5 Must-Have Skills Of A Relationship Coach
Having a strong foundation of skills is the key to your success as a relationship coach. Relationship coaching is a tender profession, and with the increasing invasion of technology in our lives, you need to get better at certain skills.
So let's dive into the 5 relationship coaching skills you must start working on today:
Relationship coaches work mostly with life-coaching skillset. While life coaching and relationship coaching are not exactly same, they do overlap in many critical areas including some of the external skills you need to be an extraordinary coach with the skills to create real change for your clients.
Skill#1: Active Listening
This isn’t just about listening with your ears and hearing what your client says. Active listening is about bringing your whole body and mind to the game. It involves observing your client’s body language and demonstrating focus and attention with your own body language (eg: by leaning in as your client speaks).
It’s also about reflecting their words by repeating or checking in with specific thoughts and ideas that they shared. Active listening includes asking for clarification when you don’t fully understand what’s being said.
Skill #2: Powerful Questioning
Powerful questioning is the “make or break” of a transformational coaching session. As a relationship coach, you need to motivate your client to see things in new and refreshing ways.
Powerful questions can get your client to look at their relationship problems and challenges from a brand new perspective. They can also uncover deep, hidden beliefs and trigger life-changing breakthroughs.
Great questions to ask include:
What’s the outcome you’re looking for?
What is the action you can take right now?
If nothing changes, how can you still make it work?
Skill#3: Building a True Connection
Sometimes known as “building rapport,” this is about connecting deeply with your client so they can share what’s in their mind and heart without fear of being judged, condemned or censored.
Having a true connection with a client means being able to empathize without judgment. It’s also a big part of building trust which is the magical element that you need to have with every single client you work with.
Trust is at the heart of powerful relationship coaching. A true connection is also created by “matching and mirroring” your client through body language, tone and voice as this will allow them to feel safe and understood.
Skill#4: Focusing on a Desired Outcome
Show us a coaching session without an outcome and we’ll show you a total failure.
Understanding how to set a vision, goal or outcome for each coaching session and for your entire journey with a client is one of the most important skills you can have as a relationship coach.
You can’t help your client if you don’t know what they want and you need to know how to guide your client toward a desired outcome so they can get the most out of their time with you.
Skill#5: Giving Great Feedback
Knowing how to give powerful, actionable feedback to your client is one of the most crucial skills you can have as a relationship coach.
A relationship coach helps clients identify, nurture, and build strong loving, supportive relationships in their personal and professional lives and this simply cannot happen without feedback.
This isn’t about climbing on a pedestal and “telling” your client what to do because you’re the “all knowing coach.” The art of giving great feedback is not about pointing out where your client is “wrong,” but about guiding your client to find solutions and pathways that will help them build ideal relationships.
Read through this chapter again and then reflect on this question in the context of the 5 must-have skills:
What are some of the skills that I already have and what do I need to learn and improve?
When you’re done, think about some of the action steps you can take to improve each of the 5 skills (eg: take a course, connect with a coach or mentor for support, read a book, etc).
Then go ahead and fill out this chart for even more clarity:
Strength (rate 1-5)
Building a True Connection
Focusing on a Desired Outcome
Giving Great Feedback
Tip: Set aside self-judgment and doubt. This exercise is about seeing yourself clearly so you can do what it takes to quickly boost your skillset on your way to becoming a transformational relationship coach.
Honing Your Relationship Coaching Skills
There are countless ways to boost your skills as a relationship coach but if you’re serious about becoming a powerhouse coach and you want to fast-track your journey, you need to adopt a very specific rule right from the get-go…
Here’s what that means…
You could spend weeks, months – even years – studying, learning, and absorbing every bit of theory behind great relationship coaching, but nothing beats implementation.
If you want to become a world-class relationship coach who knows how to create results for clients, you need to coach.
Coaching is a skill and like any other skill you need to practice and perform if you want to get really, really good at it.
Think about it… You don’t learn to play the violin or drive a car just by reading about it or talking about it. You need to get out there and you DO it!
It’s the same with coaching. You need to practice and perform as a relationship coach to become truly great at it.
The “practice and performance” rule might seem obvious to you, but it needs to be emphasized because it’s one of the biggest mistakes a lot of newbie coaches make.
They spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars attending courses and seminars, they read and talk about relationship coaching, but they don’t ever actually do the work.
Just to be clear: great coaching courses, books and retreats have incredible value, but you can only maximize what you learn and gain all of the benefits when you take action.
The world’s greatest coaching ideas and principles mean nothing if you’re not implementing what you study.
Everything you learn will work for you only if you do the work.
As you begin your journey to becoming a transformational relationship coach, make a commitment to practice and perform, every chance you get.
If you’re a brand new coach and you don’t have clients yet, ask friends and family members if they’d be open to receiving some coaching from you.
Remember… Any opportunity to practice is a good opportunity, especially when you’re just starting out.
Read on to discover the best relationship coaching tools you can use with your clients.