Some Fantastic Coaching Tools That Could Change Your Life
Many of us have heard about Coaching in one way or another, but how many of us know just how many aspects of life, performance, business and education different coaching tools and styles can positively impact our lives?
In this article, I’d love to introduce you to some of my favourite theories, tools and exercises and describe how they can work for you in a number of different life changing ways!
As a coach the I believe that as individual human beings we all have the capacity to grow, develop and reach one's highest potential. whether that be in our careers, our health and fitness as mothers, leaders and so on. Alot of this comes down to confidence building and growth. This perspective feels natural to me. It makes sense and I have seen many people thrive and work towards their goals taking ownership of their lives which is truly inspiring stuff!
My practice is based on the Person Centred approach created by the pioneering psychotherapist Dr. Carl Rogers. Rogers began developing his philosophy now widely recognised as the ‘Person-Centred Approach’ in Psychology during his time in the USA (1940s – 1960s), and was considered extremely radical if not revolutionary. His theories underpin many angles of counselling and child development. Primarily a researcher Rogers believed that we all have the innate capacity for self-actualisation and to change for the better under the right conditions in life and education. Self actualisation is the realization or fulfilment of one's talents and potentialities, especially considered as a drive or need present in everyone.
Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs demonstrates the fundamental stages of growth humans need to reach this state of fulfilment. We must all begin with strong foundations under ideal conditions can build on those towards self actualisation.
Underpinning Rogers Person Centred theory are the ’Core Conditions’ of Empathy, positive self-regard and congruence. When these three conditions are made available to a person then its in the human nature to achieve their most authentic self, to heal and dig deep into their subconscious to reveal their deepest truth.
Person-centred approach is focussed on the coachee/client/individual’s view of the world. Unlike other therapies, the client is responsible for improving his or her life, not the therapist, but working closely alongside a practitioner to grow the positive environment to succeed.
My personal experience of this wonderful approach has been through a training in Person Centred Art Therapy – combining simple counselling and coaching techniques with art and image making (from a person centred perspective). Once an image comes to light through guided visualisation for example and is made real on paper it can then be facilitated and a window to the clients subconscious opened for further exploration and healing.
The person-centred approach has vast application in education, counselling and image making for self-development. As coaches we are here to support change and this person centred framework allows us to walk alongside our coachee/clients creating the environment they need to thrive.
Great rapport comes before any of the other tools can come into play – it’s the foundation for a successful coaching relationship! By rapport, I mean the connection between coaching client and coach. When you have a great connection, you can almost feel a flow! This will allow trust and authenticity to build in the coaching sessions which allows the subconscious to let down its guard and you as a coachee to dig deeper reaching your goals and achievements more successfully and often more quickly! Part of a coaches training is to work on lots of wonderful skills such as NLP that enable us to help create a fantastic rapport with our awesome client, in turn, allowing this magic to happen! Rapport is extremely valuable in all situations where a certain level of trust and connection is required not just in a coaching environment, in counselling and training environment too. The better the connection, the more successful the outcome!
Asking great questions is a bedrock of great coaching in getting to the root of your goals and helping you work successfully towards achieving whatever it is you want to. Coaches create great open questions around your session and conversation to guide you in a positive state towards your desired outcome. Posing open questions allow the coachee to speak from a very personal place without being led. This allows the coachee/client to connect to deeper desires and wishes to create a super strong driver to get you to that place of achievement! A simple yet amazingly powerful question loved by many a coach is ‘can you tell me more?’ As person-centred coaches we are in the business of handing the power over to the client and allowing them to speak from their own perspective and truth. It’s simple yet taps into the subconscious to create powerful results.
Another tool I love and have seen great success for my clients with is Anthony Robbins Table of Beliefs. This is a fantastic tool to use for boosting confidence using previous experiences as evidence to leverage your own expertise.
On a sheet of paper draw a horizontal line as your ‘table top’ and now on that top write your positive affirmation or statement of belief! My example might be ‘I am an artist’ or ‘I am an awesome coach’. Now the point of this exercise is to think about how you might steady this floating table top and transform this simple statement into a part of your belief system. So, think back to an event or occasion or something you have done/do regularly that confirms your statement in the positive e.g., I have had wonderful feedback from my coaching clients. I continue to learn and refine my coaching practise, or I had a fab Facebook review! All of these statements will be added as the ‘legs’ that support my wobbly table top cementing my belief and affirming the statements. The aim is to add many many legs to your table! Ask a peer to support you and think of times they have witnessed you do the thing. Add facts, projects, stats from your website…anything that bolsters your statement!
If you are struggling to come up with a positive statement another trick you might try is the goal to belief exercise. Try this changing the tense and see how the energy changes.
Goal = I want to change my career
Beliefs statement = I can/I am/I will change my career
Simple yet super powerful switching your thought process into an active ‘doing’ state, clearing limitations giving your brain something more definite to focus on. Once you have identified your goal and created a believe statement you can place it into the Table exercise and begin solidifying that belief and neural pathway!
We should also remember that it’s a proven fact that our brain cannot distinguish factual reality from imagined reality. That’s one of the reasons why positive affirmations and visualisation work so well! The more often you replay a positive statement or ‘tape’ through your mind, the more likely you are to have it happen, to be open to opportunities that lead to your achievement and to great positive feelings about reaching your goals. Which in turn will help you reach that goal!
Once you’ve written up your Table of Beliefs I’d highly recommend sticking it in a prominent place perhaps in front of your desk or pin board and read regularly!
I hope you have found this article useful and an insight into my own coaching practice. Tools such as these are great to use at home but often it’s the coaching environment id where they come to life! I’d love to hear your experiences of coaching and any favourite tools you return to time and again.