) it could be just the time to have the time to start turning that dream of being an author into a real goal.
But where to start? Writing a book can be a bit overwhelming but as with all goals, it’s getting clarity and then small steps.
So here are just three steps to help you make a star and you'll find lots more information and tips on writing and publishing your book here.
This is one of the most essential steps to turn your dream of becoming an author so set a powerful goal that inspires you and has a provisional completion date
Ask yourself who specifically will my book help. Is there some new information or a different perspective on your coaching you want to put out there?
If there is no real point of difference in your book compared with what is already available in a crowded marketplace, (check out Amazon and your local book store) You may need to come up with a unique angle or title.
If you don’t know where to start, write down the subjects that you are going to cover and use these as working chapter headings. Underneath each heading, bullet point what you need to cover and then enlarge on each point.