The skills of a relationship coach are in high demand these days.
There are all kinds of relationships people can be in. And not just romantic ones.
Relationships at work. Relationships with family and relatives. And those with your near and dear friends.
All these relationships need work, and sometimes we might find ourselves failing to navigate them in the best way possible. That’s where the need for a relationship coach comes in.
1. Set The Right Expectations
At the onset of your session, it’s important to set an expectation of what your client can expect from you, and from that particular coaching session.
For example, as a relationship coach, you cannot solve all problems in just a 45 minute session. This is a great thing to set an expectation about – how much time do you need to coach your clients through their problems? What’s a reasonable timeframe they can expect to commit to?
Take the pressure off both yourself, and your clients. Set the right expectations to allow the session to flow and create whatever needs to be created.
2. Put Your Client At Ease
Once the right expectations have been set, it is your job as a relationship coach, to put your client at ease. Make them comfortable, and let them know that they are not the only ones suffering from a particular negative scenario.
This step is especially important because relationships are a tender affair – opening up about them is not so easy. Your client needs to feel at ease, and understood.
3. Understand Your Client’s Needs
The next step is to really understand what your client is looking for, from your relationship coaching.
Relationships can be taken in many different contexts, by different people. A particular term may mean different things to different people. Right? It’s all very subjective.
That’s why it’s important to clarify, and understand what your client is really looking for, from the session. And how you can be of help to them.
Try these questions…
- How do you feel when this situation happens?
- Why is that important to you?
- What about their reaction makes you feel this way?
4. Challenge Your Client’s Perspectives
Powerful questions like “What would happen if this doesn’t change?” are designed to help you challenge a set perspective your client might be having…
Thus helping them see beyond it, into a world of solutions, and possibilities.
Questions like these also help you understand what’s really urgent and important for your client.
Find out whether what your client wants is a must-have, or a nice-to-have in their relationship needs.
Defining the intention and lifespan of your client’s goal will help you serve them the right way.
5. Invitation vs Obligation
In a relationship, when there’s invitation to participate, we feel more eager to partake in it. Invitation increases the likelihood of others showing up with interest and desire.
Obligation, on the other hand, feels forceful – like doing something you are not very keen on doing.
Understanding the difference between Invitation and Obligation… and how to use both of these in different real life situations, is a game changing skill to navigate a relationship and make it grow.
6. Make Practice Time
Practice always makes things better. Yes! Even in a relationship setting.
Your job as a relationship coach is also to help your clients turn their insights into actions.
Dedicate time within your coaching sessions, so that your client can find opportunities, with you, to practice what they’ve learnt and gathered from your coaching.
Roleplays are a great way to help your clients practice their insights. Observe how they’re acting, feedback them constantly, and then try it all over again.
7. Give Examples
The words we choose to communicate with can make or break the outcome of any conversation. Help your clients by teaching them some language needles, to make their communication clearer and smoother.
But also remember to invite them to use their own communication styles. How they usually communicate, what language they use daily with their partners.
Understanding the way your clients communicate will help you understand the areas they need to work on.
8. Encourage Not Immediate Action
This is a really important step for your clients to understand.
In a relationship they want to “fix”, there is a lot of excitement to take action “right now”. To not wait for the best moment.
Sometimes, this imposes restrictions on the partner… or the other people involved in the relationship.
That’s why it’s best to encourage your clients to wait it out, and take action after a certain time has passed.
As a relationship coach, you must ensure that your clients spend time marinating their thoughts first… and this will be part of their action plan post the coaching session.
Encourage them to reflect on the insights, understand their own language needles, come up with better ones… and then take action.
So there you have it. Eight really simple and essential steps to become better as a relationship coach. These steps are from master coach Bryan Reeves, and you can watch his live demonstration with a client, in this YouTube video.
Which of these tips did you find the most helpful!? Share with us in the comments below.