There are a plethora of coaches out there but all of them aren’t able to assert their individuality and build a 6-figure coaching business.
Do you know why?
The reason is that not all people that are trying hard are trying effectively. They aren’t aware of the top effective coaching techniques that can help them succeed.
Effective coaching is not only just asking the right coaching questions, but it is also more than that. It is guiding the coachee through the process to bring the much-needed TRANSFORMATION.
Effective coaches assist their coachees to maximize their full potential, overcome hurdles and achieve the glee of success. These techniques will help you to dive deep into the mind of your coachee and address the problem well.
Even if you prepare a wonderful session, there is no guarantee that it will resonate well with the client.
This is why I prefer having a 5-minute pre-session check-in. It has enormous benefits.
First of all, you will come to know what problem your coachee is facing. This will help you to develop a deeper insight and propose a solution tailored to the client’s needs.
Secondly, it helps the coachee to come mentally prepared for the upcoming session and makes your session prep super-active. This way both you and your client can analyze the performance and success from the previous session.
One thing which you should prioritize is the right set of Coaching Questions. Think from the client’s perspective. Note down the bullet points during the session. Utilize them to prepare the right set of personalized questionnaire for the next session.
This is how the clients will find value in your sessions. They will understand that you are quick at digging into the depth of their problems and trying your best to solve it. Once you have built that bond with your clients, you are good to go!
SMART- One of the most effective coaching techniques
SMART stands for:
Vague goals will take you nowhere. Your goals need to have a clear structure. They have to be detailed and verifiable.
Have a look at the below two cases.
Case 1: I want to grow my business fast and make more money.
Case 2: I will have 5 new clients by the end of this month. I will achieve the same by references, social media networking and producing educational content.
Now, Case 1 reflects a very broad scenario. You need to be more detailed and action-oriented as reflected by Case 2.
First of all, get clear what goal you want to achieve and then make it SMART. This will oil the gear of your growth engine.
Gold nuggets after each session
They say- “The first impression is the last impression”. Yes! though it is, the “LAST IMPRESSION” is much more powerful according to me.
You need to have an indelible impact on our client’s mind. How will you understand that the session was meaningful for your client? That’s where the role of gold nuggets come into play!
After each session, encourage your clients to share their gold nuggets with you. This can be done by asking a simple question like- “What were your major takeaways from this session?”
This is going to leave your clients with a clear picture of how much value (ROI) they got out of your session. If this can be shared between you and your client, you can recap and leverage the same to excel your pace.
With the combination of a questionnaire in the beginning and gold nuggets, in the end, a successful session is a surefire.
Ask open-ended questions
If you are asking specific generic questions to your clients, you will not be able to reach the core of the problem. This approach doesn’t allow the clients to express their true feelings.
You need to understand the psychology first. This is only possible when you ask open-ended questions.
This can be done in various ways.
Circular questions are aimed at knowing the approach of the clients’ close ones rather than his/her own.
Example: “How would your partner feel when you shout at your kids?”
These type of questions help the client to accommodate a different point of view and bring a change in perspective.
Another in the list to help your clients to speak their heart out. Such questions are future-oriented and give your client a chance to stimulate the creativity of finding solutions and boosting ideas.
Example: “What if you get the prime resources which you are lacking at this moment?”
My favorite! These help the coachee to see how the perfect solution will look like. This type of questions assist in discovering new motivation and encourage positive thinking.
Example- “If you wake up tomorrow and realize that you have accomplished your goal, what would the day look like?”
As the name suggests, these set of questions are contradictory to the present situation of the client. They surprise the clients by aggravating the problem. These in a sense also make the client realize that the situation can be even worse and luckily it’s not at this moment.
Example- “What is required for your boss to fire you?”
Leverage the power of writing
I am personally addicted to penning down my goals on paper. Writing your goals is not only beneficial for you but it helps your client as well. Especially when it is recorded and shared with both of you, it helps the client to analyze the progress and share feelings. Milestone becomes visible and deeper dialogues get initiated.
Writing is one of the most effective coaching techniques that help your client to achieve sustainable results.
Be fully present and focused
This may appear self-evident but it is very crucial for building trust and a strong connection with your client. Relax and take a breathe calmly before every session.
