There is something so satisfying about using your life coaching skills to help your clients succeed. It’s the greatest feeling to make a real difference in their lives! Conversely, there’s nothing more frustrating than spending hours with clients, helping them plan out their goals and strategies, and then checking in a week or two later to discover nothing has changed!
What goes wrong at times like these? What are some reasons your clients may not be making the kind of progress you expected? Possibly it’s one of the following:
- Your client told you what she thought she was “supposed” to want.
- Your client is unclear about what she really wants.
- Your client hasn’t found her motivation for making the change.
- Your client didn’t have the necessary tools or techniques to accomplish her goals.
- Inadvertently, you imposed your agenda, instead of listening to what was important to your client.
Your role is to help your clients increase awareness of their process for behavioral change. Leaping straight into goal setting bypasses three crucial steps to sustainable change – tapping into your client’s core values, vision and mission. When you enhance your life coaching skills so you routinely explore your client’s personal core values first, you find the key to stimulate your client’s motivation and commitment to change.
Let’s examine how an effective leader uses this to add value to a client’s experience.
1. Conduct a “Values Interview” with your client. So many people are struggling with their identity, trying to discover who they are. Knowing how to conduct a Values Interview is a critical life coaching skill. Your clients will perceive it as an extremely valuable exercise. Why? It helps them cut through the distractions and confusion, so they can learn who they really are and what they value most.
How do you conduct a Values Interview? Use a stack of 100 values cards and ask your client to organize them according to what is 1) most important, 2) very important, 3) important, 4) somewhat important, and 5) not important.
As she flips through each card and sorts them according to their personal relevance, they will evoke an emotional response that allows her to reach her strongest motivation for change.
2. Use the core values she chooses as a guide for discussing her big vision for the future. Keeping a journal or creating a vision board are two highly effective ways to make this vision come to life for your client. Help your client dream big, without being limited by the self-restricting “I should…”
Ask open-ended questions and reflections that create greater self-awareness and foster discussion. For example, if the client says she wants to lose weight to look good for a class reunion, you can reflect it by saying, “You feel better about yourself when you feel attractive.” Be mindful to say as little as possible, and listen carefully.
3. Help your client craft a personal mission statement based on her values and vision.It doesn’t need to be a long, formal document. It could be a single word or phrase. This mission statement becomes your client’s compass. Reflecting on it before any decision or action will help her remain aligned with her biggest sense of purpose.
By increasing self-awareness and helping your client build a framework that links core values with the big vision, you’ll naturally uncover the steps your client needs to take to succeed. It becomes evident which well-formed goals and intentions will help her become the person she really wants to be.
The best life coaching skills center on becoming expert communicators, which you can master through an application of the principles of Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Please feel free to grab a copy of our new ebook and get started influencing yourself and others with integrity.