Choose Thoughts like You Choose Words

Choose Thoughts like You Choose Your Words

choose thoughtsYou have learned that when you choose thoughts and make an impact on your growth and potential, now you can also take a look at another area in your life. Consider for a moment that there are two components of whether or not you have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.

Growing up, you may have been told that you are not as good as someone else in a certain academic subject, sport, or talent. This has been your belief for all of your life. After all, you were told this over and over again. You heard people in your environment from parents to teachers that you were not as good as someone else in a certain area.

On the other hand, you may have been told that you were perfect in a certain subject or area and never really taught to question those parameters. You may think that the bar was set, you reached the goals and that your job is done. This is part of growing up with a fixed mindset.

Secondly are the stories you create as you grow up; you may have judged yourself as someone who is not as good as simply because a statement was made on one occasion. You held onto that belief with no prompting from someone else, yet you continued to carry it into adulthood. Either way, there is no need for blame in either of these situations. As an adult, you are free to re-create your life as you see fit.

Choosing Your Words for Your Self

When a friend comes to you feeling unaccomplished or less than, you more than likely are an encourager – someone who takes their feelings into consideration and lifts them up. Why not do that for yourself as well. Choose thoughts, change your thoughts, change your mind and watch how you talk to yourself as well.

When it comes to yourself, do you beat yourself up, criticize yourself and not give yourself the same break you would give your own friend? Choose kinder words of communicating for yourself and be aware of too much negative self-talk.

A growth mindset allows you to tell yourself that you did not do as well as you had hoped and also speaks to you that you can and will do better, achieve more. All this without the negative self-talk that comes along with it.

Choosing Your Words for Others

In the same manner, you would want to speak to yourself with kindness and encouragement in order to foster your potential and development, take that opportunity to foster and encourage the development of another.

Instead of making excuses for them, hold them accountable, encourage them to see where they can do better and offer them the possibility of achieving more and doing greater things with their life and with their minds.

When you choose thoughts by choosing your words carefully, whether to yourself or to others, you make a difference which can then result in making a change.

Coaching Certification: Is It Required to Be a Great Coach?

Do You Need Coaching Certification to Be an Online Coach?

Coaching Certification

Coaching certification is an important aspect of being a life coach. When someone wants to get into life coaching, one of the things that they often ask about is the type of training or certification that is available or required. While there is no regulatory committee that makes sure that life coaches all have a minimum amount of training and passing test scores like there is for doctors and psychiatrists.

There are certifications that you can get and training programs that will not only give you some great tools to help you in your practice, but will also impress other coaches and some clients who are familiar with the organization, mentor or training program.

If you’re thinking about becoming a coach, (which you may be because you are reading this post!) then you may also be wondering if you need to become a certified coach, and if so, what certifications do you need?

Some coaches will tell you that you do not need to be certified to become a coach because there is no national regulatory body. Others will tell you that you should get certified.

Either way, they would be right. But if you want to be a great coach, why wouldn’t you want to be certified? We all know the value of training, and you could be learning and getting your certification while you are doing it.

Here are some reasons to learn and get your certification:-

1. More likely to persist and build your coaching business

If you are committed to your cause to become a professional coach, you will more likely earn more and build your business quicker partly because you are less likely to drop out of the profession.

2. To assure clients that you are serious about coaching

Coaching certification helps distinguish you from the crowd. All things being equal, authentic professional coaches seek reputable certifications as a way to assure potential clients that they are genuine coaches. And prospective clients will generally use this as a criteria.

3. To help clients make a decision

Rightly or wrongly, most people assume that certified professionals are better than those who are uncertified. Yes, there may be uncertified coaches who are very good and they can build a successful business through referrals. For new coaches, and in the absence of a good referral from a trusted friend, many people look for certification, which essentially is a stamp or approval from a trusted source.

4. Some clients think certification is important

Your clients probably want you to be certified. According to a survey by the International Coach Federation (ICF), 84% of actual coaching clients said coaching credentials were important or very important to them.

