Greet your client and acknowledge them for taking the time to meet you and for investing in themselves.
Make sure your client is a place where they are safe and won’t have any distractions.
Let your client know that anything discussed in the session will remain confidential and their identity would never be exposed. This builds trust and may allow them to be more open and vulnerable.
Complete the entire process in one session
It is also extremely important to complete the entirety of the session in one sitting. Leaving off in the middle of the session can be harmful.
Trick the brain
Before the session, I may also explain to the client that scientific studies have shown that the brain doesn’t know the difference between experiencing the event in the mind or in real life, but it will still allow it to heal on an emotional level.
Head, heart, knowing
I may also teach the client the difference between making decisions from their head where they will try to analyze and judge to make up or see a vision and just allowing it to come naturally through their intuition and trusting what they see. The intuition is held in the area of the abdomen, behind the belly button, and is also known as the solar plexus chakra or gut feeling. I will encourage the client to notice when they are in their head and just shift their awareness back down to the area in the abdomen.
Sometimes before the session, I will have them pull an oracle card for more clarity and guidance. Then I might gently shake a rattle over them as an extra form of clearing, this will also help to remove any form of distraction. When doing this work I have found that people will unknowingly create distractions so they don’t have to face the situation again. Sometimes I will also drum for a few minutes before we begin or after we are complete. Remember, this is just the way I do it. I would encourage you to make up your own way that works for you.
Sessions by video chat
Make sure your client is in a safe place and free of any distractions. If by phone, ask them to put it on speaker and have them lay the phone next to their head. If by video chat, have them prop the phone up so you can see their face.
Sessions in person
Create a safe environment for you and your client whether it’s indoors or out in nature. Have all of the tools you will use ready and easily available (drum, rattles, sage, oracle cards, etc). Take a few minutes to get to know your client and build rapport and trust. Even if you already know them and have had previous sessions, this part of the process is very important. It allows them to empty their mind of all the activities of the day so far. It also allows them to get anything off of their chest before going into the session so they can become present, relaxed, and calm.
One Minute Meditation
Before every session, it is a good practice to do this one-minute meditation. It allows you and your client to release all that has happened that day so far and can help you or your client refocus from what they may still have to do. This allows you to become centered and present in this moment. Sometimes there is something they need to just get off their chest before they can relax enough to begin. Ask them if there is anything they would like to get out first, let that happen, then you will be able to move forward with the session with much greater ease.
Begin the session by centering yourself and asking your client to do the same. Work to focus on breathing and consciously fall into a more present and relaxed state. Release and become aware of the current moment. If needed you may encourage your client to take their time and let you know when they are ready to begin the session.
Smudge to clear the energy.
You can intuitively recognize the moment they begin to feel more relaxed. This is your opportunity to ask a few final questions before you begin the session.
Ask them if they have anything else they want to get off their chest before you begin the session.
Ask them if they have any questions before you begin.
By asking these two questions, you build trust and you are making it clear that you are about to actually begin the session.
ASK POWERFUL QUESTIONS
A Life Coach knows that asking questions is the most effective way to get to the core of a coaching session. Questions are your most useful tool. Some clients may be used to being told what to do and how to do it, while others feel they are expected to already know everything on their own. When it comes to figuring out things for themselves, clients like these may not know how to and this may cause them to remain co-dependent or lost. This is a very common learned behavior. Asking powerful questions will begin to help your client to start thinking for themselves, and will really get their wheels turning. The coach will also know when to ask deeper questions in search of the truth.
Imagine your client just said, “When I think of being out on my own, I feel scared.” This is a great opportunity to ask deeper questions like, “Why do you think that makes you feel scared?”
Imagine your client says, “I get so angry when he tells me what to do all the time.” Here you could say, “Why do you get so angry?”
As a coach, it is important to feel confident enough to keep asking deeper questions. The more you do this, the faster you will get to the root of the problem and onto a solution and action plan.
When forming a question, use a strategy that will help them dig deeper. Always look for a deeper meaning. Keep asking questions until you get to the source, and there are no questions left to ask.
7 Most Powerful Questions
There are 7 basic questions in conducting a successful Life Coaching session…
What do you want?
Why do you want it?
What have you done so far?
What would it look like if you already had it?
What may be stopping you?
What could you do?
When will you do it?
In addition to the seven basic questions below, here are some other great sample questions that start with who, what, why, where, when, and how…
Who do you need to forgive?
Who was there?
What are your thoughts about the situation?
What was going on then?
What do you need to heal?
What’s blocking you?
What are you afraid of?
What could you do differently?
Why do you think they said that?
Why do you think that happened?
Why would you do it that way?
Where do you want to be in five years?
Where do you think that belief came from?
Where do you see this going?
When was the first time you remember feeling that?
When did that begin to show up in your life?
When do you think you will start doing that?
How do you think that happened?
