So, you’re a qualified spiritual coach chomping at the bit to help and support people make magical changes and empowered decisions that will positively alter their life. How do you ensure you’re armed with the right tools and techniques to be the best? In order to be a success, there’s twelve key things you can take on board, that’s twelve skills that should set you apart from the others, making sure your clients are in the best possible hands and receiving a rewarding experience.
It’s vital to set goals. Goals will drive the whole experience. There’s got to be something to work towards, and you may find people respond more effectively to milestones and aspirations. They’ll have to be achievable, well-defined, concise and workable. They’ll need to have an overarching motivational factor – something which, when they visualise, will light up their eyes, their smile and their soul.
This is paramount, and any listening must be active and non-judgemental. Opening up to someone can be daunting and confronting, particularly about sensitive issues which may not have been discussed before. Earn their trust and actively listen, show they’ve got your undivided attention. Repeat back key words, paraphrase and summarise. It’ll be of massive benefit to your client if they can hear what they’ve said back to them and may offer a fresh perspective. We can find ourselves drowning in words, stumbling to get them out, stuttering, feeling stuck. By you summarising for them, it’s bound to bring clarity and hope.
Building up a solid rapport
Connection is going to be key, otherwise you can’t expect someone to open up to you. This can include being able to demonstrate that you understand, by being empathic, by being compassionate. This may well be one of the toughest things your client has had to face head-on, and the rapport must be right. Bespoke methods tailored to your client, as an individual, will build trust to create a workable action plan to reaching dreams and aspirations.
Always keep your head in the game and remain solely focussed on everything you’re told, drilling down into each goal. Listen fully to gauge exactly what they want and tease every necessary snippet of information out of them, as long as they’re comfortable. Try not to interrupt when someone’s mid-flow, you don’t want to bulldoze through their train of thought. You can ‘know’ by observing and being given facts, and you can ‘discover’ the unexpected, something that might even take you by surprise.
Keeping to a structure or guidelines will reap many rewards. After all, laying down a solid path towards where the client wants to be will give focus, hope, and keep motivating. Their determination will mean they’re homing into what they want to achieve. Your job is to help them overcome potential obstacles and barriers. You’ll be raising any red flags and prepare them for a bumpy road. You’ll be guiding them through the fog, the unpleasantness, and possible darkness they’ll need to face before entering the light and allowing them to become free.
Observing and looking
This is where it’ll help to have a basic grip on interpreting body language. It is one thing to listen to words, but quite another to read between those lines and look for any nuances, non-verbal expressions, displaying of particular emotions, etc. Can you tell if your client is sad discussing a traumatic event, or if they’re scared when remembering a harrowing time? Your client might not always be able to articulate feelings and emotions so always be mindful of this.
This is a motivating way to spur on your client, but don’t be critical or condescending or you will end up destroying the rapport you’ve been carefully building up. Get giving feedback correctly and this’ll be one of your crucial skills. It ought to be relevant, positive, constructive, and focused on finding solutions. It’s not something used negatively against a client, rather an effective and productive way of searching for answers to problems and overcoming barriers.
Never forget that being a coach is a constantly evolving experience and learning curve for you. Once you’ve got your qualification, that’s when it starts. Day one of your coaching journey begins and it’s one that never ends. If you’re competent, willing, passionate and hungry to get to the top of your game, you’ll welcome feedback – the good, the bad, and the ugly. You could ask your clients to complete a short review at the end of each session, asking them what was most valuable and beneficial. Use this to shape future sessions and to monitor effectiveness.
Knowing what to ask and when to ask it
This will draw out from your clients their hopes, dreams and fears. Knowing what to ask and when to ask it is one of the most powerful techniques. If you can’t get to the crux of the matter, your clients aren’t going to be able to become empowered to wrestle free from the shackles holding them prisoner. So, ask, with power and with purpose, to ascertain exactly where they want to be. This will give you the information to formulate a clear and achievable plan of action. Make sure you never stop asking questions along the way, your client’s needs may change, and by asking them you can mould their coaching experience to suit.
Growth, change, progress and development are never easy, never static, never a straight-forward line. Inevitably there’ll be curves, loops, hurdles to get over, mountains to climb. This process is possible one of the most confronting, mentally challenging and exhausting journeys a client will ever face. Their priorities may alter so constant evaluation is important to monitor where actions and plans need to be tweaked and adjusted to align with the client’s destination. Keeping checking in on progress, in case any adaptations have to be made.
The right mix of techniques
Use your intuition to determine and evaluate what types of techniques you’re going to use for every individual client. No two people are the same, will have the same lived experience, will have the same thought processes, will be seeking the same solutions… Grasping this from the very start will enable you to create a bespoke menu, which can easily be changed to suit purpose and situation. Used correctly, you have at your disposal an arsenal of methods that and change someone’s life. To give them clarity, answers, empowerment, light at the end of their tunnel. You’re steering them through change towards a life you are proud to live.
Check in on a regular basis
Make this a habit. By asking them to feedback, it’ll allow your clients to monitor their progress, celebrate the small wins and larger successes, and see how far they’ve come. It won’t be plain sailing and will be just as vital for them to look back at stumbling blocks, but they’ll realise they’ve come out the other end, and should make them determined and motivated.
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