This appears to contradict what some coaches say, which is that clients don’t care about certification. Evidently many do, and the numbers go up according to region, with 91% of the general public (not just actual coaching clients) in Latin America stating that certification is important.

5. Most coaches want to get certification

This may be an intuitive thing, but most people entering any profession, want some level of accreditation. You probably want to be certified.

6. Coaching Certification may become a legal requirement

Will coaching certification become a legal requirement for life coaches?Someday you may legally need to be accredited. Most people who want to become business or life coaches wonder if they need credentials in order to legally practice coaching. In most places, it is currently not required, but that may change. No one knows for sure what will happen, but having a recognized certification, will give you a head start if it comes in.

7. Learning and training will make you a better coach:

You’ll become a better coach. No, letters after your name won’t magically make you better. But preparing for an oral or written certification exam will. I’ve learned something new with every certification that I’ve qualified for. Great coaches tend to be more successful.

8. Working towards certification raises the standard

Regardless of legal or not, a coach’s mindset is to encourage others to do everything possible to prepare for success. We do not want to sell our clients short, nor do that to ourselves.

A coach is  interested in best practices, and is keen to put as much in as possible rather than as little as they can get away with – not just minimum standards. Coach certification helps set you up for success and it represents coaching best practices.

There are a number of good reasons why coaches would benefit from certification. So why not just do it? There is nothing to lose.
Clearly this is a big issue for some. But if you are new to coaching, don’t just take my advice but get the facts and decide for yourself.

Coach Certification & Training Available

There is a great deal of certification out there for life coaching. Check that the companies have been around for a while and have good testimonies. You can then check their credentials in the forums and so on. You will want to stick with certification where you are learning not just the basics of coaching but some good insights into running your coaching business.

Finding Legitimate Training & Certification

So how do you find legitimate training certification? There are many ways that you can dig out the good ones, but one of the most effective ways is to visit forums where other coaches discuss their practices with each other.

They will be able to tell you which training programs they have heard of and which they can recommend. In fact, many of them will have that information already included in their forum signature. There are hundreds of different coaching forums out there so find one that fits your style.

The second method is to choose a well-known training program like the Tony Robbins Training Certification which carries a lot of weight because it has Tony Robbins name on it. If you choose a training program that someone who is well-known and well-respected within the coaching and self-help community, you will find that particular coaching certification goes a long way when looking for new clients and networking with other life coaches.

Here are some coaching organisations (I am not receiving any affiliate commission from any of these – they are for your information)

UK Coaching Organistaions

Association for Coaching

Coach Federation

Life Coach Directory

US Coaching Organisations

International Coach Federation ICF

American Coaching Association

Tony Robbins

American Union of NLP






Successful Coaches: Defined by These 5 Qualities

5 Qualities of  Successful Coaches

When it comes to coaching people, there are many qualities that  successful coaches exhibit. In fact, every coach has some good qualities that you could list, but if you talk to enough coaches and you get to know the people at the top of the industry, you will notice a pattern starting to emerge.

There are some qualities that are self-evident in a good coach, for example, they should have a passion to help people succeed, they should be honest and motivated themselves to motivate their clients. You will see that the most successful coaches actually share some of the same attributes. Here are five qualities that the greatest coaches have. See if you can develop the same strengths so that you will be in that you will be able to sustain a successful coaching practice in the long term.

1. Self-Awareness

successful coaches should be self-awareSelf-awareness is a big one. You want to know yourself intimately because if you are still struggling with finding out who you are, you are going to have a major problem coaching other people.

Coaches who are self-aware know their strengths and weaknesses, make better decisions, and are able to help their clients become more self-aware. Successful coaches continually develop themselves. They help create a coaching culture where their clients are fully supported

2. Great Communication

successful coaches are good listeners

Be a good listener

Successful coaches are great communicators. They say the right things at the right times, and even more importantly, they listen.

Listening is a skill that you want to develop and you want to understand and empathize with the people that you’re listening to so that you can communicate not only what you want to say, but also exactly what they need.

A great coach is non-judgemental and without prejudice and is able to see different perspectives.

