If you’re a coach, you’re probably a natural at encouraging those around you to reach their full potential. You also most likely know a thing or two about self-improvement and empowerment.
That means you don’t need us to explain the value of implementing techniques that will make you better at your job and from which your clients, in turn, will benefit. It’s a “win-win.”
As you browse the list below, you may find you already practice some of our recommended techniques. But we invite you to explore any new methods that could breathe some energy into your work. After all, it’s always the right time to refresh your toolkit!
What are coaching tools and techniques?
Techniques are coaching practices, and tools are activities coaches can use to put those techniques in action.
For example, a technique might be motivating your clients to move out of their comfort zone, while a tool could be a worksheet or exercise that helps them push past the limits you’re challenging.
10 techniques according to the different coaching models
Life coaching techniques
Life coaches help their clients reach their goals, achieve wellness and personal growth, and feel better about themselves. The following are techniques that this type of coach uses to establish trust as they help their coachees find opportunities for improvement and thrive off of their strengths.
- Build rapport: Building trust with your clients may take time, but you can start off strong by asking the right questions, learning about their lives, remembering important details, and encouraging honesty. Remind your coachees that they are in a safe space. As they open up, you’ll understand who they really are and how you can best help them.
- Practice active listening: Active listeners open their ears more than their mouths. Give your clients the opportunity to share while you listen intently. Be sure to center the conversation on the client and use open-ended questions to get them talking.
- Use tools like worksheets and exercises: Give structure to your techniques by having clients fill out a worksheet or participate in an imagery exercise like a goal visualization. These activities help move your clients toward the outcomes they wish to achieve in an organized way. If you need guidance, you can download templates to use in your sessions.
Motivational coaching techniques
Motivational coaches support their clients as they tackle life’s problems. This role focuses on offering guided encouragement. Here are some ways to do so.
- Challenge your clients with goal setting: Push clients out of their comfort zones with realistic goals that are beyond what they think they can achieve. Motivate them when challenges arise and remind them they are capable of more than they think.
- Highlight the importance of effort, not outcomes: We all fail sometimes, and that's okay! Failure is not an indicator of how hard we try or how badly we want to achieve a certain goal. The only thing within our control is the effort and focus we put into trying to reach those goals. And there will always be important learning moments along the way.
- Believe in your clients and trust their processes: As a coach, you may often know best, but we all do things a little bit differently. If you encourage your clients to trust themselves and their own way of reaching their goals, they’ll feel more empowered when they do. And they’ll believe in themselves when they take on new challenges in the future, whether or not you’re there to cheer them on.
- Be honest and tell it like it is: In coaching, honesty is always the best policy. Being real with your clients helps you form a genuine bond and motivate your coachees towards goals in a way that feels safe for them.
Business coaching techniques
Business coaches help entrepreneurs propel their projects to new heights. The role of a business coach not only entails providing motivational support but also sound career advice.
- Teach your clients to give and receive feedback effectively: The work coaches do with their clients is founded on a trusting relationship. Effective feedback should be a part of this coaching relationship. A coach needs to be able to cite what’s not working, and a client should be able to digest this advice as constructive and not critical. And the coachee should feel comfortable expressing how they feel about the progress they’re making with their coach.
- Help your clients develop emotional intelligence: They’re called “growing pains” for a reason. To help clients and their businesses mature, coaches may have to deal some hard truths—in a focused, encouraging way, of course. Clients, in turn, should possess the self-awareness to be able to face challenges without getting overly personally attached to outcomes or feedback.
- Help your client develop a business vision and keep it in mind: Coaches guide clients toward a very specific vision that embodies the spirit of the entrepreneur. It’s easy for clients to get distracted along the way because building a business is no easy work, especially when one is deeply invested in the outcome. As an outside third party, coaches can remind coachees of their vision when they start to stray. Think of it this way: when a client takes a micro view, coaches can provide a macro perspective. It may also help remind clients of the measurable advances they've made by staying on top of business metrics.
Be the best coach you can be
There are many types of coaching, and every coach has their personal style and strengths. But all coaches can become even more effective by implementing new techniques and tools. As you do so, you’ll learn by your own example, mentoring yourself to improve your ways of working. Remember that even if you’re in a leadership role, you can always stand to learn from your experiences and the clients you’re helping.
If you're struggling with managing multiple tools in your coaching business or you're tired of doing all the administrative work manually, Practice can help streamline and get everything in one place. Get access to the platform here.