How do you think you could you got to this place in your life?
How can you change that?
Should vs Could
Try to avoid the word “should” and replace it with “could.” Maybe you have heard the term, “don’t should on yourself.” Sometimes your client will say something like, “I should have known better.” This is a form of self-punishment and is not healthy. Instead, remind them that they are always just doing the best they can.
Never be afraid to ask a question that comes from your heart
Trust your intuition. That is probably the question your client needs to be asked at that time.
A Life coach knows how to listen from a whole new perspective. They hold space for their client by listening with undivided attention. Never interrupt the client while they are speaking, but know that there are times when you may need to jump in with an acknowledgment or ask a question. It is often useful to say “What I just heard you say was…” and repeat back to them the key points of what they just said. A coach also listens for what is not being said. Often the client will avoid saying what needs to be said for fear of having to face an emotion or difficult decision.
Accountability is one of the most important aspects of coaching. For coaching to be effective, each client needs to account for their activities, accept responsibility for them, and disclose the results in a transparent manner. Often a client really wants something but they don’t want to take the necessary action to get there. A coach holds the client accountable to their action plan in order for them to get what they want and measure the result of the action. Be prepared for your client to find reasons or excuses not to take the action. This behavior needs to be confronted, exposed, and have awareness brought to it. It is also important to explain the impact it may have on their life or particular situation. After their reasons/excuses for not sticking to the action plan have been addressed, have your client create a new commitment and action plan.
What life coaching is not
Life Coach is not consulting, mentoring, therapy, or counseling. The core belief of life coaching is that the client has all of the answers within themselves.
Life Coaching is profoundly different from consulting, mentoring, therapy, or counseling. The core belief of life coaching is that the client has all of the answers within themselves. Life coaching may briefly cover the past to pinpoint a problem, but the process quickly moves on to finding a solution. The coach and the client work together to create a realistic action plan to reach the intended goal.
Life coaching is not intended to fix people. Life Coaches do not tell a person what to do, judge them, or attempt to rescue someone from their current position. A Life Coach may offer suggestions or share their experience, but only with the client’s permission. Remember that the session is not about the coach or their story. It is natural to want to share one’s story with others, but this is not an effective means of Life Coaching. Instead, focus on the client’s story and what they think they need to do. It’s all about helping clients move forward, knowing they have all the answers within themselves.
Remember, your client may ask you questions that are very easy for you to answer. Try to redirect the question
back to them.
Always try your best to keep it a question even if you have the answer or have a good suggestion. This puts the power back in their hands and encourages them to think for themselves.
Making suggestions creates codependency, coaching promotes independence.
The hardest part about becoming a coach is to reprogram ourselves from telling to asking.
Somehow we (in general) think we have to have all the answers but in coaching, we don’t have to have any answers. This will take practice.
As a new coach or practitioner, you may notice yourself naturally wanting to give advice, tell stories, or make suggestions. When you notice this, just stop and redirect your thoughts and focus back on asking strategic and powerful questions.
Here are some suggestions as to what you can do when you catch yourself doing this:
Pause in mid-sentence and suggest taking a moment to breathe and get re-centered. Say something like, “Wait, let’s refocus,” or, “Okay, let’s pause for a moment to get re-centered.” Now, remember the last thing they said and continue the session.
This may take some getting use to, just be gentle with yourself.
Thank your client for being so strong and willing to look at what needed to be healed today. Have them take it easy for a few days and allow the healing to fully integrate into the body.
Use the 1-10 scale. Ask your client, on a 1 to 10 scale, 1 being not very satisfied and 10 being very satisfied, how would you rate our session today? If your client answers anything less than a 10, continue the session with asking your client, what would it take to bring this session to a 10? If it is less than a 10 it is usually because there is something more they need clarity on.
Ask your client, based on our session today, would you be willing to hire me as your Life Coach?
Give your new client two business cards, one for them and one for someone they know that may be interested in Life Coaching.
Thank them again for their time and willingness to take the first step.4
It is always a good practice to have a follow-up session. This session should be included in the price of the original session. The follow-up session is just to check in with your client to see how they are doing.
Be clear on the time and date, where to meet or who will call who.
The follow-up session should only be about 10 to 15 minutes.
Ask them if they have any questions, if they are stuck or if they need more direction. If so, then schedule another session.
Set up your next session. If you didn’t already, now would be a good time to do it. Be clear on the time and date and where to meet.
Motivational quotes for coaches
You can have anything in this world that you want when you help enough other people get what they want. -Zig Ziggler
Many of life’s failures come from people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. -Thomas Edison
The secret of getting ahead is getting started. -Mark Twain
Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside dreams, who looks inside awakes. -Carl Jung
Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. -Benjamin Franklin
Success has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It’s what you do for others. -Danny Thomas
“Whatever you want more of in your life, cause another to have more of it in theirs.” – Unknown