3. Perception

succesful coaches are perceptive


Successful coaches are perceptive. They notice things. Coaches can tell when someone is not as motivated by being aware of even a slight drop in energy levels.

They can read between the lines and know what their client is not saying. This perceptiveness comes in useful when getting to the root of a client’s problem, and digging down into the beliefs and thoughts that drive a specific behavior. A great coach will enable their clients to find their own solutions.

A good coach can trust and use their intuition from time to time.

4. Organised and Professional

One of the challenges in the field of coaching is upholding levels of professionalism, standards and ethics. Good coaches are organised and consistent. Great coaches are not only professional, they always have

successful coaches look and act the part

Organised & Professional

the right attitude, they are also well organised. Even if you aren’t naturally an organised person, you should develop the skills necessary – this may mean taking some advice or teaching, perhaps coaching! Being well organised is vital to running a good coaching business. You’ll be collecting information about several different clients and helping them each with  different goals, and unless you are well organised you will not be able to offer the best service for your clients.

5. Flexibility

The best coaches are also very flexible and adjustable. Resilience and perseverance are very important. They can easily bounce back when someone throws them a curve ball. Great coaches know when the coaching is working and when it is NOT working.

If a particular style of coaching or method isn’t working with a certain client, they are happy to change things and allow them to learn from a completely different place, even if it isn’t one with which they are not at their most comfortable. Or, they are willing to let go. Great coaches know when to quit. They know when to move on. They know that it is better to work on those who want to change.

Other Key Coaching Skills and Attributes

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. Emotional intelligence is the key to both personal and professional success.

for more on emotional intelligence


Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of your client. In a sense it is to be able to walk in their shoes.

Rapport building

Rapport is a close and harmonious relationship in which the coach and the client understand each other’s feelings or ideas and communicate well. Building rapport is essential to developing trust in the coach/client relationship.

Questioning skills

Most of us can ask questions. Successful coaches use powerful questions. These are questions that:
Are short, typically 7 words or less
Are open rather than closed
Deepen the learning of the person being coached
Move the person forward towards a goal
Examples include:
What do you want?, What’s important?, What’s the first step?


Reflection in coaching is a communication skill. It is like holding up a mirror and repeating the client’s words back to them exactly as they said them. You might reflect back the whole sentence, or you might select a few words – or even one single word – from what the client has just said.

Reflecting is the process of paraphrasing and restating both the feelings and words of the speaker.  The purposes of reflecting are:

  • To allow the speaker to ‘hear’ their own thoughts and to focus on what they say and feel.
  • To show the speaker that you are trying to perceive the world as they see it and that you are doing your best to understand their messages.
  • To encourage them to continue talking.

Tact & diplomacy

Tact is the skill and sensitivity in dealing with others or with difficult issues and diplomacy is the skill and tact in dealing with people. This is essential in dealing with difficult clients

Coaching Difficult Clients: 4 Powerful Tips

Make coaching difficult clients easier

coaching difficult clients

Difficult client?

If you stay in the coaching business long enough, you are eventually going to run into what industry professionals call “problem clients.” These are clients that are difficult to deal with for whatever reason, and they often have to be handled with kid gloves. So what makes coaching difficult clients easier?

The behavior itself varies, and can run the gamut from anger to inappropriate comments or touching. You need to develop a strategy for dealing with these problem clients and see if you can change their behavior, and if not, your strategy should include a plan for parting ways with them.

1. Be committed to their success

You want your clients to succeed but not at all costs. If you invest too much of yourself in their success, and they fall short, don’t take it personally. Don’t allow the outcome of a particular coaching project make you feel emotional or responsible. Coaching relationships are important but you need to leave a professional gap, a distance to prevent you from getting too close personally. After all, you will need to let go at some stage.

2. Watch out for warning signs:

Look for warning signs with difficult coaching clients

Warning Signs

There are often warning signs that you can look out for when you are working with clients to spot a problem long before it happens. Of course, this does take some experience so you may still have some problem clients at first that sneak up on you,  but be prepared to learn from each experience and look for those warning signs in future clients so that you can pre-empt any problems.Prevention is better than cure in some cases.

