No matter what niche you are working with, language is the most important tool that you have as a coach. It is important to consider how this tool can be used in order to suit the needs of you and your clients. Knowing when to use everyday language or specific jargon relevant to your field is something which will impact your relationships to those in your life whether it be clients, prospects, or professionals. The language you use and the communication methods you deploy will differ depending on the kind of niche you are working in. This aspect of coaching is something which you can always improve on. Having better mastery of the topic will also better your chances of success.
The type of language and communication methods you use will shift depending on your niche and the individual goals of each of your clients. A life coach won’t be using the same kind of vernacular as a business coach. Even further, a client who is a female divorcee with the goal of finding a meaningful relationship will respond better to different language than one who wants to achieve a healthy lifestyle. Although there are a lot of similarities, the distinct differences in each case will test your abilities as a coach.
Each individual client will understand and digest the information and aid you give them in different ways, and you can better the results you get with each client by understanding how they communicate. This is incredibly important in order to ground yourself as a leader in their lives and influence the outcome of their successes.
The methods you should consider are:
- Verbal/Non-verbal communication
- Word Choice
- Intent and Perception
Noting the differences between how verbal and non-verbal communication impact your relationships and coaching ability is imperative. Applying both of these jointly in thoughtful ways will help you succeed in your endeavor as a coach.
Verbal communication will engage how others comprehend your skills and authority. Use language that provides reinforcement, positive encouragement, and spurs reflection. These methods in conjunction with non-verbal aspects such as body language, gestures, posture, eye contact, and expression convey your magnetic personality and expertise.
While verbal and non-verbal communication seems to be an obvious aspect to consider as a coach, consistently educating yourself on communication skills overall is essential to your craft. Coaching is a profession which requires leadership and your language ought to reflect this.
The words that you choose to utilize in your communications with others will be perceived in different ways. These perceptions of your language will affect the credibility, efficacy, and level of authority that your clients, prospects, and other professionals regard you with. You want to be sure that your skill and work is reflected in the diction you choose.
Saying that you “believe that this exercise is the best way to achieve a goal” has a vast difference between stating that “this IS the best exercise to achieve YOUR goal”.
Word choices are incredibly subtle, but they create a colossal difference in how you influence your clients and how they influence you.
Intent and Perception
Often people mistake intent and perception as a package deal in conversation. While this if often true, it is essential to understand how the two can be perceived separately. Your word choices, body language, and tone can easily change the response you receive.
“You won’t mind if I move our meeting, right?” can be perceived as: I’m going to move our meeting without consulting you. Whereas, “Would you mind if we moved our meeting time?” creates a friendlier and clearer perception of the intended meaning.
Clients can misconstrue your intended meaning due to a variety of aspects such as: context, emotional state, and recent interactions they have had. As a coach you must have the insight to recognize these cues from their clients and apply communications tactics well. Explaining your reasoning will generate understanding and empathy between both parties. The ability to empathize with your clients will benefit how well they reach their goals in your care.
Clarification is ensuring that the the meaning and information passed between two parties is wholly understood by both. Checking that clarity is present in your conversations will prevent mishaps and misunderstandings. This is integral in cultivating consistency and authority in your personal and professional relationships. Use encouraging language in order to formulate questions and statements.
Open questions can help your client talk about certain issues: “Why is this important to you?”, while closed questions will often give you a quick yes or no: “Is this important to you?”
Clarity assures your clients that you are paying attention to what they are trying to convey, and that you have invested entirely into their cause. This communication method is one that applies to all niches of coaching and should always be present in your interactions.