Client chemistry, be it trusting or fun, goes a long way in the coaching relationship.
It’s a dance that starts with a step and that step leads to a reaction. Now it’s the next step that starts to build rapport or threatens to tear it down.
As a coach you can’t learn this from a book.
You’ve have to practice this with clients. You’ve got to test out different techniques that come from your strengths.
I remember when I first started coaching. I made so many mistakes.
I remember making the wrong step.
A client was stuck at her job and didn’t know what to do to escape.
So I asked her…
“What would you do if you knew you would die in a month?”
She said quit her job.
At first I thought this was the answer I was looking for then I realized that she didn’t think she was going to die in a month.
I tried to explore this idea of quitting, but it was a dead end.
She wasn’t ready to quit.
I learned from this mistake.
The next client who had a similar problem.
I asked the question.
‘If money was no object where do you want your career to be in 2 years?’
Great Questions Are Important
She replied with not at my current job.
I asked her, ‘why not?’
She said that she wanted to interact with people not be on a computer all day long.
So we began exploring this.
Exploring this topic lasted for two more sessions.
It was like we opened a box of presents and just kept unwrapping present after present. This line of questioning was a coaching goldmine.
Practice Improve Your Timing
Not every reaction to an answer will go well.
I’ve gotten a lot better by learning from my errors, but I still take a misstep that cause my client and I to stumble.
That’s just part of being a successful Life Coach – it isn’t an exact art, there is a lot of trial and error involved.
How you recover will be a big factor in whether the coaching session will go well or if you lose their trust forever.
You can avoid this by practicing how you respond to their first answer to your first major question.
This takes time and persistence but it’s worth it because it builds the type of rapport that leads to a successful coaching session.
Next time you are confronted by a difficult answer be ready to ask a question that you know won’t have you stepping on their toes.