3. When your energy is waning..

If you have a client that is just draining you of your energy and enthusiasm every time you talk to them, even if they aren’t doing it intentionally, you may want to consider releasing them. If you have a client that is making you feel drained after a session, it could easily overflow and affect your personal life, and your relationship with your other clients.

4. Say what you need to say when coaching difficult clients

let your yes be yes and your no be no

Yes! No!

Let your ‘yes’ mean ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ mean ‘no’. Make sure that you are saying what you need to say and not being indirect or vague. Make sure that your client understands you, and that you have laid down firm boundaries and ground rules. Don’t be afraid to be direct with clients who start to make excuses for not responding to your coaching questions. In addition, if you have a client that you no longer think is a good fit for your coaching, speak up and tell them rather than letting it continue, because you’re not doing either of you any favours.

Online Coaching: Avoid these 4 Mistakes and Grow Quicker

4 Suggestions When Starting an Online Coaching Business

If you want to start online coaching, you will want to put some things in place before you start taking on clients. That means learning everything you can about coaching, developing a game plan for helping clients and being able to bounce back when something isn’t working properly. You need a certain amount of resilience.

But even with the best laid plans you will still make some mistakes. Making mistakes is part of the learning curve that comes with starting any new business whether online or not. While it is difficult to legislate for every possible mistake, here are 4 avoidable mistakes when coaching online. Avoiding these mistakes will help you to establish your business a bit quicker.

Mistake 1: Trying to do everything

Starting a business may mean that you need to know about many different things, but if you try to do everything you will achieve very little (except burning yourself out).

Perhaps you can write well or maybe you are happier with connecting with people one on one. Perhaps you love video or developing your website. What about internet marketing, SEO, or starting a membership site?

In addition you may be a parent or grandparent with all the time that needs to be devoted to that. So, have about finding out what you are really good at – and then finding help with the other areas?

Mistake 2. Having a bad website

online coachingI have heard some entrepreneurs say that you don’t need a particular good website or even that you don’t need a website at all. Whilst that may work for some, most of us need a shop window to the world. Your website is important. Your website does not need to be fancy with all the bells and whistles – it can be simple (like this one) – but it needs to be easy for your prospective clients to navigate and know what you have to offer.

If you are going to develop your own website, make sure that you know how to continually improve it so that it is an interesting and informative experience for everyone who visits. Make sure that you spend some time and money making your website shine, because it is your face to the online world.

3. Concentrating Too Much on Training and Certification

It is important to know what you are doing and for others to know that you have taken the trouble to learn. But learning is a life-long experience. You can learn as you go along. In the early days of building your business, you need to invest in other areas of your business that will help prospective clients to know you are there. You need to consider the time and costs of website development, equipment, software, content and promotion for your online coaching business.

Mistake 4. Not having enough cash to start and grow your business

online coachingInternet businesses require relatively little money to start up. You don’t need to lease an office, or travel to work – you can work from home. A bricks and mortar business would cost far more.

But you sometimes need to spend money in order to make money. If you are starting part time while you have a regular day job, then perhaps you can start with $200 or $300  – this would cover the costs of webhosting, domain names, website development and so forth.

If you want to start full time, then you will need to have some savings to fall back on – probably enough to keep you going for 6 months while you start to get a regular income stream from onloine contacts.

These are just 4 mistakes to avoid when online coaching.

You might like to check out some of these coaching niches for ideas

Should a Mentor Have a Mentor? Powerful Reasons Why

Why should a mentor have a mentor?

Should a mentor have a mentor? Well, look at this quote from the great leadership guru,  John Maxwell. There is always someone a bit further down the line than you.

A mentor is someone who teaches, guides and lifts you up by virtue of his or her experience and insight. They’re usually someone a little farther ahead of you on the path—though that doesn’t always mean they’re older! A mentor is someone with a head full of experience and heart full of generosity that brings those things together in your life. – John Maxwell

1. You need a Mentor!

For years as a salesman, I struggled to make the grade. I made the calls without any real conviction, tried to reach targets that somehow I couldn’t quite reach, read all the good books on selling but still failed to motivate myself. I was in Dead End Street.

