New coaches struggle with the fact that they aren't supposed to make suggestions, recommendations or tell clients what to do.
It's hard to switch into coach mode, especially if you've been giving advice and suggestions to friends and family members before you became a health coach.
You might wonder how you can provide value if you aren't offering any tips or recommendations.
Well there is a time and place for suggestions, if done in a coach-like way. Here are 7 tips:
1. Always invite the client to come up with their own ideas first. Hold that the client is naturally creative, resourceful and whole and has the answers inside of them. Use your high mileage questions to help the client explore their own ideas and options.
2. Ask high mileage questions to help the client explore possibilities, opportunities and options. Such as, "If you did know the answer what would it be? "What does your inner wisdom tell you to do here?" "What things have you tried in the past to overcome something like this." "What research do you need to do to find the answers?" "Could you take this away as homework to see what you uncover?"
3. Have a solid rationale for making a suggestion. Not just because it's the easy thing to do and you believe you have the right answer.
4. Ask permission. Always. "I can sense that you are struggling with what to do here. May I make a suggestion." "Would it be helpful if I shared something that has worked for other clients?" "May I suggest a tool or exercise to help you explore this area?"
5. Remember that a suggestion is an option, an idea. It is not telling what to do, it is not a must do, expert advice or a prescription. It is simply a suggestion that the client can accept or decline.
6. If the client declines your suggestion, respect their decision and continue coaching with high mileage questions to explore what else is possible.
7. Remember the client will be more empowered, have better outcomes and will learn and grow more if they come up with their own ideas and action steps and rely on their own inner wisdom.
Over to you: Do you struggle with this one? How directive are you as a health coach? Tell me in the comments...