Coaching is becoming more and more popular with shows like The Voice, Reality TV shows and with sports performances. Whatever your goal -- to perform better, improve your health or relationships or spiritually advance -- coaching can make a big difference.
Here are ten of our top holistic coaching tips:
1. Build rapport
Start by relating to the other person with small talk and easy-to-answer-questions.
"How's your day going?" "How's the weather there?" "Hope your family is doing well."
Show your genuine interest in the other person. The idea is create comfort and ease in relating, which builds trust to talk about deeper matters.
Note: if a casual rapport-building question triggers an emotionally charged response, just acknowledge that and go back to safer waters, with the option of returning to the matter later.
2. Recognize and own your emotions
Most of us are usually unaware of our feelings and the energies they create. These feelings still affect us internally and are projected to others. So a good starting question when examining an important area is, "How am I feeling about that now?"
Note: feelings are different from thoughts. So the answer to the question about "how am I feeling" should include words like sad, happy, frustrated, excited, etc.
Saying "He should have done it better," is not a feeling, but a thought (in this case not even about oneself).
To move forward it's essential to own your feelings... Remember you can only take charge of yourself, not another person. The common fallacy is if only the other person's behavior changed, then I would feel all right.
Actually, the best way to influence another is by taking charge of your own feelings and behavior, instead of futilely trying to control another person.
3. Ask permission
Before going into something more private, even if the coaching session is about this issue, ask the person if it's okay to talk about the area in question.
Asking permission shows respect for the person. It also allows space to what may be exposing a sensitive area.
4. Find out the person's Dream
It all starts with a dream, of a better life, a grander future, making a difference. Coaching questions addressing this key area could include ...
* "If you could do anything, something that would make a difference, what would that be?"
* "If you could make the world a better place, what would that be like?"
* "What skills or talents would you like to use or develop?"
Start to connect with a bigger picture, a larger version of yourself. Your desired future can be the evolutionary catalyst. Your dream can help you embrace the living workshop that is your life.
Note: allow for the unexpected -- things to come out of the blue for your dream to materialize. A chance encounter, an unexpected resource, or a different opportunity than you envisioned could be the golden ticket.
5. Take achievable steps
So what's the next step for crafting the better life? If meditating is part of this new lifestyle birthing your dream, when and how often? Be specific.
It's good to help yourself or the person you are coaching to allow time for new activities. Help prioritize for the new habits and routines. The idea is to fit your current life into the big picture of where your dream is taking you.
Also set manageable goals. Maybe you want to meditate for a half hour each morning and evening. But realistically you won't, and it will defeat your will.
Maybe once a day for five minutes is a better start. Or your dream is big, maybe greater than a lifetime to realize. The goals and components are discrete steps for moving forward.
To have a prosperous holistic business make take years. But to do research on how to get started can take just days.
It's generally better to set small achievable goals and succeed than bigger ones and fail, and maybe quit in frustration. If you forget to meditate, or whatever the next step is, then just recommit and start again.
6. Talk, but not too much
Coaching serves others by helping them to get clear, perform their best and move forward. Sometimes there is mentoring, instruction and advice. "Move this way;" "Create a website that way."
But above all, remember to be an observer, listener and supporter. First you need to assess where the person is relative to what they want to accomplish. Then help them find direction. Too much talking, and not enough asking questions and listening, can get in the way and be counterproductive.
7. What if...
When problems arise, it's understandable to become seemingly clueless about what's going on. It is part of the journey to be unaware and confused at times. That's where a coach can help.
If you ask, "What are you feeling now?" and the person draws a blank, acknowledge her or him.
"Yes, I understand that you may not know [what you're feeling, your next step, etc.]."
Then ask, "What if you did know?" Pause and wait for a response. "I guess it might have to do with..." Bingo, now things are opening up.
You just engaged the person's higher faculties and imagination to open up unconscious thoughts and feelings to be examined.
It's one thing to share a personal story for the sake of conversation. It's quite another thing to intentionally share an experience that relates to what the person you are coaching is going through.
Just telling stuff about your life, without a specific reason to do so, is not necessarily therapeutic.
But sharing a personal example, at the right time, can help the person you are coaching gain insight and see more possibilities.
"Yes I had a serious financial loss too..." can be empathetic and show ways to overcome a similar challenge.
Note: you need to be in a good, clear place yourself about what you are sharing. If you still are upset and unresolved about the financial loss, for example, don't share that experience.
Instead of supporting the person with your disclosure, you would be undermining the confidence the person you are coaching has in you.
Rather than helping them get out of the mud, you could be wallowing in your own mud alongside the person you are trying to help.
9. Get feedback
Periodically ask for feedback from the person you are coaching. Check in to see if you are helping the person stay on track and moving forward. See if a course correction is needed.
Particularly at the end of a session ask for feedback. What did the person get out of the coaching experience?
Articulating the benefits and breakthroughs deepens the experience. It lets you know the next steps to take, for both you and the person receiving the coaching.
10. Practice, practice, practice
A professor once told me, "If you want to write, then write." So too with coaching.
Keep studying on how to be a good coach. Keep putting your knowledge and skills into action.
Reward yourself after your efforts. Smile, laugh, have fun, get a good meal.
Hopefully this answered some of your life coaching questions. Putting these tips into practice can be magical. Start with one at a time, wherever you feel drawn. As a coach might say, that's a good next step.
To go further: Get your Complimentary Coaching & Healing Success Kit to access your coaching quiz, fascinating coaching facts, The Wheel of Aliveness and more.