The best results from coaching come when WE take risks with our clients, when we PUSH the edges of what we might normally ask or say. Of course our clients must do the work and challenge themselves to grow. But it's also when WE step out of OUR comfort zones as coaches that magic happens. So, stop playing it safe, try one of these coaching ideas and see your coaching break through to the next level!
Here are 7 Coaching Ideas to try:
- DISBELIEVE your clients. Try, "You remember you said you really wanted this? Well I don't believe you. We're three months in and nothing much has changed. You're paying me to help you, so what's going on here?" Note: Use carefully and only in excellent rapport with your client.
- SWAP roles. Pick an issue they're stuck on and role-play your client while they role-play you! Be kind but REAL, and make sure to use their own phrases and expressions. Tip: For this coaching idea to work, they must be allowed to 'play' you however they want - you might find you gain some insights of your own!
- TURN IT OVER to them. Ask, "What do you think I should ask you next?" This is a handy question to have up your sleeve for a tricky conversation and a life-saver if you're stuck and genuinely don't know what to ask them next. AND it's also a great way to quickly get to the heart of the matter - by making THEM the expert…
- RISK angering and upsetting your clients. Push yourself out of YOUR comfort zone - trust your gut and say what's really on your mind. Keep your questions and statements coachlike, non-judgemental and with your client's personal growth in mind. But RISK pushing their buttons - with the bigger picture of their goals in mind. If you don't say it to them, who will? If you don't take risks why should they? Tip: If they get angry or upset, it's the perfect time to explore why that is and what's going on for them.
- Give them YOUR helicopter perspective. Instead of asking them for their future vision, say what YOU see CURRENTLY and share what you'd LIKE to see for them going forwards. Make it very clear that it's YOUR perspective you're sharing. This becomes an opportunity to be totally up front and honest about where they ARE, and also to support and encourage them by 'holding' a potential future for themselves they may not yet think they are capable of.
- Make mine a DOUBLE. Whatever action they come up with, double it. Wait, make that a triple! Often a client will simply suggest what is doable. Add excitement to a 'boring' but necessary goal, or simply take their exciting goal to the next level by doubling or tripling their action! They will (eventually) love you for it.
- BREAK the Coaching 'Rules'. This suggestion may be unpopular with coaching purists, but if your client is stuck, and you have knowledge that could help them, share it. Avoid giving actions and solutions that could disempower them, I'm talking about specific knowledge or information. It could be anything - but an example for me recently was sharing a concept about conflict. I asked the client's permission, gave them the new information/concept (the assumption iceberg) and asked how they thought it could help them in their current situation. They found it incredibly helpful, and built what they learned into dealing more confidently with their next conflict situation. So, trust your instincts and when you see a clear knowledge gap that you can help with, ask permission and share with your clients.
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