Gaining Trust in Life Coaching

Gaining trust in Life CoachingWhat are some of the key elements in coaching?

This can be answered by many different responses. Maybe simple questions, holding space, active listening, using coaching models, reflection, clarification, feedback and so much more.

A very important part of the session and how you interact and connect with your client will be in the area of trust.

Trust is a core element of creating connection with your client, allowing open and honest discussions from both sides and also allows the client to feel safe and to talk about what they need to and not what they really feel they should be talking about.

How do you gain trust?

Interestingly is this something that needs to be gained or do you allow for trust to be there on your first interaction with the client?

My view is that trust starts to be created the very moment you meet a potential client. At this moment you are building rapport.

I often here coaches “selling” themselves and their products far too soon without really getting to know what the client wants and how they would benefit by working with you as their coach.

When I have worked with clients I listen to what they want to know, tell them what they want to hear and fill in any gaps in knowledge that are pertinent to them.

This allows a natural rapport without it being forced and can start to build the trust that is so important within coaching interactions and future sessions.

This however should be maintained. Simple ways of doing this could be:

Deliver what you promise whether this be in follow up notes, actions that you have agreed to undertake as their coach and being prepared for the session in advance and being on time and ready to coach.

Show empathy and be supportive in the session

Outline clearly how you work as a coach and bring into the equation a contract agreement in how you work, what you expect but also and very importantly what they can expect of you.

Make sure to not judge the client’s views, opinions or beliefs but rather explore with them any areas of difference that could be more useful for them to open up and look at with your help.

Trust that the client is not broken but could be operating more or less effectively in any given moment.

This comes from person centred theory that is the lynchpin of transformational coaching.

Allow them to make mistakes, revel in triumph, take risks and explore their goals, desires and aspirations.

Be ok with not being ok yourself. You really do not need all the answers but are simply an explorer in the client’s world.

Above all trust yourself!

You may not know the best model to use or the most powerful question to ask but allowing yourself to be open to the experience of the coaching and working with your client in a way that allows for real and authentic interactions has in my experience been the best way forward.

Answers do come, models appear when needed and you may get a sense of what needs to happen and the most useful and purposeful question to ask.

This is not about being perfect but willing to take risks and remove your own agenda.

Trust the process!

cognitive-behavioural-coachingAbout The Author

Paul Kensett is a life coach and founder of Paul Kensett Training and Coaching solutions and a qualified coach and NLP Practitioner.

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