It goes without saying that the best coaches in the world are those that have the ability to transform lives. In any given profession, field or walk of life, a coach is able to elevate an individual. The efforts of a good coach often go unnoticed, but every good coach is armed with the right coaching tools.
But for those who are guided by these seemingly invisible heroes, the effort can be more than just important- it can be invaluable.
Before we go there, however, it’s important to stop and answer a few questions. As I’ve mentioned in my previous posts, starting on the same page is very important.
What is good coaching?
Today, I wanted to talk to you about what goes into the making of a good coach. The questions you may have are:
Am I the right person to tell someone how to live their lives? Will I be able to help a client better their lives? Will my advice my of value to a client?
The answer to all of the questions above is all connected. It is important to note that coaching isn’t counselling or therapy. It isn’t mentorship or relationship training either.
Rather, good coaching is an aid to help an individual transition from where they are to where they want to be.
A good coach is a coach who can do ALL of the above and more. Working closely with their clients, they are able to analyze a personalized and designated path to do so.
The key thing to note is that IT IS possible carve out your own space as a coach.
With a little patience and effort, you can help alleviate those fears and be well on your way to becoming a top coach.
With the right tools and platform, even a coach who finds himself new to the field can elevate their practice, delivering relevant advice, strategies, and value to help clients better their lives.
What are some coaching tools I can use as a Coach?
If you’re wondering what some of these coaching tools are then you’ve come to the right place. Here are some of the top coaching tools that you can use.
1) Wheel of Life
Across the spectrum of coaching, the ‘Wheel of Life’ is considered an invaluable and highly personalized tool. The premise of the exercise is simple.
It’s designed to help clients find out which areas of their lives they are happy with and which areas they want to focus on in an attempt to improve their quality of life.
Step 1: Ask your client to take a look at the eight categories:
- Friends & Family
- Significant other
- Personal Growth
- Fun & Leisure
- Home Environment
Then ask them to briefly think about what, in their opinion, would be representative of a wholesome life in each category.
Step 2: Draw a line in each segment. The centre of the wheel represents the lowest value of satisfaction, 0 and the edge of the wheel represents the highest value of satisfaction, 10. Ask your client to mark the point which they feel is apt for each segment, and join the dots of each segment to each other.
As a result of this exercise, your client will have a visual map – which will look almost like a spider web. This visual map will give your client a general idea of their desired state of being in relation to their current state.
Get the Definitive Guide to Using the Wheel of Life for Coaching
This in-depth guide will take you step-by-step through using it as a powerful tool for coaching
The wheel of life template can be found on the internet, and you can even customize the visual look of each one to suit your client.
2) The Perfect Day
As children, we are often in our most uninhibited state of being. As one grows older, however, they find themselves moving further and further away from their dreams and answering the question “What do I want to be when I get older?”
This exercise helps you take your client back to that uninhibited state and answer that question.
The intent of the tool is to help your client visualize his/her perfect day of work from beginning to end. Use this exercise to help your client dig deep, visualize and describe the makings of their perfect working day.
By doing so you will help your client put a finger on the things they want to work towards, as well as rediscover the things that they had forgotten about.
Once you’ve mapped out this day, you can help your client take apart the nuts and bolts of their‘ perfect day’. In doing so you can then help your client figure out how a plan to get there.
3) Reflection JOURNAL
Every bit of change, big or small, begins with introspection. Journaling is a fantastic way of doing so. It is a novel way to get your clients into the practice of doing so is by getting them a journal! When you take the effort for your clients, they will take the effort and bed into the task you’ve assigned them.
To begin with, run your client through the JOURNAL acronym.
- (J) Judgement-free: Ask your client to free write. This involves putting down whatever they feel like. This journal is personal, private, and a safe space to express their thoughts and feelings.
- (O) Observation: Ask your clients to write down things that happen to them and spend some time thinking about how they interpret them. Ask them to detach from their emotional understanding and to view these events as a third person.
- (U) Understanding: Ask your client to take note of how he/she perceives the events that happen to him/her. When they understand how they view something, they may be able to understand why they view it that way.
- (R) Revelation: The process of journaling and documenting can often reveal desires, aspirations and underlying thoughts, which can then tie into your client’s general state of being. This is valuable insight for both your client and you as a coach.
- (N) Needs Assessment: Making a practice out of journaling can help your client draw attention to the problems and potential solutions in their lives. Writing has often been attributed to making things appear simpler and clearer.
- (A) Awareness: Documenting experiences and thoughts regarding them can help your client develop a greater understanding and awareness of the environment around them.
- (L) Life: Journaling is known to have many therapeutic effects. For starters, it is known to be a great mechanism to help your clients reduces their stress levels. By helping your clients take up a journaling practice, you’re also helping with their overall well being.