As soon as the session starts, provide your client with undivided attention. Cut all the distractions. No mobile phones! Keep everything aside. This will help your client to understand that you genuinely care and are interested to solve the client’s problem.
Track the progress achieved, challenges faced and success of the client by rigorously following up.
This can be done by a simple questionnaire, on-going feedback as a follow-up between sessions, emails, etc. This can be a very efficient way to monitor the effectiveness of your coaching. This gives your clients a signal that you care for their progress and they are not alone in this hour of need.
Another crucial point is that you can utilize the valuable information accumulated (through feedback/questionnaire) to prepare for your next steps. It also assists in keeping the clients accountable. This way your clients can better analyze how far the “said” is actually “done”.
You can have a track of weekly or monthly progress report for an in-depth and simplified analysis.
Another great method to follow up is though Coaching journal. Quite similar to the on-going feedback discussed above. Your clients can write down their emotions, experiences, observations, challenges, success, thoughts, and feelings.
The best part is that through coaching journal your clients need not wait for the next session and they can share what’s on their mind right at that very moment. This helps a lot in building credibility since without your physical presence also you can take your mentoring to the next level.
Follow the Grow model
GROW model is a very simple and effective model for goal setting and problem-solving in coaching.
Goal symbolizes what the client desires to achieve. The goal should be streamlined with the SMART method described earlier.
This stands for status-quo. Where do your clients stand right now? How far the current situation is from the client’s goals?
O- Obstacles and Options
What are the obstacles that are proving as hurdles in accelerating your client’s path towards accomplishment of the goal? Once you identify them, look for the possible ways you can overcome the hurdles- Options.
W- Way forward
After the options have been identified the time is for action! Devise the action-plan and take some action-oriented steps that will help your clients to reach their dreams fast.
Try the ‘perfect day’ exercise
Many times my clients are too engrossed in their problems that they forget how would success look like.
This is a perfect exercise which I do with them that help them visualize their ‘perfect day’. During this exercise, they are challenged to imagine and describe their perfect day from start to finish.
I encourage my clients to include all the minute details- emotions, feelings, close ones’ reactions- everything. This is one of the most effective coaching techniques. It enables the clients to look beyond the hurdles and direct their pace towards achieving the bliss after success.
Use the power of coaching software
The obsolete traditional coaching techniques are going to take you nowhere. It’s time to experience the glee of modernness.
Today maximum coaches in your niche are leveraging the power of coaching software to maximize their profit. If you haven’t started yet, you need to. Right now!
Coaching software will not only enhance client communication but also help in easy implementation of effective coaching techniques. It will reduce a lot of your burden of session preparation, worksheet, assignments, booking appointments, etc. and leave you with quality time.
Many coaching tools can help you in building a long-lasting and sustainable coaching business.
Build genuine trust
Trust is a very crucial factor in the coaching business. If your clients trust you then they will come back for your services again and again. Not only this but getting referrals will also become an easy task.
Trust can only be built if you appear as a leader to your clients who are hungry for getting the solution of their problems. You are not only a coach but you have to emerge as a leader in your niche. A Successful Leader!
Keep these Four principles in your mind to earn the trust of your coachees.
Demonstrate Emotional Intelligence
As a coach, you need to put yourself in the shoes of your client. Empathy and a deep insight into human psychology are the two most required ingredients that will help you to build a super recipe.
Until and unless can understand the personal barriers of your clients, you won’t be able to devise strategies to help them overcome the same. It takes real skills and emotional intelligence to get to the core of what is holding back your client.
This amazing book can help you to improve your performance by imbibing the right skills and attitude.
Develop learning cycles
Staying engaged in new techniques is the trait of brilliant coaches. You should have that inquisitiveness to learn and discover something new each day.
Even coaches need a coach. You may think that your abilities are enough for solving the issue but in reality, the situation can be much deeper. Learn best coaching techniques from highly skilled people and accommodate new and diverse perspective.
Research coaching resources and the ROI that it would bring to you. Start with reading some of the best coaching books that every coach should read.
Explore the 3Cs Model
Clarity, confidence, and commitment- these are the three C’s in the coaching system.
The real coaches start with identifying the unique talents of their clients and their best use thereof.
Having done that, coaches help their clients to uncover the specific emotions that destroy their confidence. Inevitably, fear is one of them.
