If you want to build confidence in your coaching skills, quickly and effectively, you need to start doing these things right now.
I have been having lots of conversations lately with graduate coaches about their levels of confidence around their coaching and their ability to run a business.
So I decided to create this episode – dedicated to you new coaches or wellness practitioners out there – about how to build confidence in your coaching business.
When I say confident coaching business, I mean that you feel confident in your modality, in your skills, and about your business. We are going to cover these things in TWO podcast episodes because it’s a big juicy topic.
Today, we are going to focus on confidence in your modality and your coaching skills.
The NEXT episode will cover confidence in your business skills.
Before we dive in, I want to share one of the most important lessons that I’ve learnt in life.
It’s simply this – if you feel confident about what you’re doing or selling, then it is extremely convincing, magnetic and compelling to other people.
Here’s proof. Think about someone you know who is self-confident.
How inspired do you feel around that person?
Would you trust their opinion or advice?
Now, think about somebody that you know who is confident in running their business.
Do you look up to them?
Are they a role model for you?
When you are confident in who you are and what you do, you can sell anything – no matter what it is. Your unwavering belief and confidence is highly magnetic and highly attractive. It’s the secret of effective marketing!
That’s why feeling confident in your coaching will help you to build a powerful business.
Now let’s explore three areas in more depth: feeling confident in what you do (your modality), feeling confident about your skills in that area.
Confidence in What You Do
Let’s start by talking about your confidence in what you do – that is, in your profession.
Even if you don’t have much experience in your field as a coach or wellness practitioner, you will likely have great confidence in the modality that you use.
When you are confident in who you are and what you do, you can sell anything – no matter what it is.
You probably have great confidence in the power of that modality to truly help people make change, to become healthier, calmer, less anxious and more at peace.
That’s a really important starting point. Because if you lack confidence in your abilities, at least you know that your modality is effective and you believe in that – and you can learn and improve your skills.
If you feel confident in what you do, congratulations, that’s great!
If you don’t believe in what you’re doing then your commitment, confidence in your abilities and your ability to sell it are going to be virtually zero.
I’ve had this experience myself. I joined a network marketing business many years ago and they introduced new product lines that I didn’t like.
Because I didn’t believe in many of their new products, I found it harder and harder to sell those products because it didn’t feel authentic and aligned. I had to quit that organisation within a year of joining.
That taught me a valuable lesson – simply, that I must believe in what I do in order to be good at it and be able to sell it.
So I invite you to step back and look at the big picture of what you do for a moment – your modality – and consider how effective that modality is.
Consider what happens when experienced practitioners use that modality. Think about the results that their clients have achieved.
The upshot of this is, even if you have had few or no clients yourself, really get clear on how much you believe in your modality as an effective tool to help people.
It’s a great point of focus if you are new as a coach/practitioner, and/or in your business, because at least you believe in the power of what you do!
To help you boost your confidence and get rid of doubt, you may like to include a focus on the benefits and possible outcomes of your modality as part of your pre-session ritual, to truly get connected to the value of what you do.
Confidence in Your Ability as a Coach
The next thing to talk about is building confidence in your own ability as a coach or practitioner.
You will need to take a slightly longer view because it takes time to develop skills and competence in ANY area of life.
Let’s face it, you can’t study a year of piano theory and step onto the stage as a concert pianist, having never done that before, right?
The thing with confidence in your ability is that you need to find evidence for your BRAIN. That’s because our brains want evidence that something is true before truly believing it.
I recommend that you listen to my previous podcast #73 where I talked about how your inner critic can get you stuck in a negative thought loop that your brain will eventually turn into a belief!
If you think that you’re no good and focus on that then your brain will find evidence to support that. And if you think you could develop confidence and skills and are curious about that, then your brain will find evidence for that instead.
So focusing on how you could develop skills or become a better coach, or to acknowledge what is working well, is way better training for your brain.
This raises the question – how can you help your brain to get the evidence that it needs to believe that you’re good at what you’re doing or at least competent – so that you can start to feel more confident in your skills and abilities?
Our brains want evidence that something is true before truly believing it.
In my role as a Coach Trainer for a health and wellness coaching school, I explain a few different ways for student coaches to that can quickly and effectively build confidence.
These ways revolve around mindfulness, self-awareness, reflection and acknowledging success. These are things that don’t come naturally to most of us, so it’s important that we develop these skills as part of our personal and professional development – and to help us become more confident as coaches.
I want to share FIVE ways that you can become a more confident coach or practitioner.
You may want to write these down, so you can set some goals around these things and weave them into your schedule.
#1 – The first thing to do DO IT – to actually coach – with practice clients – until you start feeling confident enough to do paid sessions.
Find anyone with a pulse who you like and who is willing to change. Do two or three sessions with them just to get the feel of coaching and using the skills.
Don’t worry about ongoing sessions or continuity in the beginning – just use the sessions to become familiar and comfortable with your methodology and running a coaching session.
