As a coach, you are no doubt familiar with a lot of coaching slang and jargon. We use terms like transformation and mindset without a second thought because they are part of our everyday coaching world. But when someone new comes into that coaching world, do they know our jargon? Usually not, and if you assume that they do, you set yourself up for failing that client or potential client.
The Downside of Using Coaching Slang
Have you ever had the experience of going to the doctor and getting some kind of an explanation that you just don’t understand? How frustrating was that for you? Did it make you feel stupid because it seemed like you should understand? How did it affect the relationship and rapport you felt with that doctor? Well, imagine then how your coaching client feels when you use terminology that he doesn’t understand. What do you suppose happens to that rapport that is so important in converting a prospective client into a paying client? Right. It’s gone…and so is that client.
Aside from rapport in and of itself, using coaching slang can also limit your ability to help someone. If your client feels stupid or inadequate, he is not likely to ask for clarification. And think about this. Many of your clients come into coaching because those very same feelings about themselves are causing problems in their lives. Often, they will just act as though they understand, not get the value of what you are saying, and feel unsatisfied with the result they get in that session. When that happens, what you are doing is providing an incredible disservice rather than the help you want to give.
Coaching slang is not necessarily a bad thing. Slang terms like mindset, going into state, visualization and being your word convey important concepts. That’s why you use them. The solution for your clients is simply to explain what they mean. And then amplify and explain again, until your client really “gets” the meaning of the particular coach slang term you are explaining. It’s perfectly all right to use new terms, so long as you provide definitions, examples or stories so they are clear.
Words are your main tool as a coach, particularly if you work with clients over the phone. Don’t forget that part of helping your clients feel comfortable with you and with coaching is introducing them to the new words that will become part of their coaching success.
Hope you took some great value out of this post today! I’d love to hear your feedback, so make sure you leave a comment with your thoughts or questions. And also, you can click on the Twitter button below to retweet this article… Thank you!
Dorine G. Kramer
JTS Advisors Strategy and Accountability Coach