What I needed was someone to share my journey but show me a different road. It didn’t have to be by cutting corners or a short cut. I was burning out, wanting to quit, because I seemed to be on the road to nowhere. There was something I was missing, something I didn’t quite get.

In the great movies, this is when along comes Obi Wan Kenobi to guide the young Luke Skywalker, or, a Yoda, or a Mary Poppins turns up. Even the great heroes of the bible needed someone when the going got tough. Moses needed Jethro, Joshua needed Moses, Elisha needed Elijah and the disciples needed Jesus.

Every mentor needs a mentor

CC BY-NC by Han Shot First

The point is that we cannot succeed on our own. Someone who has been around the block a couple of times needs to show us the way.

Then I experienced a mentor in my own life, in the shape of a Field Sales Manager. Even then a field sales manager was old hat. Modern managers at that time were office bound, numbers people. But here was a guy who had been there and done it. He shared my journey, made the calls with me, he asked me the right questions, encouraged me to share my experiences with the customers, relax and enjoy the journey. Eventually, the success came. I still made the calls, did the presentations but with a passion and a purpose.

I spent many years as a salesman and a sales manager and it took me to many different countries. It would be easy to say that I did it my way, but that would be only half a story. I recognised that any success that I experienced was down to the others who had shared my journey.

2. A mentor can help you move forward

When considering ‘should a mentor have a mentor?’ bear in mind that mentors are generally volunteers. They volunteer for many reasons, but often they want to ‘put something back’ or, ‘pay it forward’. So why is it that many mentors, especially in the voluntary sector, do not consider having a mentor themselves?. Perhaps they feel they do not need a mentor, or that nobody would want to support them.

On the surface, it may seem strange that someone who can help another person to achieve their dreams, does not consider it for them personally. Everyone has hopes and dreams, and having support from outside of our immediate circle of family, friends and colleagues, who do not carry the same baggage, can make a significant difference.

But if that mentor would consider it carefully, they would decide that a mentor would be a good option for them.

3. Two people can share a journey

Sometimes we need someone who has “been there and done it” to help us negotiate a difficult situation, someone from outside who can get a different view of things. This is a mentor’s role. You are worth the time and investment.

Being on the mentee side of the mentoring relationship will give you fresh insights into your own role of mentor.

4. Having a mentor will make you a great mentor

You may think that you don’t have what it takes to be a mentor. You cannot see yourself in the role of wise and trusted guide. Perhaps you think you are not qualified to be a mentor. After all don’t mentors need a degree in some ‘ology’ or other? Put your mind at rest and consider “should mentors have a mentor” in the affirmative.

Should a mentor have a mentor? Having a mentor will help you to find your own strengths. The best qualification for a mentor is often ‘experience of life’. If you are in a business setting, perhaps you have had experience in starting an online business, or have been the CEO of a medium size company. Then you are perfectly placed to help someone else go through the same challenges.

You may have no business experience. Perhaps you have experienced and overcome family breakdown, financial difficulties or long-term unemployment. Who would want someone like you? The answer is anyone who is going through similar tough life circumstances. How much would they value support from someone who knows what they are going through. A listening ear and the wisdom that comes from hard-earned experience could be a life-saver for someone who is socially isolated by difficult challenges.

5. A mentoring relationship works both ways.

should a mentor have a mentor?

One Way or Another

A mentoring relationship can be life changing for both the mentor and the mentee. When a mentor asks the mentee the right question, a light-bulb moment can happen as the mentee arrives at a solution to their own problem. This can be a revelation to both parties. In guiding a mentee through stormy waters, a mentor will often experience a light shining on some event in their own life. These are great moments in the relationship.