That leads me to the second point.
#2 – When you work with clients, make sure that you choose people that you have good chemistry with and who are ready to change.
If you don’t have a good personality fit with your client or if they’re ambivalent or a bit resistant to change, or just trying to do a favour, then your session with them will likely feel difficult or uncomfortable and you will probably question your own ability.
By all means experiment with different kinds of clients and personalities so you can see who fits best, but be mindful that not everyone will be the right client for you – and that this is NOT a reflection of your skills as a coach.
It’s a fact of life – we tend to attract certain types of people and not others. That’s one reason why only certain people will want to work with you, and why it’s worth targeting a niche.
I learned about client chemistry the hard way.
I was running my coaching business and had somebody else selling clients into my program.
After a while, I realised that I felt drained and tired when I was walking into those sessions. I started to doubt my ability as a coach. And I was ready to quit. Fed up. Disheartened.
THEN I reflected on the facts and realised that I had exceptional rapport with certain clients AND that they were getting the best outcomes. It was then that I realised I needed to target a niche and find my ideal client so that my work was always energizing.
It is valuable to work with different types of people in the beginning to figure out who your people are – but be aware that the differences in your personalities or learning styles and how that may affect your confidence in your skills.
What do you think that means for a new graduate coach or practitioner? If their client seems difficult, they will likely start blaming themselves for their poor skills. I’ve seen it a hundred times, and it’s the absolute wrong thing to do.
If you DO find yourself feeling uncomfortable about a client, please simply step back and acknowledge them as a person with their own challenges that they are responsible for, and know that your job is to hold space and work with them in a way that they need.
Your job is not to fix them but to be there for them and support them and to help them find their own solutions. Better still, start becoming more selective about who you work with and choose people that you have great chemistry.
That’s a really organic process for finding your niche and ideal client, loving your work and to rapidly build confidence and capacity as a coach or practitioner.
#3 – The third way to build confidence in your coaching skills is to start reflecting on your own performance.
When you graduate, you no longer have a teacher supporting you and guiding you in the use of your skills. You’re on your own. Developing your own feedback loop is therefore an essential part of your professional development.
Do a post session reflection and fill in your coaching log.
This is an essential professional development practice that can raise self awareness, identify your strengths, and find areas that need sharpening up.
#4 – the fourth way to build confidence is to get feedback from your clients. There are a few types of feedback that you can get in a session.
- You can get non-verbal cues from your client.
Watch their body language through the session with you. Do they become more open? Do they seem more relaxed? Does their energy or excitement build?.
These are all non-verbal cues that indicate your client is growing and getting something important out of the session with you.
- You can ask your clients for feedback at the end of each session.
Build it into your session close to ask what they learnt about themselves and if they have any feedback on the coaching. What you’ll find is that clients are usually so thankful and grateful for your listening or the realisation they had.
Many new graduate coaches I speak to think that listening to someone doesn’t have any value and isn’t worth anything but when you hear your clients expressing their heartfelt gratitude for your holding space you’ll start to really see how valuable it is for the client and that’s what this is all about-them.
- Ask clients to complete a written survey at the end of their whole coaching program asking them what they liked, didn’t like, what changed, and how they changed, and what their next goals are.
This will give you a LOT of information about the entire process as well as your skills, and about their own openness to change, commitment and self-responsibility.
#5 – The fifth way to build confidence in your coaching ability is to help your client measure and monitor changes they experience on a week by week basis.
Monitoring and measuring could include the assessment of weekly goals using percent success for each goal, it could also include physical measurements that they may take such as number of steps or 1 to 10 scales for stress or energy.
Anything that they are physically recording and seeing changes in is giving you evidence that your process your methodology and your skills and their readiness to change a facilitating shifts that have value to the client. And all of these give you ongoing evidence that will help you to build confidence in your coaching skills.
The caveat for this one is that some clients struggle to change due to their own beliefs or past trauma that have nothing to do with your skill. It may simply mean that their challenges are outside your scope and referral is required.
The way to build confidence in your coaching ability is to actually do it.
We discussed two ways to build confidence.
1. Start with confidence in your modality.
It will help your brain and your mindset to focus on the positives that your qualification or modality can create.
Look to experienced practitioners in your industry and observe your role models to validate that what you’re doing is effective and credible.
2. Build confidence in your coaching ability by coaching, and collecting feedback.
The five ways to do this included:
- Start coaching people now and start learning from that. Get comfortable with a couple of free sessions with a client, then work up to a series of sessions with paying clients.
- Work with clients you have good chemistry with.
- Create your own feedback loop – your coaching log.
- Get client body language, verbal feedback in a session, and written feedback at the end.
- Help your client measure and monitor change as evidence that ‘it worked’.
Just like playing the piano, you can only become good at coaching by actually doing it.
Ready to sell your service with confidence?
Feeling confident in your coaching will help you to build a powerful business. If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.
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