Think of a time when you felt like someone listened to you well. What did they hear you say that surprised you?

Let’s get to the punchline at the very beginning of this article. Simply put, coaches need to listen well. To help clients build a strong relationship with themselves, you have to help the client listen to themselves.

Unfortunately, if you are spending all of the time listening to yourself in the coaching session, not to the client, you cannot help them to do that.

Read on to learn what it looks like to dig deeper in coaching sessions and bring higher value to your client relationships.

Do Away with Polite Coaching

Jump back to the opening of this article. What came to mind for you as you considered a time someone listened to you well? If you thought about it, even for a minute, you might answer something like: they listened to what was under the surface level of what I was saying, where it was coming from, and why I was saying it.

Think about that for a second. Here is what happens, coaches tend to get very polite in their coaching.

You might skim the surface because you are afraid that you might go a little too deep for the client. Maybe you are worried that you might offend. You are overthinking how the client is going to respond.

The reality is that you can’t go any deeper with the client than you haven’t gone with yourself. So, if you are superficial and on the surface with yourself, you will be shallow and on the surface with the client.

Get rid of being polite in coaching. Polite, move over. This deep coaching is not about being polite. Impactful coaching is about a deep respect for the client and the process.

Dig Deeper with Yourself First

How do you go deeper and bring your best self with your clients? It starts with digging deeper into yourself. Get comfortable getting below the surface of thoughts and emotions. Get used to getting to the root to mine for pearls of wisdom.

Consider what practices you can implement to help support your well-being and ability to dig deeper into yourself. How well do you listen to yourself or others? How do you know if you are connected or disconnected from yourself?

Digging deeper with yourself allows you to begin to listen deeper and focus on the client. As a result of you listening deeper to the client, the client can go deeper into themselves.

Co-Create Sacred and Safe Space with Your Client

Work with your client to develop a supportive environment where there’s safety to dig deeper. Create a space where there is room and opportunity for the Lord to move. Provide a place where the client can encounter God Himself.

Be intentional about leaving judgment or opinions at the door. Make sure you are anchored in the love of Christ and clothed with compassion as you approach each coaching session.

Remember, the goal is to listen deeply and remain fully present for the client, not focus on your thoughts or how you would respond to the client.

Ask questions that invite the client to dig deeper and explore for themselves.

And recognize that silence is a good thing. Give the client time to sit in their space and dig deeper. You don’t need to fill all the gaps with words. Hold the space for the client’s new awareness to take shape.

Use this sacred space to draw your client to awareness of their earlier learning in previous sessions, gently call out behaviors (not the person) that are not in alignment, and connect to the client’s current ‘ahas’.

Dig Deeper in Coaching Sessions in Partnership with Your Client

Become a coach who is confident to dig deeper in coaching sessions by first digging deeper with yourself. Prepare yourself well for coaching sessions to be fully present with your client. Doing so allows you to partner with them to create a safe and sacred space conducive to a high-value coaching conversation.

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