Coaching is less of a job, and more of an art. Ara Parashghian believes that “a good coach will make his players see what the can be, rather than what they are.” Coaches try to lock into the untapped potential of their pupils, whether they are athletes, employees, or friends. If you’re worried about coaching your employees or co-worker, take a look at our course on the 7 Keys to Workplace Coaching. Coaching is all about empowerment. I’ll give you some basic coaching techniques to help your pupils be all that they can be!
Whether you are coaching on the sports field, in the workplace, or in your personal life, there are many overlapping challenges and goals. Some common obstacles that arise in the context of coaching are fear, accountability issues, rigidity, and inaction. Here are some coaching techniques to help get you past common obstacles and onto greatness!
1. Try using the word “instead” to solve a problem.
If you are stuck on an outcome and are not thinking about how you can get there, you will never be successful. Using the word “instead” will help you get past the particular problem and onto thinking about solutions to the problem or paths you can take to resolve it. I’ve listed some common questions you can ask yourself:
- What do I want instead of this?
- How do I want to be feeling instead?
- What do I want to be doing instead?
- What do I want to be thinking instead?
- Where do I want to be going instead?
2. Make a “headless” choice, let your body decide.
What I’m going to ask you to do is a bit abstract, so bear with me! I want you to stand up high and close your eyes. With your eyes closed, you need to imagine that each option you have is neatly packaged in a box for you. I want you to have each of those boxes in a particular area, one off to your left, another to your right…etc.
The decision you make is to be made from your body, specifically your gut instinct. I do not want you to think twice about a decision, but just go with your first instinct. What you are going to do is to take a step “into” each of the “boxes” you laid out, one by one. If when you step into a box, your heart does not jump for joy, then move on.
Once you found that box that makes you “woohoo!” from your gut, then stick with that option because it is where your path lies. You are not to stick to a box simply because rational thought tells you it is what you should do. Rational thought is what got you stuck in the first place, so this time, you are going with your gut.
3. Ask yourself: what would my hero do?
There are times in your life where the options are not so clear and the outcomes are a gray area. If you do not know the right path to take, maybe there is someone you idolize that seems to make the right decisions. Sometimes you can just sit and think, what would Mom do? By putting yourself into the shoes of another person, you can often times see a new perspective and make a better, more well-rounded decision for yourself. Here are some questions you can ask:
- What would my hero do about this?
- Why don’t I try doing a little of that?
- What would my hero make of this?
- What would he/she have to say about it?
4. Harness the fear
Naturally, a person is going to feel fear and hesitation when making important decisions and trying to achieve their goal. Fear serves two purposes, it cautions you that the unchartered territory you are entering may be risky and it also boosts your adrenaline in case you need to make a split decision to get out of trouble. Unfortunately, fear can be a major inhibitor to growth and to reaching your goals. Anxiety will often prevent people from making a change and leaving unhappy situations in their lives such as jobs or spouses.
Just because fear makes you uncomfortable, does not mean it is all bad. Use the adrenaline that fear creates to propel you forward. Be careful and wise in decision making, but do not avoid new situations all together. Fear is a healthy part of the process to reaching your goals. For example, before the first whistle blew on the soccer field, I often found myself with a stomach full of butterflies. I never let it stop me, I only let it motivate me! Embrace the fear, understand what it means, then propel yourself past it. For more tips on helping to push people past obstacles, check out our course on Infused Coaching through Motivational Leadership.
5. Be accountable to yourself and others
Accountability is a huge component of reaching your goals. That is why this coaching technique can prove to be very beneficial and difficult. Of course we are all naturally accountable to ourselves. We have to live with the decisions we make and with the actions that we do not follow through will. However, in order to be truly effective, it’s best to have someone else accountable for you as well.
This accountability technique is why sports teams are successful and why losing weight is easier in a group than on your own. When you tell a close friend about your goal and set up a progress report date, you have already taken a substantial step towards achieving your goal. It is one thing not to live up to your own mental promises, but once you’ve told a friend, there is someone else that is aware of your goals. If you have the opportunity to, try joining a class or a competition to achieve your goal. If weight loss is your goal, perhaps a weekly fitness class or a “Biggest Loser” competition at the office will suit you. Once you commit to a goal, tell the world!
So whether you’re coaching your team, your coworkers, or your friends, you can try the 5 techniques above. With the right support group and the right coaching techniques, you can help anyone realize their dreams! Not only will life coaching help others realize their potential, but it can also help you Discover Your Purpose. If coaching is something you’ve always dreamt of, you can lock into your untapped potential and Become a Professional Life Coach today!