Core Coaching Skill #3: Intuition
When thinking about an effective coaching skill every coach needs, intuition is a must-have. Intuition is about taking information, observations and knowledge and bringing it all together into a cohesive, in-depth understanding of your client.
Make no mistake…
Intuition is a superpower and it can feel like an unstoppable force that compels you to share a mind-blowing insight or ask a transformational question during your session.
An intuitive coach has what it takes to dig deep beneath the surface and uncover truths that can create massive change for your client and the best part is -- it can all happen in seconds!
Intuition isn’t just for a “lucky few who are born intuitive.” Intuition is innate intelligence and it rises from our unconscious mind.
This means we are all intuitive.
It’s why you’ve probably heard lots of successful entrepreneurs and world leaders use phrases like “I went with my gut” or “I had a hunch” or even “It was pure instinct.”
Your intuition as a coach can guide you to make incredibly accurate observations and highlight hidden facts that could instantly create transformations for your client.
This is powerful stuff that cannot be accessed through the logical, thinking mind alone, so intuition is definitely something you need to consciously cultivate if you want to be an extraordinary coach and support your clients at the highest level.
One of the best ways to nurture your intuition as a coach, is to work with your inborn intuitive skills in your personal life.
Experiment with your intuition by making easy decisions from your heart and your gut rather than your head.
For instance, if you’re at a restaurant you’ve never been to before, intuitively make a decision on what you want to eat. You can do this by getting quiet and creating space for intuition to come through.
Keep in mind that intuition works in different ways for everyone. Some people get that “knowing” without knowing how or why and some people hear an inner voice whisper quietly.
How your intuition works and connects with you is not as important as trusting and listening to your instinct or hunch and then following through.
The more you work with your intuition in your own life, the more confident you’ll get with listening and trusting your intuition when you’re with a client.
TAKE ACTION SECTION
Here are some fun and useful activities you can do to cultivate your personal intuitive skills and strengthen your intuition so you can take this superpower into your coaching sessions with complete confidence.
Intuitive Activity #1
Throughout the day, try to intuitively figure out the time without checking a watch or clock (you’ll be surprised at how often you get this one right!)
Intuitive Activity #2
When you’re at your local supermarket or grocery store intuitively choose the fastest check out queue (as we all know the shortest queue isn’t necessarily the fastest!)
Intuitive Activity #3
The next time you can’t find your keys or some other item, try to get an intuitive hit on where you left them.
Intuitive Activity #4
If you get a “hunch” or “gut instinct” on something and this could be about a person or situation (i.e “buy this book “or call your best friend”) follow through and take note of what happens.
Core Coaching Skill #4: Body Language
You might have heard people say, “The body never lies” and it’s absolutely true.
Your clients will often subtly reveal what they’re truly thinking and feeling through their physical posture, movement and gestures, and it’s your job as their coach to read and decipher these physical messages.
The art of understanding body language could fill an entire library of books, but in this Guide, we’re going to look at body language through the lens of coaching.
This means we’re lasering in on the key elements that you need to know so you can understand your clients even if they don’t say a word.
Below is a list of universal body language cues to look out for during your next coaching session plus what each one means.
Keep in mind that body language is not an exact science. This list works as a guideline to help you get started with deciphering your clients’ body language.
As you continue to develop and grow as a coach, you’ll begin to intuitively understand exactly what your client is communicating even when they’re not saying a word.
Universal Body Language Cues
Leaning back signals:
Leaning forward signals:
Crossing the arms or legs signals:
Resistance, mental and/or emotional block
Tilting the head signals
Listening and engaged in what’s being said
Covering their mouth with their hand signals:
Hiding the truth, feeling embarrassed
Constantly moving or fidgeting in their seat signals:
Wrinkles around the eyes when they smile signals:
A genuine smile because it reaches the eyes.
Understanding body language can be an extremely powerful and helpful effective coaching skill, especially when you are challenging your clients to step out of their comfort zone or when you’re sharing something important that is difficult for them to hear.
When you master body language, you’ll instantly know if it’s time to inspire your client to push harder or pull back and take a breather.
Knowing how to read body language is a key effective coaching skill and it will quickly propel you to take your rightful place among the world’s top coaches.
TAKE ACTION SECTION
Like all great skills, learning to understand body language takes time and practice.
Here’s a super fun activity you can try …
Make note of the list of body language cues listed in this chapter. Then watch a movie, TV series or online video, with the sound turned off.
See if you can pick up what the character in the movie or the person presenting on camera is feeling or saying through their physical posture, movement, and gestures.
You can also take this activity out into the real world.
Do some “people watching” at your favorite café or restaurant and try to figure out their mood, their emotions and what they’re saying based on their body language.
Core Coaching Skill #5: Eliciting New Ideas
Eliciting invites your clients to look at their life or work, their challenges and problems in a fresh, new light and it’s one of the most effective ways to get them unstuck from old, mental and emotional patterns that hold them back from achieving their true potential and living the life they deserve.
Eliciting is essentially about knowing how to ask powerful, transformational questions at just the right moment and it opens the door to new ideas, perspectives, and approaches.
Eliciting can trigger lasting change and create a complete turnaround from behaviors and beliefs that block your client from achieving their goals.
Eliciting is about tapping into your client’s deep, personal truths, and it helps them uncover inner wisdom and incredible gifts and skills that they never even knew they had!
Eliciting Rule #1:
Don’t break the silence!
When you ask a client a deep, challenging or perspective-shifting question, it can cause an internal disruption that creates an in-the-moment mindset shift.
This can throw your client off track for a while and they can go quiet and fall into silence as they process the new idea, insight or information that arises.
So, whatever you do, don’t break that silence.
Allow your client the time and space they need to understand and shift into a new way of thinking.
Eliciting Rule #2:
Ask open-ended questions
Basically, an open-ended question is something that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no.
For instance, if you ask, “Do you enjoy your job?”, your client could easily answer with a yes or no.
However, “What do you enjoy about your job?” cannot be answered with a simple yes or no.
Your client needs to dig a little deeper to get to the answer which is exactly what you want them to do.
Another great eliciting coaching technique is to stay away from “why-based” questions. “Why” questions can feel critical and accusatory and this can trigger feelings of shame and blame for your client.
Instead, focus on asking questions that begin with what, how, who and where.
Questions that begin with “tell me more” or “help me understand” can also be incredibly powerful as they invite clients to go deeper with their answers.
Eliciting is an effective coaching skill and no other skill can take its place. It’s why eliciting is one of basic core skills we teach new coaches at Evercoach.
TAKE ACTION SECTION
The following is a list of 7 eliciting questions that pack a punch.
Bonus points: Answer these questions yourself and you’ll immediately experience the transformational power of eliciting.
If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you do differently in your life/health/ work/relationships etc?
What does success look like to you?
How will achieving your biggest goal impact your life and the lives of those you love?
What would happen if you don’t achieve this goal?
If your best friend was in the same situation you’re in, what advice would you give them?
What is one small thing you can do today, that will help you overcome your biggest challenge?
What are you saying yes to and what are you saying no to, in your life and work?