6. Matchmaking makes mentoring meaningful

Some mentoring relationships seem to be made in heaven. This happens when care is taken in matching the mentee with a suitable mentor. This is not rocket science. When both parties are keen to make the relationship work, then it has a better chance of being successful – just like any relationship in marriage or business. Having a good mentor will add to your value when you are mentoring.

So, should a mentor have a mentor? I hope this article has gone some way to persuading you.

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Check these great resources for coaching and mentoring:-

John Maxwell

What Are Your Strengths: 14 Powerful Questions to Add Power To Your Life

Good Questions regarding Strengths

what are your strengths“What are your strengths?” is a favourite question for job interviews. That’s the time when you can ‘blow your own trumpet’. It’s worth listing your strengths – not just for job interviews, but for the goals you want to set for your own life. How can we use our strengths to achieve our goals? (not a bad question in itself!). It is best to be specific, especially at a job interview, because that is where you stake your claim for the position.

You can start by making a list and dividing it into 3 parts:-

  • Knowledge-based skills: Acquired from education and experience (e.g., computer skills, languages, degrees, sales and marketing, training and technical ability).
  • Transferable skills: Your portable skills that you take from job to job (e.g., communication and people skills, analytical problem solving and planning skills)
  • Personal traits: Your unique qualities (e.g., dependable, flexible, friendly, hard working, expressive, formal, punctual and being a team player).

What are your strengths?

Some examples of your strengths might include:

  • Enthusiasm
  • Trustworthiness
  • Creativity
  • Discipline
  • Patience
  • Respectfulness
  • Determination
  • Dedication
  • Honesty
  • Versatility

When you complete this list, choose three to five of those strengths that match what the employer is seeking in the job posting. Applying your strengths to your goals will help you decide how achievable and realistic your goals are, and whether you may need help to get to some.

  1. Can you find your strengths?
  2. What could you work on?
  3. What is your greatest strength?
  4. What strengths would other people select for you?
  5. Even though things may be tough at the moment, what strengths will help you get through?
  6. Do some of your strengths get you into trouble?
  7. Do you use some strengths more than others?
  8. Has anyone ever criticised your strengths? – Do you think they were right?
  9. What strengths do you need to work on?
  10. Have you lost some strengths you used to have? Why did they go? Could you get them back?
  11. Are there any strengths you wish you had?
  12. What strengths could sort out this situation?
  13. Do you know anyone who already has these strengths?
  14. How could you get these strengths?

Strength Cards: How They Can Raise Self-Awareness

Your clients can discover their strengths

The Strength Cards are a great way for raising self awareness in clients individually or in groups.

Strength cards for use by coaches, managers, teams or teachers to inspire powerful coaching conversations. Strength cards can be a highly effective as conversation starters so that clients can open up to talk easily about what is on their mind, accessing both thoughts and feelings. These cards can introduce another dimension to the coaching conversation.

Here are 10 ways on how to raise self-awareness using strength cards:-

  • Just spread out the cards and ask you client to choose 5 cards that really stand out for them. These are strengths that are natural for them and give them a positive vibe. When they consider these strengths, they will feel like these are there core strengths – in a sense they recognise that these are wired in.
  • It is best for the client to get some feedback and ask someone else, who knows them well, to choose their top strengths for them. See if they match. If others recognise those strengths in you, it helps the client to confirm their own selection. Can that third party give you specific examples of the strengths in action.
  • Get your client to Understand how their core strengths play out in their lives. How are they used? In what situations are they used? What postive impact do these strengths make on their life? Encourage them to use their main strength intentionally every day. Set a task for your client to purposefully and intentionally use one of the core strengths on a regular basis, say, at least once a week.
  • Encourage your client to use their  core strengths in an original way. So, instead of just using their key strengths habitually, support them in developing a particular strength by extending its reach. So, for instance, if ‘persistance’ is one of their strengths and they use it currently to try and finish a difficult project, see how this strength might play out when setting particular goals, or researching a new subject.
  • We should each have a number of strengths, many of which are not tried and tested on a regular basis. Which ones do you under use and why? Choose one of these strengths and start to use it consciously in your life. Strengths are like muscles – use it or lose it!
  • For you and your clients – if you are facing a specific problem at work or at home, check through the cards and choose a strength that might help you cope with this problem. It may not be one of your strengths so it won’t solve the problem, but it will act as a catalyst to understand the character strength you need in a difficult situation and perhaps ask for the help of someone you recognise with that strength.