FEAR- False Evidence Appearing Real.
You need to ask your client two questions so that he/she can get a chance to overcome the fear.
Ques 1: What worst can happen?
Ques 2: How likely is it to happen?
Commitment comes in the last where you must ask the clients to reflect on how committed they are for bringing in the change. This focuses more on self-engagement. By putting forth questions like- “If you would be truly committed to the task what success would look like?”, you can get a glimpse of the level of commitment of your client.
Thereafter the difference between the current state of the client and the ideal one should be analyzed and evaluated.
Build a tribe around your area of specialty
Most coaches build a following around their name. Why not build a tribe around your theme? Many industry leaders have gained enormous fame through this. For example, if you are into executive coaching, let it popularize through online groups.
The first time a client approaches you, most probably it is because he/she is interested in your initiative rather than your name.
Create a buzz about your coaching business in the market. Leverage the power of social media and networking events. Exhibit yourself as a market leader. Find and display reasons that lead you to possess an edge over your competitors.
Soon you will notice that you are a renowned personality with a solid presence in your area of specialty.
Identify Risks and Opportunities with the Implications Wheel
Joel Barker’s Implications Wheel is the most powerful tool employed by coaches and leaders to develop winning strategies.
It enables the decision-makers to identify, reliably and quickly, the potential future risks and opportunities which are associated with high stakes decisions.
The wheel is typically used for predicting the implications of any event that can have an impact on the future.
The process which is used to create the wheel incorporates 4 different steps.
First, the center of the wheel is created. This lays the description of the issue, trend, goal or change in question.
Next, the client has presented the center description. The client is asked to identify the first-order events that can happen if the center event occurs.
Thereafter the remaining spokes on the wheel are fleshed out – the second, third and fourth-order events. These reflect the events that might happen if the preceding first-order events occur.
At last, the client is asked to rate the likelihood and desirability of each implication that appears. This way you can help your clients to develop winning strategies.
The bias discovery tool
You need to understand the power of unconscious bias and its impact on behavior, decision-making and interpersonal dynamics.
Coaches who use the “bias discovery” tool focus on identifying and working to bridge the gap between clients’ intentions and their actual behavior. They help clients to identify when unconscious biases can be beneficial and where they can go counter-productive.
Change begins with the mind and its acceptance of it. However, if there is an undiscovered bias, it can resist the change to occur.
I work with clients to uncover embedded beliefs that can otherwise hinder the coaching process and their transformation. Bias inhibits self-confidence. Upon discovering their bias, my clients operate in greater consciousness and increased valor.
Partner in the success
Your client is all alone at this moment. You must comfort your client not only with those good bold words but with a personal touch as well. This can be rendered only when you appear as a friend to the client more than a mentor.
Invest in success. While setting a goal, don’t forget to take ownership of part of it. Don’t set it and forget it. Be active in following up and following through.
It’s obvious that your client is lacking a robust support system from family or friends and therefore he/she has come to you. Replace the words “you” with “we”, “your” with “our” to show your client that both of you constitute an effective team that has a lot of potentials and a phenomenally great strategy to accomplish the goal.
Know how to handle the hard stuff
This coaching technique cannot be neglected. All days are not good. Sometimes you will have harsh experiences. Maybe a client is really tough to handle. He/she might be aggressive, impatient, even offensive.
Sometimes a client may force you to cross your boundary and may ask you something ridiculous which you shouldn’t agree to.
What would you do in this case?
Compromise? Because that’s your client? No, not at all.
Make sure that you earn diamonds, not stones. Of course, you need to be extremely patient and deal with tough clients in the right way. But also you need to know when to say “NO”.
Know your core values since they behave as an anchor or returning point. Try to be modest in your tone. Develop a strong tolerance-power. Feel free to stop the engagement once the boundary is crossed.
Coach with passion
Experienced coaches may not be always excellent.
Remember your school days? A teacher who had solid academic expertise may not always be able to engage the class effectively.
Similar is the case with coaches. You need to be passionate while coaching, then only you can leave a powerful impact on your clients.
Your passion will be tested at various points in time. You need to hold on and keep yourself motivated then only you can motivate others.
At times you will have to face uncertainties and unpredictability. Adapting to change is very crucial. If you are not quick at this, learn ways how great coaches overcome resistance to change.