By doing so you’re holding them accountable to documentation, and through the documentation, you’re enabling your client to monitor his/her progress. Journaling also allows your client to get into the habit of taking notes and analyzing situations.
Make it a point to review these notes with your client, asking him/her whether journaling has brought about greater thought, awareness and mindfulness, and if so how the progress has been.
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4) Big Rocks
‘Big Rocks’ is a fantastic exercise to help your client prioritize the different aspects of his/her life. And contrary to its name it’s simple and straightforward.
The ‘Big Rocks’ tool comes from a powerful metaphor, one that you may even know already. The story is about a professor who was delivering a lecture to his class. On his table rested an empty jug, some large rocks, pebbles and a jar of sand. Upon filling the jug with the large rocks he turned to the class and asked if the jug was full.
When the class answered “Yes”, he dropped the pebbles into the juggle, which settled into space amongst the larger rocks. He once again inquired whether the jug was full, and when the students again responded with a yes, he filled the small spaces between the rocks and pebbles with sand.
This story serves as a metaphor for life. The rocks are the biggest and most important parts of life which are often forgotten due to the mundane daily tasks that take up our time- the pebbles and the sand.
In this exercise, there are five steps.
- Step 1: Ask your client to identify the things he/she spends the most time on.
- Step 2: Ask your client to identify the one thing that takes up the most of his or her time.
- Step 3: Ask your client what changes need to be made in order to improve their quality of life.
- Step 4: Ask your client to identify their top 3 priorities in life.
- Step 5: Ask your client to identify the most important thing in their life at the current moment.
After doing so, ask your client to label the big rocks, pebbles and sand. By doing so the client is able to identify his most important priorities, less important priorities and least important priorities.
This can help you and your client address the most important things that should be taken care of before the pebbles and sand.
4) Spheres of Influence
This tool can help a client discern the areas in his/her life that he/she has control over and the areas that he can she can actively work to better. To begin, you can ask your client to draw three concentric circles representing 1) control 2) influence 3) everything else.
Following this, your client focuses on a current issue and fills out the circles to the best of their ability.
This coaching tool helps a client identify where to invest time and energy and where NOT TO.
Personally, I love the effect that this exercise can have. It is great to alleviate concern and worry over situations which are not in one’s control. It can also help your client in acceptance and work with the circumstances that are currently present to him/her.
5) The Personal ‘SWOT’ Coaching Tool
You may be aware of SWOT, the acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
In the corporate and business world, the SWOT analysis has become a standard operating practice. However, as a coach, you can adopt the same principles to a client’s personal life.
It’s remarkably straightforward. Ask your client to create four columns, and in each list down what he or she sees as Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
This tool is a great introspective exercise that helps your client understand a little bit more about their talents, skills, and so-called weaknesses.
It can help your client recognize areas in life to work toward and areas that may need consolidating.
The Personal SWOT can have many benefits, including a boost in confidence, and an ability to step back and assess one’s self realistically.
6) The 3 C’s Method
As a coach, it is important to keep learning. Make sure you don’t isolate yourself from what is happening in the field.
Often it can help to keep the dialogue open with other coaches, and to reach out to other coaches with a similar or different background to dig into their stories, and how they are helping their clients. You could even reach out to these people to facilitate discussions and seminars.
Don’t look at it as competition but rather an opportunity to collaborate.
The 3 C’s can be extremely useful in a world today that thrives on the collective spirit. Together you can: Communicate. Collaborate. Create.
7) Communication Tools
As a coach, make sure you’re making use of technology to help your clients. Skype Google Duos and Facebook Messenger Voicemail are perfect for quick chats before those lengthy emails. It also lets your interaction with your clients be a lot more concise and personal.
And there you have it! These are the seven tools that can help you kick your coaching career into top gear.
Remember to add your own flavours into these coaching tools to make it
personal to your clients. If you keep the principles intact it will definitely help you deliver the kind of impact only a great coach can have.
A coach may work in the shadows, but the impact they can have will certainly not go unnoticed.
With these coaching tools, you are now equipped to maximize your impact as a coach.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What tools are used in coaching?
Coaching is a highly effective approach to achieving personal and professional success. Among the key tools used in coaching are goal setting, problem-solving, and feedback. Because coaching focuses on the future, it is the process of setting goals and establishing a plan to achieve them. Goals differ from wishes in that they are specific, measurable, and time-sensitive.
What techniques do coaches use?
The coaches use two main techniques. They are visualization and mental rehearsal. Visualization is imagining how your life can be when you achieve your goals. Mentally rehearsing means performing the actions you will perform when you are at your goal.