Let’s start by looking at how coaching shows up and how it changes everything.
Coaching can begin before you even commence a formal paid program with a new client. An example of this is your discovery call. You see when you coach well in such a call, you will help them to say “yes”, not because of some clever closing technique, but because they genuinely see the solution to their problems resting in their relationship with you as their coach.
The secret to this call is to completely back away from any effort to structure the call in any way to lead your potential new client towards buying anything from you. The key is to talk less and ask more and, mostly, to get out of the way seeking first to simply understand.
These six questions are the questions to be asking.
The first question is -
 What are the biggest barriers for you when trying to achieve better results in terms of your health, weight or fitness?
You need to go deeper and so the the second question is simply to ask -
 and what else?
Acknowledge their answers, pause and repeat as necessary engaging in increasingly deeper exchanges about their situation. Then ask the third question, which is -
 and what would you say the real problem is here?
Seek to better understand the cause not just more superficial symptoms of their problem.
Your client might initially say the problem is their busy lifestyle. When you ask what else they might add their struggle to stick to a diet or deal with the weekends when they often eat out. When you engage in dialogue and ask what the real problem is here and leave a pause, they might think and state actually prioritising their goals properly.
You can then ask the fourth which is -
 and ideally how would you like things to be, instead?
Get into the detail and emotion of how things could be not only for themselves but for those around them. You might ask, if they were able to simply wave a magic wand and be their ideal self now what would be most exciting for them. You now only have two to go. So, your fifth question is -
 what’s got to change for this to happen?
Get really clear on what really needs to change for them. Follow up with "what else?" and even ask "what's got to change first?" Make sure both parties are clear that if such changes were made, the desired result would be attained. This then leaves your final question -
 what help do you feel you most need?
Now, the reason these six questions work so well is that the first three drive clarity about what is really wrong, so you don’t mistakenly start addressing the wrong things. The important phrase “for you” is essential.
Then with immediate contrast and rich description about how they would ideally like things to be, you create the necessary gap you need to show the journey ahead.
Ownership is emphasised in the phrase 'for you' and reinforced in question 5 by avoiding telling them how you can fix this but, instead, asking more objectively about what’s got to actually change. This helps place emphasis on the final question and discussion about how you and your programs can help. Notice how late you and your programs come into the exchange.
The power in this approach is the art of the delivery. What is key is helping your potential future client speak out aloud about what is wrong and more importantly what is really wrong.
When their own ears hear their own voice saying this, the first of three critical shifts is achieved. Then, when you help them compare and contrast this with how they want things to be, probing for detail and understanding, deeply listening for meaning and clarity in their answer well, guess what, they too become really clear, and therefore excited.
This clarity and excitement isn’t about your programs or your Facebook group or your recipe ideas. The emotion is generated from them hearing themselves speak out aloud without prejudice about how they would truly love things to be. This is the second critical shift and, when it comes from them not you, it instantly becomes more believable and, therefore, achievable in their mind. And when you ask about what’s got to change, allowing them the space to think, they, not you, figure this out, which is inherently empowering. As they do they make the all-important third shift realising that they can do this.
All they need is some guidance and support to help them. And, therefore, all you have to do is clarify how you do just this. No sales training required.
You are not selling your program but letting them know how you can help them solve their problem.
I am hoping this sounds doable and straight forward.
We haven’t got the time now to run through the other 5 coaching session types in any kind of detail, but there are six in total and each has a specific set of questions you need to ask. Each is purposefully constructed to be consistent with our coaching definition offered earlier and, therefore, more likely to procure a healthy and highly productive client-coach relationship where your client is proactive in the whole process.
In order to draw out the good stuff you must be fully present. This means there is no room for worrying about what to ask next, or concern about where things are going. You cannot be preoccupied with thinking about what techniques to strategies to use. Being present is powerful enough.
All you have to do is show up and then work with what comes up.
Sounds easy doesn't it.
And with training and practice it is.
In terms of delivery, these ABCs of coaching
Asking great questions, Being present and Curiously questioning everything is all you need to do.
The other 5 coaching session-types include your on-boarding session once a client begins with you, your formal review and accountability sessions planned along the journey, specific break-out coaching sessions as well as topic-specific focused coaching sessions around common topics such as nutrition, stress, time management etc. and, finally, your program transition session as you move between programs or conclude a course of coaching.
All of these session types are reviewed including the specific questions for each in our coach education programs.
Coaching is an art not just a science and practice makes permanent. But practising without guidance can be ineffective. Which is why we offer what we do. And, as you master both the science and art of coaching, you infinitely improve your ability to help your clients achieve lasting results in their lives.
Shall we move on and talk more about mindset?