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What's In Your Coaching Toolbox?
Why is having a toolbox is important for coaches? Well, because life coaching can seem like a pretty nebulous field. When many life coaches are just starting out, there can be a feeling of “... but how do I do ___?”
When you start to add specific coaching techniques and interventions into your personal toolbox, you begin to build confidence. On the opposite side of the coin, when you don’t have a toolbox, you’re not going to be able to coach people very effectively. You may have the desire but until you have the right set of tools, you just won’t have a clear and reliable method for helping clients achieve the outcomes they are looking for from coaching.
So what are some of the basics that belong in every coaching toolbox?
Understanding What Life Coaches Do
Life coaches work with people in multiple areas, but there are three we want to focus on here:
- Positive Psychology
Intention is being able to clearly state your desired future state. As coaches, it’s our job to help clients articulate their core values as a solid foundation for goal setting and decision making. From there, we support them in taking actions that track with those underlying values.
Grit is required in order for a client to remain accountable to the actions they commit to on the road to achieving their goals. Life coaches support their clients cultivate grit by encouraging appropriate risk-taking, developing perserverance, and facing fear.
Positive psychology contributes to the field of coaching by focusing on a client's strengths. The science of positive psychology is extensive, but it all boils down to helping individuals move from a state of surviving to thriving. Whether we’re working to increase emotional intelligence or cultivate gratitude, positive psychology is not just theoretical. It’s an experiential practice that encourages clients to try on specific techniques, trust themselves, lean into their strengths, and discover what works best for them.
A coaching framework is the arc of questioning that a coach uses to move a client on a path of inquiry from point A to point B.
One simple coaching model that can apply to a variety of situations is “The Hallway Coaching Conversation.” This one is so handy that it's the very first framework we teach in Lumia's life coach training program!
The Hallway Conversation consists of three questions:
- Where are you now?
- Where do you want to be?
- What is getting in the way?
The name Hallway Conversation is a nod to what often happens spontaneously in an office environment between colleagues. But it applies anywhere, anytime!
You can use these three questions to form the basis of an entire coaching session. It's also a quick and easy process you can use whenever anyone grabs you and says, “Do you have a minute to help me think something through?”
Future visioning is one example of a coaching technique. Visioning helps to frame a client's intention for where they want to go and how they want to live their life. It is a validated applied positive intervention. According to scientific studies, holding a sustained focus on a desired future state decreases your stress response and increases your prefrontal cortex functioning.
A common exercise many people are familiar with in this area is the Vision Board.
Why do vision boards work? It’s not just fluff - there’s actually a science to it! When we regularly feed ourselves images of a desired future state, we’re creating a line of communication between our conscious and unconscious mind. We’re making the dream tangible and real inside our head… and body.
There’s even a name for this: the science of priming.
Ways to prime your brain to focus on your dream:
- Visual representation of some sort
- Vision boards
- Pictures on your fridge
- Computer passwords (change them all to reflect your dream, such as “NewZealand2024” or “BizLaunchTheSept!”)
- Daydreaming - regularly imagining your desired future state with specificity and detail
Ready to Expand Your Toolkit?
A lot of talented people like you dream of having a coaching business, but aren’t quite sure how to get there. We train and certify adventurous coaches, making sure you’ve got all you need to build a business you love and transform lives, on your terms. If you're ready to learn more, come check out Lumia Life Coach Training!