    strength cards for self awareness

    Strength Cards from St Luke’s

  • To enhance relationships, ask your partner, work colleague or family member to choose their top strengths. Give them examples of where you have seen these strengths play out.
  • Here;s a way to postively affirm someone else. Choose a strength card for someone you love, or an individual you work with. Perhaps even someone you are facing difficulties with. Give them the strength card and tell them why you have chosen it for them, offering positive praise.
  • Use strengths cards and language readily and frequently. Strength cards are a valuable addition to any coaching toolkit. Great for use in a variety of contexts with individuals and teams, the playing card size and format makes them easy to carry around and use spontaneously or as part of a planned exercise.
  • Clients can choose to work with words or images.  discovering or confirming a client’s strengths and then exploring ways of using these strengths to help them achieve their goals.
strength cards showing humorous, caring, hopeful

More strength cards from St Luke’s

14 Good questions regarding strengths

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Why is promoting self-awareness in our coaching clients so important?

Promoting self-awareness in our coaching clients

What is self awareness?

According to the Oxford Dictionary, self-awareness is, “the Conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives and desires”. To have a complete knowledge of self, then, seems like a tall order. Is this knowledge something that can be learnt in a day, or is it the result of a lifetime of learning? Like most things that have worthwhile life-long value, there is a starting place, and a continuing commitment to learning, and it may be something that we cannot do on our own. An old proverb states, “the purpose of a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out”. This seems to suggest a process more than a one-time event.

Establishing long term change through self awareness

So why is promoting self-awareness so important to our coaching clients? Well, it may be that self-awareness is just the first step to empowerment. Our clients may have a presenting problem (short term goal) that needs to be explored. It may be something like taking their business to the next level, or resolving a dispute in a relationship, or, perhaps a transition taking place in their career. But often the presenting problem is not the main problem. We have an opportunity as coaches to establish a long term change in our client’s mindset, by promoting self-awareness.

Improving our clients’ self-awareness enables them to have a better understanding of themselves. They will be able to experience themselves as unique individuals. Empowerment through self-awareness helps them to make the changes and to build on their areas of strength as well as identify areas where improvements are possible.

A client needs to know what is going on, to be real with themselves. They can do this by knowing and establishing their strengths and weaknesses. They may not be fully aware in the initial stages of the coaching relationship of what their strengths and weaknesses are. This is something that the coach can help with, the coach’s role is to give some direction. Encourage them with the experience they already have, and the accomplishments already achieved. The important thing here is to help the client know where they stand at this moment in time.

Knowing strengths & weaknesses through self awareness

Our clients are in the driving seat so they need to have great insights in themselves. Knowing not just strengths and weaknesses, but fears and failures as well as successes. Awareness of life events, will help people make better decisions. They need to be real with themselves. It is well said that a man who thinks he cannot be deceived – is already deceived! Empowering our clients through promoting self-awareness will help them to make better decisions.

A client with good self-awareness seems to know what is right for them at the moment. They know what works and what doesn’t work. They know what they are doing right and what needs fixing. A coach can support and encourage a client in the things that they are doing right, that are helping them to get to their goals, even when they may not realise it themselves.

Powerful decisions through self awareness

Self-aware clients are able to make good decisions and give themselves good advice, even when circumstances and people around them are trying to derail them. It is important that clients can take confident ownership in their own decisions especially in the big decisions. A coach’s role here is that good questions are better than good advice. Promoting self-awareness in a client helps them to know themselves, to know what they know, and what they don’t know. Self-awareness helps to bring all of the factors in to play in such a way that they can predict outcomes.

In promoting self-awareness in our clients, we are helping them to make powerful decisions and this in the long term adds great value to the coach/client relationship.

As Featured On EzineArticles