One of the basic career coaching tools to master is effective communication. This skill is important for your clients, and also in your own career coaching practice. The biggest problem with communication is that we hear through our own filters, and often attach meaning that was never intended. The results are often disastrous to our life and career coaching practice. Here are some career coaching tools you can implement immediately to improve communication.
Career Coaching Tool #1: Don’t Assume Meaning
The first of the career coaching tools is to improve communication is to ask, “What else could this mean?” Let’s face it, when we get upset it’s not just about what someone said. It’s also because we attach some type of meaning such as ‘they don’t care’ or ‘they’re irresponsible’. When you go into this state, how will you treat that person? Maybe you’ve overwhelmed that person with too many requests or something else came up in that person’s life that was a higher priority. The golden rule is to never assume that it’s about you. But that’s what we do, in our own lives and career coaching practices. And in that moment we stop relating to others, and they won’t relate to us.
Career Coaching Tool #2: Don’t Take it Personally
The next of the career coaching tools is to remember that when someone gets upset with us, it’s rarely about us. Most of the time we just happen to get in the way. Even if it is about something we did intentionally or unintentionally, the other person adds meaning. In that moment that person most likely sees us as something that is going to get in the way of one or more of their basic needs getting met; such as love, significance, certainty or variety. You play a powerful role in your career coaching practice and your personal life when you choose to take the high road and continue to listen with the intent to understand the other person.
Career Coaching Tool #3: Are You Dealing With the Past or the Present
Another great career coaching tool is to identify if you are reacting to what’s happening in the past or the present. Our reality is filtered through the subconscious part of our brain. Every emotional event is stored there since birth, and when something or someone really pushes your buttons, past events are recalled at the subconscious level as well. This usually just adds fuel to the fire. The first step to diffusing the intensity of our emotions is to identify where they are coming from. Are you upset because a career coaching prospect rejected your offer, or are you upset because a more significant person from your past rejected you?
The key to these career coaching tools is for you to be elegant. If you assume the worst, even if you’re right, communication breaks down. By choosing to take the high road, and help your career coaching clients do the same, you’ll be able to transform most mountains into molehills.
JTS Advisors Designated Accountability Coach